HOPATCONG – In honor of Earth Day, the borough Environmental Commission hosted an informative hike, Saturday, at the Rowland May Eves Inlet Sanctuary at Lake Hopatcong.
Almost two-dozen people joined local historian Cliff Lundin for the mile-and-a-quarter hike, stopping frequently to listen to Lundin’s lessons on local wetlands, streams, watersheds and geology.
The trail begins innocently enough on a gravel road just off Lakeside Avenue across the road from the inlet parking lot. A well-placed ‘Trail’ marker points visitors in the correct direction and away from the home of Keith and Liz Terwilliger, current owners of the original Rowland and May Eves home, which sits atop a rocky cliff overlooking the trailhead. Keith Terwilliger said he and his wife, who often sit in Adirondack chairs at the edge of the cliff and in full view of hikers, purchased the well-tucked house about a year ago and have taken on their role as keepers of the trail seriously, clearing debris from the path to insure safe passage for all.
“It’s kind of like having a house on a street,” said Terwilliger of their unique view.
The trail turns off the gravel road into the woods and continues over bridges and rocky terrain, up and down short but fairly steep hills, and according to Lundin, past rock
formations billions of years old. Along the way, specific facts about the wetlands and the watershed is posted on information markers, the result of an Eagle Scout project completed in 2013.
There are two different blazes marking the way along most of the trail; the greenish strip for the Rowland May Eves trail and the distinctive turquois blue diamonds that identify the Highlands Trail. A crucial left turn at an intersection near the end of the mile-an-a-quarter hike brings visitors back to the Lakeside Avenue parking lot.
For Fabian Warren, 9, hiking is a chance to explore the woods, take still pictures and digitally record the sites and sounds. He and his mom, Bruni, make it a point to attend as many organized hikes as possible she said, adding they are especially looking forward to the annual Hopatcong Charity Hike at Hudson Farm scheduled for May 17. Fabian said he has been hiking since he was seven and is able to hike any trail, easy or difficult, short or long.
“We like these hikes,” said Bruni.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is sponsoring a similar hike at Rowland May Eves Inlet Sanctuary on Sunday, June 8 at 1pm. Cliff Lundin will be leading the event.