BEAVER LAKE RAIL TRAIL
Ogdensburg, Sussex County, NJ
US 87 to around mile marker 30 and get off at Exit 15 onto US 287 South. Drive to exit 52 and get onto Route 23 North. Go about 18.3 miles and turn left onto Route 517 south. Drive past the Sterling Plaza (on the right) and soon after (at mile marker equivalent of 38.8) turn right onto Fire House Lane (by the fire house) and park in the Ogdensburg Municipal Park here.
You can also park at the Hamburg W. M. A. parking area off of Route 23. Walk south a little way along Route 23 and cross over the road to a gap in the guard rail. Now you better be careful here because the traffic can be a mess and a great danger. Walk east and then south. (Or you can turn left from Route 23 into the small gap -- but this is a tricky turn here. Be careful if you try it!) Best just to park at the first parking area described above.
This used to be part of the abandoned Hanford Branch of the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad. Cuts were made into the limestone hillside. It is three miles long and runs from Beaver Lake Road off of Route 23 to Ogdensburg across from the fire department and Ogdensburg Municipal Park. The Line went: from Hanford, Quarryville, Sussex, Martin, Hamburg, Franklin Junction, Franklin, Ogdensburg, to Beaver Lake.
just slightly modified from National Park Service: D, L,&W Study: http://www.dnaco.net/~gelwood/before/nps-chp1.html
New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad
1870 -- The New Jersey Midland Railway was created on March 17, 1870 from four small New Jersey railroads. The owners' intent was to extend its tracks to the Pennsylvania coal fields. Before such construction could take place, the New Jersey Midland entered into a contract with the New York and Oswego to act as its carrier across New Jersey.
1873 -- Panic of 1873
1875 -- Economic disruption caused by the 1873 depression resulted in bankruptcy for the New Jersey Midland on March 8, 1875.
1880 -- Relieved of receivership in May 1880, the line was sold and renamed Midland Railroad of New Jersey. The new directors, which included several coal mine owners in the Scranton and Pittston region, decided to extend the track into the Pennsylvania coal fields. The Midland managers created the Pennsylvania Midland Railroad to construct the track in that state.
1881 -- Before any Pennsylvania track was laid, the directors entered an agreement on January 1, 1881 with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western to build the line only as far as Gravel Place (about three miles above East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania), where the two lines would connect. By this arrangement the DL&W would handle Midland traffic between Scranton and Gravel Place.
1881 -- The New York, Susquehanna and Western evolved from the New Jersey Midland Railway. As a result of the accord described immediately above, the Midland managers decided to combine their several companies under the name New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad. Incorporation papers were filed on June 17, 1881.
1882 -- The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad owners completed their track from Weehawken, New Jersey to Gravel Place, Pennsylvania on October 24, 1882. They built a bridge over the Delaware River north of the DL&W station at Delaware Water Gap. (The stone piers of this bridge still stand in the river.) Coal trains began to run the next day. Coal came from the Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Company mines near Scranton as well as that mined by John Jermyn and the Lackawanna Coal Company.
1890s -- By the early 1890s the New York, Susquehanna and Western directors decided to build their own Pennsylvania road and sever ties with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western. As a result, they established a subsidiary called the Wilkes-Barre and Eastern Railroad and began to build a single track line between Wilkes-Barre and Stroudsburg.
1894 -- Wilkes-Barre line finished on September 29, 1894. The NYS&W removed its track to Gravel Place and connected it to the Wilkes-Barre and Eastern line at Stroudsburg.
1930s -- Coal freight formed the chief source of income for the New York, Susquehanna and Western. Revenue from coal traffic provided the main source of income until the 1930s.
1939 -- Depression led to a decline in the coal trade and prompted the New York, Susquehanna and Western to abandon its Wilkes-Barre and Eastern subsidiary. The last train ran on March 25, 1939.
1940 -- the railroad closed its line into Stroudsburg. The company still operates in other areas of Pennsylvania.
limestone hillsides, deciduous forest, railroad track area, power cut field.
Walk to the edge of the road and cross Route 517 just opposite the fire house (just north of Ogden Way) to the small pull-off for a few cars. In the middle of this path of woods is an opening to the trail. Follow the trail past where it joins Ogden Way, keep going straight uphill and the path goes from east to going north. Soon there is a stony fork on the right going uphill. This fork will take you up the mountain to the railroad tracks (still being used).
If you keep going straight you will be going north parallel to the town of Ogdensburg. There is a lot of off-road vehicle use here. And they go fast and reckless, so watch out. You may have the right of way but do they really care? So you have to get out of the way -- usually the excessive noise gives you enough warning time.
This trail is very interesting. There are a lot of railroad cuts through the mountains putting the walker many times in a shallow valley. There are a lot of ferns on the mountain cuts and lots of red elderberry and purple flowering raspberry.
Water comes down from the higher areas. I went past one stream that went under the trail and turned around when I got to the power-cut. There is a nice view over Ogdensburg from the power-cut. Not a long walk, but enough to give me the idea that this is a good place for a Torrey trip. Great rock formations.
Saw wild turkey.
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
Acer negundo (box elder maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Catalpa speciosa (southern catalpa)
Fraxinus Americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus alba (white poplar)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) Morus alba (white mulberry)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Lonicera tatarica (Tatarian honeysuckle)?
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac ) 6/27/01
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Ribes sativum (garden currant)
Rosa caroliniana (Carolina rose) 6/27/01
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus odoratus (flowering raspberry ) 6/27/01 lots
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Sambucus canadensis (white elderberry)
Sambucus pubescens (red elderberry) lots; with red berries
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) 6/27/01
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)
Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 6/27/01
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Allium tricoccum (wild leek) 6/27/01 soon
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed)
Ambrosia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp ) 6/27/01
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine)
Arabis laevigata? (smooth rockcress)?
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
Asclepias syriacus (common milkweed) 6/27/01
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 6/27/01
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 6/27/01
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 6/27/01
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 6/27/01
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) 6/27/01
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 6/27/01
Coronilla varia (crown vetch) 6/27/01
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)?
Desmodium glutinsoum (pointed leaved tick trefoil)
Desmodium paniculatum (panicled tick trefoil) 6/27/01
Dianthus armeria (wild pink) 6/27/01
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Erigeron strigosus (lesser daisy fleabane) 6/27/01
Eupatorium rugusom (white snakeroot)
Eupatorium sp. (Joe-Pye-weed)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 6/27/01
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geranium robertianum (herb Robert) 6/27/01
Geum canadense (white avens) 6/27/01
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort) ) 6/27/01
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Medicago lupulinus (black medick) 6/27/01
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 6/27/01
Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet cicely)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel ) 6/27/01
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)
Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip) ) 6/27/01
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed ) 6/27/01
Plantago major (common plantain)
Podophyllum peltatum (May apple)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed ) 6/27/01
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Sanicula gregaria (sanicle)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 6/27/01
Silene alba (white campion) 6/27/01
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 6/27/01
Thalictrum dioicum (early meadowrue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 6/27/01
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/27/01
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Viola palmata (three-lobed violet)?
Viola sp. (violet)
Rushes and Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Juncus (path rush)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Cystopteris sp. (fragile fern)?
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Dryopteris sp. (woodfern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)