YARD'S CREEK PUMPED STORAGE HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT
Kittatinny Mountains, Blairstown, Warren County, NJ
RACCOON RIDGE, YARDS CREEK

Since 9/11/2001, the information below is fairly obsolete.  Yard's Creek is open only on a limited basis, except for Sunday..  There is no through hiking.


Directions:

from a hawk watch with the Bergen County Audubon Society, November 1, 1997:

Take Route 80 west to Exit 12. Take Route 521 north for 5 miles to Route 94. Turn left on Route 94 and drive 3.8 miles to Walnut Valley Road and turn right (there is a Dairy Queen on the left). Go 2.3 miles to the entrance to the Yards Creek Power Plant. After entering, go right at the first fork, left at the second, and right at the third, following signs for the Boy Scout camp. There will be a parking area on the right -- one mile from the gate.


Trails:

There is a half hour hike to the ridge where you should be prepared for possible high winds. On this scenic ridge overlooking the Delaware River. Birders can look for late migrating hawks such as red-tailed and rough-legged, as well as golden eagle. Additionally, wild turkey may be seen along the trail.

One can leave from Yard's Creek and follow the path to the Appalachian Trail (600 ft. elevation change). From here one can hike north to the Catfish Fire Tower. The 60 foot high fire tower was built in 1922.  The tower sits at an elevation of 1565 feet and provides a 360-degree view of Yard's Creek, Sand Pond, and the Catskills in the distance.

4/28/2005.  Tried to get past the gate at Yard's Creek.  The "guard" informed me that I could not hike here because since 9/11 the area is only open on a limited basis (except for Sunday) and there is no through hiking.  I noticed on the map that the nature study area is right at the entrance (on the right side).  It looked like an interesting area, pond and marsh among other habitats.  There is also a picnic area on the grounds.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


YARD'S CREEK PUMPED STORAGE HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT
Warren County, NJ
July 29, 1967 Torrey Botanical Club.

This is one of the first hydroelectric operations in the country using reversible pump turbine units. These units pump water up hill into an upper reservoir, using power supplied by other generating plants during hours of minimal power demand and generate current, using water power, during peak electricity use periods. Those who attended were conducted on a tour of the generating plant by a Jersey Central Power and Light Company representative who explained the operation of the station and its relevance to the total electrical generating capacity for the New York area. He also explained the importance of the proposed Tocks Island Project for increasing the generating capacity to meet the future power needs of a rapidly growing megalopolis.

Research presently underway examining the effects of fluctuating water levels on spawning of shore fish, a project being conducted by the Delaware River Basin Commission, and on plant colonization of the shoreline, the Ph. D. thesis project of the field trip leader at Rutgers University was explained and discussed, as was the novel site reforestation technique used by the power company to speed the processes of ecological succession on areas denuded by construction. This latter has resulted in a lush growth of grasses and herbs as well as of seedlings of birch, red cedar, and red maple on sites completely devoid of vegetation in 1966.

Following the day's scheduled activities, some members hiked the two miles from Yard's Creek upper Reservoir to Sunfish Pond which is at the center of a controversy over whether the power company should or should not be allowed to construct 80 foot dikes around the pond, rerouting the Appalachian Trail, and use it for an upper reservoir for their Tocks island Project.

If you did not make this trip, the project at Yard's Creek is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and visitors are welcomed. Attendance was 17, leader, Peter A. Gail.