Washington Valley Park is one of Somerset County’s larger recreational parks – hike 35 was my second time hiking in the park since starting my 52 Hike Challenge in November. Hike 35 stats:
Date: September 4, 2016
Weather: 70°F, sunny
Distance: 4.06 miles
Total Ascent: 555′
Highest Elevation: 387′
Highlights: Buttermilk Falls, fat bikers, hawk observatory
I parked in the small lot on Miller Ln. and walked down the paved path to the Hawk Watch platform. This spot is very popular amongst bird watching folks since many hawks nest in the area and can often be seen flying over the quarry.I continued down the path and couldn’t help but notice the “no swimming” sign posted high in a tree, nowhere near the water. A bit down the trail there is a path that exits to the left and takes you down to the half natural, half people made Buttermilk waterfalls.
It looks like the dam was built into the side of the gorge, so I don’t really know how much falling the water actually did prior to the small reservoir being created at the top. I continued along the creek bed until the path eventually joins back in with the yellow trail.
I continued on the yellow trail after letting a group of very nice mountain bikers pass – I’d see this group twice more before finishing my hike.
The park is full of awesome trees – and the trails are extremely well marked. There are a few trails that I haven’t hit during the challenge that I’m hoping to get to before November. This hike had the first sings of autumn – which reminded me how little time I have to complete my remaining hikes.