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Several nice viewpoints along a figure-8 loop using the Appalachian Trail and the Iris trail.

Mileage: 9.1 miles. Very rocky start on the AT but moderate after that; a couple of minor steep areas, mostly rolling elevation changes.

  • Shorter: 6.6 miles. Return via the Iris trail when the AT first intersects it, indicated in the description below.
  • Longer: The Appalachian Trail goes north to Maine and south to Georgia so knock yourself out.
  • Alternate: Hike High Point Monument Trail from this lot too.

Our two cents: Mostly shady route with several nice viewpoints relatively early on, and ends with a good view of Lake Rutherford. The route could be done in the opposite direction, but then the harder sections would be at the end. Doing just one loop (6.6 version) is a solid option that gets you all the views with fewer miles. 

Map: Use the Kittatinny Trails, pick up a trail map at the visitor center, or print the one from the park site.

Parking: 41.302650, -74.667833
80W to Rt. 15 N to Rt 565  – OR – Rt 287 N to Rt 206 N. When Rt 206 and 15 meet, Rt 206 turns into 565. Either way, from 565 take 23N into High Point.

Large “Appalachian Trail Hiker Parking” lot on Rt 23 in the park, on the left, right after two stone pillars. (2 hr pkg limit at visitor center lot, so you can’t park there for hiking).

For the monument parking lot or Lake Marcia instead, bear right past the visitor center.

NOTE: Fee is charged Memorial Day through Labor Day, BUT there is no fee to park at this hiker lot, only if you go into the main park. Info on the NJ State Park Pass.

Updated 7/2018 – Re-hiked, description updated, changed map link to the one now on the park site instead of our older scanned PDF. 11/7/13 – Hike directions updated, new photos and GPS [Note: Older maps/books most likely will have the parking in the old area, and don’t show the BLUE connector trail.]

Restrooms: At the visitor center,  north of the parking area. Times vary by season, check park site.

Books: Shorter non-figure-8 versions and map diagrams can be found in 50 Hikes in New Jersey and Hiking New Jersey. A slightly longer variation and map diagram are in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City. Individual trail descriptions can be found in Kittatinny Trails and The New Jersey Walk Book.

Appalachian Trail
Rocky trail surface
View looking west at Sawmill Lake, on the Appalachian Trail
View from the Appalachian Trail
View from the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
View from the Appalachian Trail
View from the pipeline cut across Appalachian Trail
Pipeline cut across Appalachian Trail
Iris Trail
Side trip to "Stone Wall Ruins"
Side trip to "Stone Wall Ruins"
Pipeline cut across Iris Trail
Lake Rutherford from a side trail off of Iris
Lake Rutherford from a side trail off of Iris
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High Point State Park - AT and Iris Trail - njHiking.com - YouTube

Hike Directions: Overview: BLUE connector – Iris (RED DOT on WHITE) –Appalachian Trail (“AT” – WHITE) – Iris (RED DOT on WHITE) – BLUE connector

0.0 – From the parking lot, follow the trail near the trail sign.

0.2 – Turn RIGHT onto Iris (RED DOT on WHITE). It’s also marked BLUE connector.

0.3 – At the intersection, turn LEFT to now follow the Appalachian Trail (“AT” – WHITE) South. [AT (WHITE) also goes right and shortly arrives near the visitor center. YELLOW goes straight.]

Soon after getting on the AT, pass a large sheer wall of rock rising above you. The trail surface of the AT throughout NJ is notoriously rocky – and the first couple miles of this route is even more so.

1.0 – Continue on AT (WHITE), passing the BLUE DOT trail on the right. [BLUE DOT leads to Sawmill Lake and campground].

1.1 – Viewpoint on the right to the west over Sawmill Lake.  The trail descends down a slightly steep section, then goes up a steep rocky section.

1.5 – Limited viewpoint east overlooking Sussex County. Lake Rutherford can be seen in the distance to the right.

1.6 – Viewpoint.

2.4 – Viewpoint.

2.6 – Viewpoint. There is another view or two, but after so many, it had just gotten old hat and we neglected to mark them.

2.9 – Continue on AT (WHITE), passing a BLUE spur trail to the Rutherford Shelter (camping spot on the AT) on the left. There is a sign.3.4 – The AT (WHITE) intersects with Iris (RED DOT on WHITE). Bear RIGHT, still following AT (WHITE). AT (WHITE) and Iris (RED DOT on WHITE) are co-joined for a brief time, then split.

[Shorter option: Return via the Iris trail now by turning LEFT, continuing with the description below at 6.6.]

When the trails split, bear LEFT to continue following AT (WHITE) only, while Iris (RED DOT on WHITE) goes straight.

4.2 – The AT (WHITE) crosses a pipeline cut. To the left is a view.

Just after crossing the cut, AT (WHITE) bears RIGHT. [A gated woods road continues straight ahead].

4.6 – Large flat-ish boulders on the left side of the trail make a nice spot for a break/snack.

4.7 – At an intersection with a large rock, make a sharp RIGHT to begin following Iris (RED DOT on WHITE).

[Iris (RED DOT on WHITE) continues to the left and will go a little way to a parking lot on Deckertown Turnpike, while the AT (WHITE) continues ahead].

Head downhill, then back uphill.

5.3 – Pass a faint, unmarked trail on the left that leads to “Stone Wall Ruins” marked on the Trail Conference map. It’s not really obvious so you may just walk by it.
——
Optional: side trip to “Stone Wall Ruins”, out-and-back, only adds roughly .4 miles.
Not incredibly exciting, so most people will pass on this… but if you, like us, have a tendency to go wandering around the woods because you saw something marked “ruin” on a map AND you either have a GPS or a really good sense of direction… then pick up a faint, barely-a-trail that leads out to a large area of stone walls. Near the walls, we spotted two old tin can bottoms nailed to a tree, red with a white center, but not any other markers leading out there. The mileage from here on out assumes you DID NOT go on this little adventure, so add 0.4 to the rest of the mileages if you did. Hiked in 2013.
——

5.6 – Pipeline cut, further down from the crossing earlier.

5.8 – Continue straight on Iris (RED DOT on WHITE) [AT (WHITE) is on the right, where you turned earlier in the day.] For this brief section, the two trails are co-joined.

Bear RIGHT when the trails split and continue following Iris (RED DOT on WHITE). [AT (WHITE) bears left]

6.6 – Continue following Iris (RED DOT on WHITE) as markers indicate a sharp LEFT. [The woods road continues straight but is marked private property].

Iris (RED DOT on WHITE) then quickly veers to the right. [An unmarked woods road continues straight, leading to the Rutherford shelter].

The trail is mostly level with moderate changes, grassy at times, with few rocks. Lake Rutherford comes into view, but the trail doesn’t run right along it.

7.2 – Limited view of Lake Rutherford.

7.4 – Turn RIGHT on an unmarked spur trail (easy to miss) and follow that down to the edge of Lake Rutherford for a nice view and break spot. Return to Iris (RED DOT on WHITE) and continue.

8.9 – Turn right onto BLUE connector and head back to the parking lot.

Hiked: 7/14/18. Trail Blog: “AT and Iris Trail in Summer
Hiked: 10/20/13.
Hiked: 5/30/09. Trail Blog: “High Point State Park – AT and Iris Trail Loop

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NJ Hiking by Nj Hiking - 3h ago


For detailed hike directions, maps, GPX, and photos visit our “High Point – AT and Iris Trail Loop” page.

We needed a hike to get back into the swing of things after prepping for a big trip with a bunch of challenging hikes and then being away and getting behind on everything… and we needed something in the shade because it was going to be hot.

So I consulted our site and landed on a hike we hadn’t done since 2013.

This area is south of the crazy popular Monument side of High Point. We only passed a handful of hikers and most seemed to be Appalachian Trail through-hikers. They tend to hit the Jersey portion around this time every summer. We saw no one the entire time on Iris.

As I was checking the page for the site I realized that cutting out the middle makes a really solid hike so I added notes for that. Sometimes I forget that the average hiker doesn’t want to do 9.1 miles. Duh.

We were on the trail by 8:45, took a couple short breaks, and were done by 1:15 before it got even hotter. And then made a beeline to Dairy Queen for our post-hike reward: Reeses PB Cup Blizzard for me and Tom got the monthly flavor called Jurassic something-or-other.

Note to our future selves: Google wanted us to miss DQ on the way home – the horror – so we had to set it straight… take 23 past the turn for 565, then use 94 to get to 15.

The first view is west over Sawmill Lake into PA…

The Appalachian Trail…


…with multiple views east over Sussex County. Lake Rutherford in the distance is on the return route.




View from the pipeline cut…

And now on the Iris Trail…

Which is easier than the Appalachian… it even needs mowing…
Ferns always make for nice photos…


Crossing the pipeline at a different area. It’s not mowed as it’s a wildlife crossing so we ran across, crossing our fingers that our Deep Woods Off! was still holding strong.

Limited peek of Lake Rutherford…

Before heading down a side trail to the lake’s edge.

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NJ Hiking by Nj Hiking - 1w ago

What’s inside the Nomadik adventure subscription box for June 2018.

Considering getting a Nomadik subscription or giving one as a gift? Here’s a rundown of what this month’s box offers.

Disclaimer: Nomadik provided a complimentary box for review, but did not provide compensation or exercise control over the content of this post.

Inside the Box
    Value
LuminAID Packlite Halo Inflatable solar lantern that is dustproof, waterproof and floats. 50 lumens. $20
Richer Poorer Rambler Socks
Midweight everyday crew socks with extra arch support and low profile seams. $14
Light My Fire Sporks Four pack of the original Sporks – spoon/fork combo with a serrated cutting edge. Lightweight and heat resistant. $10
Nite Ize S-Biner Two pack key ring S-clips featuring a center twist-lock to lock or unlock it.  $5

Total Value: $49


This month’s box featured a nifty inflatable solar light from LuminAID. Strap it to a pack or kayak and it soaks up the sun while you play, fully charging in about 8 hours. Inflate with a few puffs and it gives off a warm glow around camp for several hours on the brightest setting or up to 24 hrs on the lowest setting. Lightweight, waterproof, and floats up to 1 meter.

Bonus use: We’ve been using it on our deck at night for some nice ambient light. I set it in the sun all day and it will glow most the evening hanging out.


There’s also a 4-pack of the original Light My Fire Sporks which are really lightweight but strong spoon-fork-knife combo utensils, and a 2-pack of Nite Ize S-biner mini clips which feature a locking mechanism to keep keys and such secure.

Tom wandered by the Nomadik box on my desk, noticed the socks were for men and plucked them out – “hey I get to test something!”. Neither of us was familiar with Richer Poorer socks, but Tom likes them enough that he’d consider getting more. They’re comfortable and seem durable, and pretty nice looking.

Special for fans of njHiking.com:
Get 10% off your order with code NJHIKING10…

Check out our initial review of how Nomadik works
And a review of May 2018’s Nomadik Box.

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This route starts at NJ’s highest waterfall, Buttermilk Falls. Hike steeply uphill to the Appalachian Trail to Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond.

7.5 miles – Moderate trail surface; steep in the beginning (so again at the end), some rocky sections but also a lot of really easy woods roads.

  • Super short: Just climb up the stairs around the falls and enjoy. You can continue on the BLUE trail at top, but be aware it is quite steep right from the start and more than a stroll in the woods. Consider stopping at Tillman Ravine on the way to the Falls and doing a couple mile hike around there, and then stopping at Buttermilk for a look.
  • Medium: Buttermilk Falls trail to an unmarked woods road to Hemlock Pond and return; roughly 5 miles.
  • Alternate Medium: Good 6.4 loop to Rattlesnake Mtn, w/o Crater or Hemlock, is in Hiking New Jersey.
  • Optional add-on: Silver Spray Falls (Hidden Falls) trailhead is about .5 mile from Buttermilk Falls (walk north along Mountain road, trailhead is unmarked, there is a pull off area with room for 1, maybe 2 cars). Then it’s about .25 miles from the trailhead to the falls. Cross the stream or you’ll miss it. Trying to locate these falls is part of the fun, and people often don’t find them on the first attempt.

Our two cents: Buttermilk Falls is mere steps away from a parking lot and requires no hiking to see it, so this means the area can get crowded. A set of elaborate stairs can be climbed to get other views of the waterfall. The route below is to continue up past the falls to Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond for an awesome day out.

Update 1/2018 – Added winter parking note. 4/2016 – Minor description changes; only hiked to falls for photos. 6/2013 – Trail description and GPS coordinates revised, more photos and a video of the falls added.

Map: Map# 121 of the Kittatinny Trails  map set. The portion of this route that loops around Crater Lake can be confusing; we strongly recommend to have the map set with you, and if possible, our GPS coordinates loaded in a GPS/smartphone.

Parking: N41 08.221 W74 53.350
The lot is a medium-sized dirt lot, reached by a dirt road that has bumps and potholes – many are rather deep. Mountain Road is fine with a regular car if you take it slow – but if you tool around in a really sweet ride you may want to have someone else drive :) or park at either end and walk down the road to the falls.

Rt. 206 N, past Culver’s Lake. Left onto Struble Road. This becomes Dimon Road. Pass two parking areas on the left for Tillman Ravine. At the intersection near Walpack Cemetery, turn left onto Mountain Road. Keep going on Mountain Road until you see a large dirt lot on the right with Buttermilk Falls on the left, right next to the road and can’t be missed.

Alternate: Parking can be approached from the other direction: North on Rt 602 through Millbrook, R onto park road 615 Walpack Flatbrook Road, R on Haney’s Mill, and cross a bridge on to Mountain Road, the falls parking is on the left about a mile in – although we feel the 206 way is easier.

Winter: Many roads in the area are gated in January or at first significant snowfall so you’ll need to walk down Mountain Road to access the falls. For roughly a mile road walk, use the alternate directions above, park at the gate, and walk from there. You can also park on the other end at Walpack Cemetery but from there it’s almost a 2 mile walk down Mountain Road.

Buttermilk Falls after lots of rain.
Buttermilk Falls when it's not flowing as much.
Stairs alongside the falls.
Top of the falls.
Looking down the falls from a viewing platform.
Looking back at the top viewing platform that is at the edge of the falls.
Top of the falls
Top of the falls
Limited view on the BLUE trail
Buttermilk Falls BLUE trail
Pair of turkey vultures on the BLUE trail
Buttermilk Falls BLUE trail
Buttermilk Falls BLUE trail crosses a woods road.
Buttermilk Falls BLUE trail
Limited view on the BLUE trail
Limited view along the Applachian Trail
Crater Lake
Crater Lake
ORANGE Crater Lake trail on the way to Hemlock Pond
On the trail to Hemlock Pond
Hemlock Pond
Hemlock Pond
Several red dragonflies were flitting around
Woods road around Hemlock Pond
Other side of Hemlock Pond
Other side of Hemlock Pond
Swamp area on the way back.
Stream crossing - if it's too high to rock hop...
...look to the left for a trunk to cross on and then bushwack a bit through the brush.
Woods road on the way back.
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Restrooms: None at the Falls parking. If you approach from Rt. 206, there are outhouses at the two Tillman Ravine parking lots on Mountain Rd. If you approach from the other direction, there may be portas at Millbrook, and restrooms when it’s open. During the hike there are very nice composting toilets in the parking lot at Crater Lake.

Books: A shorter alternate loop (6.4 miles) from Buttermilk Falls can be found in Hiking New Jersey. A long backpack on the Appalachian Trail that skirts near Crater Lake can be found in 50 Hikes in New Jersey. An excellent guide to all of the trails in the region is Kittatinny Trails.

Buttermilk Falls after recent rainfall:

Buttermilk Falls - Delaware Water Gap - njHiking.com - YouTube

Buttermilk Falls and Crater Lake, NJ - njHiking.com - YouTube

Hike Directions: Overview: BLUE (Buttermilk Falls) – Appalachian Trail (WHITE) – ORANGE (Crater Lake) – Blue Mtn Lakes Trail – Woods Road – BLUE (Buttermilk Falls)

Climb the stairs to the top of the falls and cross a wooden footbridge. Follow the BLUE (Buttermilk Falls Trail) markers. Immediately the trail is quite steep.

The trail levels off some onto a rocky footpath, then arrives at a bit of a ridge with limited views.

1.1  – Woods Road crosses the trail to the left and right. Continue straight on BLUE. [Variation: turn right here and follow the woods road to Hemlock Pond]

Trail continues to head steeply up, over some rock slabs.

1.6  – BLUE ends at the AT. Turn RIGHT, now following the WHITE blazes of the AT.

Not far after, the AT will veer right away from and old woods road that continues straight. The AT will turn left again in just a bit.

2.5  – Junction with ORANGE (Crater Lake) trail. Follow the AT (WHITE) as it curves to the LEFT, then shortly turns RIGHT.

[ORANGE (Crater Lake) is a woods road that circles Crater Lake, as well as going from this point to Hemlock Pond.  The blazing can be confusing in spots.

2.8  – Follow the AT (WHITE) blazes as the trail bears to the right, away from ORANGE (Crater Lake), over some rock slabs, to a little bit of a view.

2.9  – The AT (WHITE) curves around and ends up back at the ORANGE (Crater Lake).

Turn RIGHT onto ORANGE (Crater Lake). There are 3 faint blazes on a tree. [Continuing straight on AT (WHITE) is an alternate route. It is a short steep scramble down and will meet up with this route at the bottom]

Keep following ORANGE (Crater Lake), an easy woods road. It will loop around and gently go downhill.

3.2  – The AT (WHITE) crosses ORANGE (Crater Lake). Continue straight on  ORANGE (Crater Lake).

3.7  – Crater Lake Parking lot. At the edge of the lake are some rocky outcrops to sit on. Toilets are in the lot.

Continue following the ORANGE (Crater Lake) trail. There is an informal path near the lake that is not the trail. Look in the parking lot where there are metal barricades – the woods road there is the trail. Continue on this woods road, which may be intermittantly blazed ORANGE.

4.0  – At the end of the lake, bear LEFT and continue on . [A woods road goes to the right and leads to “Mount Paradise” area marked on the map.]

4.1  – Follow ORANGE (Crater Lake) as the woods road veers to the RIGHT. [There may be no visible blazes. A woods road continues straight as well.]

Follow the woods road as it turns LEFT in just a bit.

4.2  – Meet up with the AT again and turn RIGHT. Arrive shortly back at the sign for Hemlock Pond. Continue straight on ORANGE (Crater Lake) towards Hemlock Pond.

Trail descends on a rocky footpath.

4.6  – Continue following ORANGE (Crater Lake) blazes as the trail jogs to the RIGHT and then a quick LEFT [an unmarked trail goes to the LEFT]

At another junction with a woods road – Hemlock Pond will be visible straight ahead. Continue straight on ORANGE (Crater Lake) as it leads down to the waters edge, where there is a spot to sit and get a view of the pond.

Backtrack to the woods road junction and turn RIGHT onto the woods road, no longer following ORANGE (Crater Lake). [On..

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NJ Hiking by Nj Hiking - 3w ago

Are you a NJ Hiker and want to flaunt it? Get one of our swanky stickers!

Stick it on your vehicle – they’re removable and outdoor safe. 6″x4″. 

Show your love of hiking in Jersey and support njHiking.com!

Prices include shipping. Pay via credit card or PayPal. Buy more and save!

  • 1 Sticker = $5.00
  • 2 Stickers = $9.00
  • 3 Stickers = $12.00
Number of stickers:1 Sticker – $5.00 USD2 Stickers – $9.00 USD3 Stickers – $12.00 USD


Payments made to our parent company, Opaque Design. Your credit card statement will show NJHIKING.

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NJ Hiking by Nj Hiking - 3w ago


The Columbia Trail is a shady rail-trail that runs along the Raritan River and through scenic Ken Lockwood Gorge. It passes woods, farms, backyards and a few towns from High Bridge in Hunterdon County, to Bartley in Morris County. Available miles: 15

Our two cents: Really enjoyable ride, probably our 2nd fave in Jersey (D&R is our #1 spot). Do the whole thing for a nice 30 or turn around in Califon to make it a 20 miler instead. From High Bridge, there is a very slight uphill grade. There are some food options in towns near parking and street crossings… which we have never tried because we always stuff ourselves with ice cream at Gronsky’s on the way home. Always.

Route info with photos and video: Columbia Trail Resources:
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NJ Hiking by Nj Hiking - 1M ago

Ecōths creates comfortable 100% organic cotton clothing that is lightweight, breathable, and packable and is perfect for summer adventures, travel, and just hanging out.

We were sent the short-sleeved “Keystone”, and the long-sleeved 1/4 zip neck pullover “Warner” for testing. Like the rest of their line, these have a casual rugged style in earthy colors with a lived-in feel.

Disclaimer: Ecōths provided complimentary shirts for review, but did not provide compensation or exercise control over the content of this post.

Keystone
Button-down short-sleeve. Color: “Morel”.
  • 100% organic cotton
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • Built-in microfiber cloth for sunglass/phone cleaning
  • One chest pocket
  • Lightweight, breathable
Warner
1/4 zip pullover, long sleeve. Color: “Hydro”.
  • Soft 100% organic cotton jersey
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • Contrast stitching
Appearance & Fit

Both of these are comfortable, have a good cut, and the attractive colors are subtle. Keystone is especially lightweight and summery with a linen feel, while Warner offers just a bit more warmth for chilly evenings.
Many of Ecōths’ shirts have a built-in soft microfiber cloth at the bottom front corner of the shirt. This is a great idea and a handy way to clean phone screens and sunglasses.

Check out Ecōths’ Keystone and Warner shirts…

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What’s inside the Cairn outdoor subscription box for June 2018. 
Considering getting a Cairn subscription or giving one as a gift? Here’s a rundown of what this month’s box offers.

Disclaimer: Cairn provided a complimentary box for review, but did not provide compensation or exercise control over the content of this post.

In this month’s box
    Value
Chowpal Clever folding utensil multi-tool. $28
Cusa Instant Tea
Instant tea, add to hot or cold water. $10
Mountain House Meal Instant meal for backpacking and camping. Just add boiling water. $8
Honey Stinger Cracker N’ Nut Butter A new release from Honey Stinger… Almond butter filled multigrain crackers covered in chocolate. $3

Total Value: $49

A mini-newspaper inside has codes for discounts if you are interested in getting more of the products.

This month’s box is all about eating! The Chowpal from Outdoor Edge has a really clever design. Two sturdy metal pieces slide apart to reveal a fork that also has can and bottle openers, and a wrench. The spoon half includes a fold-out knife plus a flathead screwdriver end. Comes with a carrying sack. The only ding is that I had a hard time sliding them apart but I think after a few times it would loosen up.


Cusa Tea is instant tea packets – add to hot or cold water and get a cup-o-tea in 3 seconds. This variety pack has four flavors and 10 servings. Handy anytime, not just for camping or travel.

Cracker N’ Nut Butter is a new offering from Honey Stinger. We LOVE Honey Stinger waffles and gels, and this sounds different than other trail snacks out there: multigrain crackers filled with almond butter and covered in dark chocolate.

Mountain House meals are popular backpacking and camping instant meals. Add boiling water right into the pouch, stir, wait and voila! Dinner is ready. 

I knew this is a shelf-stable, long-term storage food that people also use in their storm/emergency kits but nonetheless did a double-take on the expiration date: 2048… 30 years!

It reminded me of these pouches of pasta alfredo type instant meals from Lipton that we’d get in college, waaay back when. Tom’s roommate derisively dubbed them “mail-a-meals” – because he said you could slap a stamp on the bag and pop it in the mail.

I decided to give it a whirl. It tastes decent and was a snap to prepare. The bag says it’s 2.5 servings… um, right, I could easily imagine scarfing the whole bag after hiking all day.

When Tom noticed the bag on my desk he went “oh, so a mail-a-meal came in the Cairn box.”

The latest specials from Cairn:The Cairn Trailhead Collection - use code TRAILHEAD at checkout!

Find out more about Cairn. And check out our full review of Cairn.


More run downs:
Cairn - June 2018
Cairn - May 2018
Cairn - April 2018
Cairn - February 2018
Cairn - January 2018
A Year of Cairn
All reviews...


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NJ Hiking by Nj Hiking - 1M ago

OUTXE’s rugged waterproof backup power bank keeps devices charged during any outdoor adventure.

A waterproof and dust-proof power backup from OUTXE that’s perfect for hiking, backpacking, camping, biking, kayaking, travel, or to keep in a storm/emergency bag. Features dual outputs for two devices at once with enough capacity for multiple charges. Includes a flashlight and a solar panel to provide emergency power.

Disclaimer: OUTXE provided a complimentary power bank charger for review, but did not provide compensation or exercise control over the content of this post.

The Specs
  • Rugged: Waterproof, dust-proof and shock-resistant, non-slip, can withstand some drops and bumps
  • Capacity: 20000mAh – enough for multiple charges
  • Quick charge – charge some devices to 80% in just 35 minutes
  • Input: Dual ports – accepts Type C and Micro USB
  • Output: Dual ports; charge two devices at once
  • Loop strap at either end
  • Solar panel for emergency power (not for the main charge)

Comes with:

  • Type C and Micro USB charging cords
  • Two tethers
  • Two carabiners

Appearance

We were interested in trying this on-the-go power supply mainly for photography purposes. In addition to using our iPhones to take pictures, we use them to run apps to control various cameras (GoPro etc) so battery life is always a concern.

OUTXE’s Power Bank feels sturdy and that it would take some abuse. The corners have rubber bumpers.  Not only does it come with an attachment loop on either end, there are tethers and carabiners so it can be clipped to just about anything.

One side of the power bank is a solar panel. This is to top up the power while on the go and for emergency charging – the full charge should be done by plugging it in. The charging inputs (below) and the output ports have flip-open covers.

The flashlight feature is a nice extra, it has a high and low setting plus a flashing emergency beacon.

The only minor con might be the weight – 18.5 oz (just over 1 lb) but don’t think that a device with comparable functions could weigh much less, however.

Performance

Per the companies specs, the power bank should charge an iPhone 8 about 7 times. So a hiker using a phone for photos and navigation could be good for roughly a week just by toting this around. Not bad.

For testing, I charged my iPhone SE from 10% to 100% in 2.5 hours and the power bank still showed a full 6 dots. I also charged the phone and an iPad mini a few times without issue but didn’t track the timings.

I noticed as soon as the solar panel is anywhere near a light, it starts charging (there is an indicator). Having this strapped to a pack in the sun all day would probably supply a nice trickle charge.

Overall

This is a pretty neat device and would be useful to anyone who spends time outdoors and needs to keep their gadgets powered. Add in the emergency aspects from the solar panel and the flashlight and you’ve got a great device.

Get an OUTXE Power Bank

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NJ Hiking by Nj Hiking - 1M ago

Lots of irregular shoreline and coves with a variety of habitat along the edges.

Our two cents: Busy, popular area; some slightly larger boats; winds can get strong. When we kayaked this in Aug. 2017, we had planned on picnicking at one of the sandy beaches we thought were on the west side of the reservoir but everything was under water – pretty sure that was quite unusual. We ended up doing the majority of the perimeter but it’s probably better to split the area into several trips.

Description

Spruce Run is a large reservoir with a very twisty and irregular shape that’s not far from Round Valley Reservoir. Like Round Valley, there are a lot of open areas and the winds can become high.

From the launch, we turned left and hugged the shoreline. We spotted Osprey almost immediately and then a few deer peeked out at us from the shore. We continued around past the roped-off restricted area, where Cormorants (we think) were sitting, and kept going clockwise around the reservoir.

We took our time paddling our way over to the western shores to stop to bust out our picnic lunch… and then realized the beaches we expected were submerged due to high water levels. Hunh.

After exploring the nooks and crannies in the area a bit we headed back, still on the lookout for a place for a break. The one tiny potential already had a boat in it and since our sandwiches and chips were whispering our names we made a beeline back to the lot. We were still far out and the winds had picked up so this was a tiring, sloggy way to end an otherwise pleasant day.






 

Details

Miles: 9.9 – Most of the perimeter, but you could extend by going in more of the coves.

Parking/launch: N40.66077° W74.92509°
Rt 78 West to Exit 17 for Rt 31 N. L on Van Syckles Rd. L into park entrance. Turn L after toll booth and follow signs to the boat launch. Pass a big area of boat storage to get the large parking lot – the boat ramp is straight ahead and the gradual dirt kayak put-in area is to the right, closer to the bathroom building.

Park Info: Spruce Run Reservoir

Fee: Charges an entrance fee Memorial – Labor Day; which is covered by the NJ State Park Pass.

Rentals: Yes – kayaks; paddle boards. See park site for info.

Size: 1290 acres, average depth: 26’, max depth: 73’.

Restroom: Building in the parking lot.

Book: Quiet Water New Jersey, Trip #18

For general info, check out our Kayaking NJ page.

Kayaked 8/26/17. 9.9 miles. Wildlife: Osprey, possibly Cormorants, deer.

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