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(973)529-836083 State Route 23 NorthHamburg, NJ 07419

The official start of winter and the holidays are just around the corner, but it's never too late in the year to get out and enjoy the beautiful walking trails our county has to offer. There's great joy to be had in a walk in the spring, when the beautiful trees of Sussex County begin to unfurl their green splendor.  It's also wonderful to walk amongst these trees as they radiate the majestic colors of fall.  However, there's also great pleasure to be had in a crisp, cool walk on a clear winter day, when you can see ever bigger and endless spans of a bright blue sky above.  


Paulinskill Valley Trail (27 miles) and the Sussex Branch Trail (20 miles) intersection

gate to trail on garrison road in lafayette nj
This feature covers a section of the Sussex Branch Trail, which is just perfect for a wintertime stroll. This section of the Sussex Branch Trail, which has been raved about in a previous feature, is accessible from where the trail intersects with another great and previously heralded trail, the Paulinskill Valley Trail.  There's a nearby trailhead on Route 663 with parking and restrooms, but we park at a trailhead on Garrison Road in Lafayette and start off heading northwest on the Paulinskill Valley Trail and continue for less than half a mile.  We then make a left at the trail junction, to head southwest on the Sussex Branch Trail.  A walk to a relatively large water body on the righthand side (a seemingly popular hangout for some of the county's swans) and back to the starting point on Garrison Road is a great four-mile trek.  Walking a little further southwest on this trail section will drop you onto Route 663 (south of the trailhead noted above) and this is where the Sussex Branch Trail breaks for approximately a mile, before it goes "off-road" again, at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Hicks Avenue in Newton.
sussex branch trail lakesideSussex branch Trail Lafayette NJ
This featured section of the Sussex Branch Trail is flat and relatively wide.  However, most of this trail section has a flatter single-track path running down the middle that is worn to the dirt.  The sides of the trailway are somewhat lesser worn, with some very scrubby grass growth. Regardless, the trail is great for walking as a family and even allows for the relatively easy pushing of a sturdy stroller.  This trail section is definitely fine for bicycling, as we see plenty of bikes when we're out walking.  The tree coverage is fairly dense in the summer but given that that the trees don't offer much shade in the winter, don't forget to apply your sunscreen and grab your hat before heading out for this great, low-key trek.  The "downtown" section of Lafayette and Lafayette Village are very close to the Garrison Road access point and are great places for more Sussex County fun after your walk, especially as the holidays approach.
Again, don't let the winter weather keep you indoors and away from our beautiful county's walking trails.  Happy Sussex County stepping, all the year long!!!!
Warbasse Junction- Lafayette, NJ where the Paulinskill Valley Trail intersects with the Sussex Branch Trail
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Bill DeBoer Jr

Written by Bill DeBoer Jr