Travelogues

Abandoned Quarry at Watchung Mountain

On our day off for Presidents’ Day we had our mind set on a trip to Watchung Reservation, and as we drove up the nearby road we saw these frozen waterfalls coming out of the cliff face and decided “that’s where we wanna go.”

Starting out at the Seeley’s Pond parking area, the “White Trail” took us up to an overlook above the river, and we tried working our way across jutting out sections of basalt to get to the bottom but hit a dead end. So cutting around the back we came down to ground level, where we found the foundations of the old mill referenced here. A little further on, there was a dramatic cut right through a 15-foot high ridge of stone.

Passing through, we found the foundations and other ruins of buildings that were part of the old quarry, stretching as far as we could see through the trees.

Part of it was this concrete floor.

And this buried (or unburied perhaps) tank, still smelling of gasoline.

Here’s the corner of one of the buildings, built into the hillside.

Water dripping from inside and above the rocks was freezing on exposure to the air, forming tall blue-white streams of ice. Some had fallen, 20 pounds or so per piece. I thought it might be best to not stand directly under it any longer than necessary.

A section of the river had a nice series of small rapids. We sat on the ledge of one of the old building foundations and enjoyed the view for a while.

I’m still slapping myself for forgetting my good camera, and having to settle for cellphone pictures. We’re hoping to get out there again this Saturday and explore a little more. The detective work in tracing out where the buildings and roads actually stood is quite a bit of fun. It reminded us a lot of what we did in DC on the Capital Crescent Trail, which has the ruins of some very large industrial works between the old B&O Canal and the Potomac River.

[googleMap name=”Watchung Reservation” width=”450″ directions_to=”false”]Diamond Hill Rd. & New Providence Rd., New Jersey[/googleMap]

Our route took us from just to the top-left of Seeley’s Pond, up and around to the right, then tracking roughly around New Providence Rd. on the other side of Green Brook (if you look at the terrain map, you’ll see where the cliff is).

Tom
Tom McGee has been building web sites since 1995, and blogging here since 2006. Currently a senior developer at Seton Hall University, he's also a freelance web programmer and musician. Contact him if you have the need for a blog, web site, redesign or custom programming!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *