Hacklebarney State Park
Long Valley (Morris County)
Size of park: 1,186 acres
Being a bit elusive is part of Hacklebarney’s charm. The small and secluded park is a perfect—if hard to find—place to escape. At the entrance, a stone staircase descends deep into the forest, where the ravines are lined with lichen-covered hemlocks and other hardwoods. Today, anglers, hikers, and picnickers seek out the park, but in the nineteenth century, Hacklebarney was mined for iron ore. According to local lore, the park’s name comes from the old foreman, Barney Tracey, who was heckled by the miners. More recent history is seen in the park’s many stone structures, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Hacklebarney is a glacial valley, with gorges carved by the Black River and two tributaries, Rinehart and Trout brooks. In the fall, the state stocks the Black River with brown, brook, and rainbow trout. A license is required; call the Trout Stocking Hotline for dates (609-633-6765). For the sportsman, 70 percent of the park’s acreage (separate from the day-use area) is designated for hunting deer, small game, and turkey.
Hacklebarney has five miles of trails—mostly gravel—whose uphills are just challenging enough to induce some heavy breathing. Sturdy hiking boots are necessary to conquer the narrow and rocky trails along the river. (No bicycles are allowed.) The playground is an essential stop for kids, and picnic tables are strategically scattered throughout the park.Click here to leave a comment