Walkill River National Wildlife Refuge: Liberty Loop Trail Revisited

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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I was in the area and decided to revisit Liberty Loop Trail in the Walkill River National Wildlife Refuge.  The last time I’d taken pictures here was in 2004. Digital photography has come a long way in the last 15 years and even my phone captures better images than the 2 MP point and shoot I was using back then.

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Liberty Loop is a level 2.5 mile trail that begins in New York State and follows the perimeter of a former sod farm that straddles the New York/New Jersey border. The sod farm was restored to its natural wetland state after becoming part of the refuge.

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This area is a haven for migratory waterfowl and the short-eared owls. The trail had been damaged by recent storms so I couldn’t get very far along. I didn’t see any owls, but there were some Canadian Geese pretty close to the parking lot.

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The wetlands in this area were formed by the retreat of the glaciers. As the ice sheets receded, a glacial lake filled the valley they’d formed. The wetlands were once at the bottom of that lake.

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Walkill River NWR posts:

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Location: Oil City Rd, Pine Island, NY

Designation: National Wildlife Refuge

Date designated or established: 1990

Date of my visit: 3/9/2019

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Walkill River National Wildlife Refuge: Liberty Loop Trail

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

Years ago, I lived in a more rural section of New Jersey, right on the border of Orange County, New York. Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge was established in the years that I lived there to protect the water quality and manage the waterfowl dependent on the wetlands in the valley. There are several nature trails available for hiking.

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While most of the refuge is in New Jersey, the trail head closest to my house was in New York. The 2.5-mile Liberty Loop Trail was created on a sod farm that was allowed to revert to its natural state and is co-aligned with the Appalachian Trail for one mile.

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The trail begins on a short boardwalk section and loops around the wetlands. It is a nice flat trail and especially scenic when the leaves start turning…perfect for a short nature walk with little kids.

Location: Oil City Rd, Pine Island, NY

Designation: National Wildlife Refuge

Date designated or established: 1990

Date of my visit: 10/16/2004

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