Metro Gathering Mega Event Poker Run #5
The Sussex Mine Railroad cache along the Sussex Branch Trail showcases one of the premier rail trails in the Skylands regions of NJ. Formerly the Sussex Branch of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western railroad, this line is steeped in history as well as remarkable scenery. With only a few short interruptions, it is possible to trace this abandonment over twenty miles between the towns of Netcong and Branchville. This section of the Sussex Branch Trail follows the route through Sussex County from Byram Township in the south to Branchville Borough.
This section of the Sussex Branch Trail also got its start providing service in 1848 as the narrow-gauge, mule-drawn Sussex Mine Railroad, whose primary purpose was hauling iron ore from the mines in Andover to Waterloo Village on the Morris Canal. The railroad was eventually upgraded and expanded before being merged into the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in the mid-1940s. Though the railroad was out of service several decades later, the state of New Jersey—which owns much of the area parkland—preserved the right-of-way for trail use.
"Sussex Mine Railroad"
Just past Jefferson Lake on the right, you'll come upon the original "Sussex Mine Railroad" right of way, a narrow gauge mule railroad and predecessor to the Sussex Railroad, breaks away to the left. The main trail continues ahead on a fill over a finger of Jefferson Lake while the older right of way hugs the side of it on a shelf. It rejoins the main trail ahead with minimal extra distance. To the right, a former ice house siding breaks away from the main trail. It leads to a private camp.
"Sussex Mine Railroad"
The Old mine railroad right of way rejoins. The Highlands Trail briefly joins the Sussex Branch Trail, having descended off of Allamuchy Mountain to the west to join the Sussex Mine Railroad right of way. It runs concurrently with the Sussex Branch Trail shortly to a small waterfall on the right. Here, it crosses the stream to continue north on it's journey to Storm King Mountain, NY and beyond. To the south, it leads to Rieglesville PA. The Liberty-Water Gap Trail also joins, and follows the Sussex Branch Trail north to Warbasse Junction.