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  1. #1
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    Default The Secret Shelter

    Does anybody know what the deal is with the "Secret Shelter" or maybe I shouldn't bring this secret up .....LOL

  2. #2
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    The shelter is on privste property just a few hundred feet up the road at a road crossing n NJ. It is owned by Jim Murray who is a past thru-hiker. He really enjoyed the trial and wanted to give back a little. There is a privy, and outside shower and an inside shower with hot and cold water. Inside the shelter is large utiity sink, a small counter, and a dryer. Up the ladder is a small loft that can accomodate 4-5 hikers. There is a large grass lawn to accomodate tents. Jim does not really advertise. He told me that he would prefer it be by word of mouth from hiker to hiker. He will continue this coutesry as long as the hikers keep it clean and respect it as his property. He stops by almost daily to feed his Italian donkeys tht are stabled down at the end of the property. He also has a small private cabin type building that he spends time in. To spot the road and turn off look for the small sign that states "Well Water 100 yards", in small print someone wrote "You need water now!!".
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

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    Registered User Panzer1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammock Hanger
    He will continue this coutesry as long as the hikers keep it clean and respect it as his property.
    Actually I heard that the AT was going to seize the property from him because it is on the AT corridor..
    I'm not sure that is true, but that is what I heard.

    Panzer

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzer1
    Actually I heard that the AT was going to seize the property from him because it is on the AT corridor..
    I'm not sure that is true, but that is what I heard. Panzer
    If true, it sounds like something a Government would do. Not too cool.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzer1 View Post
    Actually I heard that the AT was going to seize the property from him because it is on the AT corridor..
    I'm not sure that is true, but that is what I heard.

    Panzer
    it is off the trail down a lane and other private property dots the area, so this does not sound likely

  6. #6
    Registered User BigHodag's Avatar
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    Default re: The Secret Shelter

    Spent one night at Jim's place last month during my NJ section hike. Did some work-for-stay and swept out the outhouse and first cabin. Really appreciated the high stoop on shelter building and the scale. Hammockers will find the trees just to left of the cabin an ideal spacing for hanging. Water was delicious. The road in was grey dirt and freshly graded. Was excited to see the small "well water 100 yards" signs.

    I met two other hikers a few days later who had passed up the "well water" and they ended up sleeping in the closet at the bar in Unionville. Both had older guidebooks and had planned to camp in the park or at the "hostel."
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  7. #7
    tideblazer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammock Hanger
    He told me that he would prefer it be by word of mouth from hiker to hiker.
    ...and then you went and told everyone by word of internet.

    Come on, HH!

    There's a reason a secret is special!
    www.ridge2reef.org -Organic Tropical Farm, Farm Stays, Group Retreats.... Trail life in the Caribbean

  8. #8
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    on our thru we experienced 70 degree days for a week and then the day we approached High Point it dropped down to 30 degrees and rain/sleet mix. the secret shelter just may have saved us from hypothermia. it was an awesome place to stay and dry out and jim was really nice the next morning.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

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  9. #9

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    What DMA said (about the mosquito, the New Jersey state bird). Passing through there heading towards Vernon was my worst day on the trail, and in the top five worst days of my life.

    The secret shelter does not, however, exist. It is a figmentary oasis in the minds of hikers who, suffering from exsanguination, imagine a shelter nicer that High Point, where the Boy Scout Troop kept you up all night.

  10. #10
    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    Sounds like the Eckville Shelter (Thanks Lazee)
    I still have to complete Ferguson Road NJ (Just N of Highpoint) to CT Line.
    Could someone please PM me and let me know which Road crossing the Secret Shelter is at?
    Thanks so much
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

  11. #11
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    Absolutely beautiful place for hikers, and we should keep a low profile to where "exactly" it is...hence the name. Very buggy area in summer, great in winter since the cabins are heated, great well water...Incredible service to hikers! Thanx

  12. #12

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    i have nothing to say, it's secret!

  13. #13

    Default Secret Shelter

    I stayed at the "Secret Shelter" in 2002. It was a wonderful find on what was a stinking hot day. I arrived there early afternoon, had a shower then dozed in the hammock. It is a beautiful setting in the grassy fields with lots of room to pitch a tent.

    By night fall there was about 8 of us there and we all agreed it was a real treat. The small donkeys braying in the adjacent paddock were really cute.

    Thanks again.
    Downunda

  14. #14
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Default The "Not so Secret" Secret Shelter

    I stayed there this year on my thru. It's right after High Point State Park. Beautiful setting. There's a shelter with a loft, privy, hot water shower and a large open area for tenting.

    Having said the above ...I disavow any knowledge of its existence.
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

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    I don't know if Jim (the owner of the Secret Shelter) ever reads these forums, but I just wanted to send a big THANK YOU for it! After a 12 mile slog in constant rain, the Secret Shelter was an oasis. We stayed with a thru-hiker ("Hydro") which was an amazing experience. We left the place clean, excpet for 2 full cans of Bud for the next lucky hiker!

    BTW- cool burrows!

  16. #16
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Last July I hiked past on a short section hike to fill in my mileage gap between High Point and Warwick Turnpike. I had heard of the Secret Shelter from WhiteBlaze members and made it a point to stop in when I reached there about 10:30 in the morning. There was no one around except a loud braying donkey in the field next door. I checked out the facilities and kind of wished I could've stayed the for the night.

    The owner drove up in his pick-up truck just as I was preparing to leave. I asked him if he remembered Hammock Hanger from a few years back (he didn't), told him about WhiteBlaze, discussed the weather, and then I thanked him and headed on to Vernon.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  17. #17
    Registered User LEGS's Avatar
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    Default Sssssssssssshhhhhhh!

    Its a secret man!!!! ssssssuuussh now!!!! But it is a damn nice place for a rest!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Former Admin
    Does anybody know what the deal is with the "Secret Shelter" or maybe I shouldn't bring this secret up .....LOL

  18. #18
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    As I was preparing to leave the secret shelter one summer morn, I looked at my DEET and thought, "I've carried this all the way from Springer, and I haven't used it once. What's wrong with me?" So I tossed it into the trash can our host provided.

    That day, I experienced mosquitos the likes of which I'd never faced. You know it's bad when you can see a cloud of them 30 yards ahead. I ran. I waved my arms. I yelled. I stopped neither to drink nor micturate. All to no avail. By the end of the day, my skin could be read like Braille...even the parts covered with clothes were not protected. What the mosquitos couldn't fly under, they could bite through.

    By the middle of the afternoon, I was so frazzled I wanted to cry.

    Thanks for letting me vent my random memory. And thanks to Jim for building such a lovely contribution to the trail. I was glad to spend a clean night there.

  19. #19
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    Alligator, you sound like one of the mistaken who seem to believe all of NJ is airports, refineries, buildings, pollution, and interstates. Granted, there is much development in NJ, can be expensive to live, a good amount of it is paved over, and it has more cars per square mile than any other state, but the western, particularly the northwestern area where the AT is routed, southern parts(think Pinelands Reserve), and the eastern shoreline from Sandyhook south to Cape May are very different than the northeastern part which so many have limitedly experienced. I've actually met quite a few AT thru-hikers who believed that they were going to be hiking through backyards on the AT stretch through NJ. What a joke! This kind of ignorance leads other outdoors people in other parts of the country to mistakenly believe that hiking the AT is a joke - like it's hiking from grocery store to grocery store through backyards - like it's not real hiking unless you're hiking out west or mid west climbing a 14 er. Wake up!

  20. #20

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    i've stayed at the secret shelter twice. its there. theres always a couple jackass's there though.

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