Big Beech Mountain
Congratulation Kristen on your first NJ1K "peak". This website is not well-suited for suited for providing comments on other hikers' accomplishments. However, keep posting, knowing there are others here cheering you on!
My pup Daisy passed away last year, so I'm now Ryan's Dad rather than Daisy's Dad!
Big Beech Mountain
We parked at the Longpond Museum and only saw two other people on the Stirling Trail up to Big Beech mountain. The trail was well marked but muddy in spots and a bit overgrown. The viewpoint to the south was nice but we failed to find the other viewpoint.
Around the summit I climbed to the top of what appeared to be the tallest rock pile around but I did not know there was a small cairn somewhere very nearby marking the “true summit”. I kinda feel like I didn’t actually make it since I didn’t see this marking but all of this is just for fun anyway. I will be sure to check the previous summit comments before I go to the next mountain to see if there is some sort of marking to look for on the summit.
Then we proceeded to take a picture over the state line and go back the way we came. My hiking partner and I flicked about 20 ticks off of our legs and arms between the two of us and we were wearing bug spray. So far we have pulled 7 off of our poor dog and found a few that hitchhiked into the house on our gear. I’ve never encountered ticks like this on any other hike so I’d recommend taking every precaution, wearing bug spray, and going in the cooler months. It definitely gave me to creeps because I hate ticks but I still really enjoyed this hike.
Well parking at the Newark’s Echo Lake cost me $14 for a Hiking permit. Really - so I could walk past over flowing garbage cans that had not been emptied since (?) last fall. Poorly managed - once a nice camp for kids.
Anyway, hiked the Highlands Trail to midway point of the lake and turned sharply left up the unmarked road. Heading south for a ways passing many ATV trails looking for a left turning, east, trail. Finding too many trails I bushwhacked up the hill and found a road heading north/south. This trail followed the ridge to the flag pole and the great view looking down on rt. 23 and the reservoir.
The return trip I followed the trail back quickly I found a dip in the hills and descended on a trail, east, first going down. The trail turned south at the elevation of the lake. This is where I bushwhacked left or north. Staying on this elevation led me above the swampy area to my right and back to the damn.
2 hours + with lunch. Simple hike and never saw anyone else.
Buck Mountain (Kinnelon)
So...Parked near R/R bridge and walked southeast following tracks quickly coming to a abandoned siding on the right backtracking a short distance until finding a stream on the left. Then turning south and following the stream up hill into the col to a woods road between the two peaks. Continuing on this “road” up hill and south till I could see the pines indicating the peak to the left. A steep and short scramble to the top and a nice view SW to North. Time - about one hour from the car walking slow enjoying the day !