Moderately easy walk up. Sussex Branch Trail from the Park-and-Ride to the Green Trail and bushwhack at a promising site. I must have been far enough west on the Green Trail that I didn't see any No Trespassing signs. Took the same route back - 1 1/2 miles round trip. As usual on a weekday, no one else was out.
Big Beech Mountain
Trying to get more hikes in before the mosquitos come out! It was an easy walk from the Blue Lake parking lot via the Lake-to-Lake trail and Highlands trail. The high point appears to be immediately adjacent to the trail, but I hiked to the coordinates and placed another rock on the cairn at that spot. I don't know what it's like on the weekend, but nobody was on the trail, and just a couple of fishermen near Blue Lake.
No cars parked along the road, nobody on the Mountain. Fairly cool today with low humidity and no mosquitos (yet). Parked in pull-off across the street from the bridge over the Wanaque River. Hiked Yellow trail 0.8 miles north to where a woods road splits off to the northwest. Took it about 1/4 mile to it's high point, then bushwhacked about 0.6 miles to the summit. 3.5 miles overall roundtrip. The bushwhacking was moderately easy with just blueberry bushes (not ripe yet) to walk through. The only challenges were the small ridges and valleys along the summit.
Did a walk from Ramapo Valley to Ilgenstein Rock and Bald Mountain. Once I got past MacMillan Reservoir, I didn't see anyone until Cactus Ledge near the end of the walk. Not too difficult except for the overall length of the walk. My hat off to those who do the Ramapo Four in one day!
Continued from Ilgenstein Rock to Bald Mountain on an un-named trail straight north from Pierson Exploration. Not a very scenic trail with lots of empty beer cans and car wrecks.
Buck Mountain (Wyanokies)
I got one of the last spots that were left in the parking lot but didn't actually see all that many people out. The scrambly part in the first part of the climb was fun and there were some good views.
Quick hike after bagging Buck Mountain. I thought the fire pit with all the stone chairs around it was interesting but I was bummed to see a bunch of graffiti.
This was by far my favorite hike of the day. Some nice continuous climbing with great views and just enough rocks to keep things interesting.
Parked at the small pulloff on Westbrook Road and took the blue trail up to Manticou Point. Had to balance my way across the stream on rocks and logs from the start and this trail is definitely not very frequently used. It's steep, not super well marked, and has a few sizable blowdowns. Lots of ups and down from Manticou Point, but other than that smooth sailing. The power cut has a lot of thorn bushes.
A nice hike with an adequate amount of bushwhacking. Lots of visitors near Scarlet Oak Pond and MacMillan Reservoir, but once I got on the Red/Silver trail, I didn't see anyone. Climbed up and back the north side. Not bad. Lots of blueberry bushes and not much barberry and multi-flora rose. Lots of gnats but no mosquitos yet.
County House Mountain
Parked at the pull-off on Axford Avenue and went directly (more or less) toward the summit. Went as far as the No Trespassing signs.
I miss winter! It was in the low 80s today. Covered up to protect myself from the multiflora rose and barberry. Not too bad. Left doggies home today. Although the walk was only a mile and a half, it was bushwhacking the entire way.