|Distinct summits attained||51|
With the webmaster. We hiked from the AT intersection with 519, up the AT to Long Trail and up to the monument. Being a lovely fall day, there were tourists galore. The monument was open so we went up, though the view is not really better than the summit, and remarkably stuffy and indoors.
The best bit of the hike was walking down around the Cedar Swamp just north of the summit, which was both lovely and mysterious.
I suppose it was fitting to have ended on the highest point of New Jersey, but it's perhaps not the most choice of peaks. I'd maybe have preferred something a bit more rural and hidden, with the sort of quiet lovely views New Jersey has aplenty.
The Pinwheel Vista is spectacular, though the view of Wawayanda from just beyond the AT parking lot is pretty fabulous too. The actual summit is kind of sucky and not particularly awesome to get to, though there are a few decent views along the way, and I saw some bears startlingly close who were clearly not afraid of me. In fact, they may have been growling. Do bears growl?
Finished up as the sun was setting. Had hoped to nip over to High Point afterward, but it was too late and the park was closed, as I was rather brusquely informed by some man who told me I was likely to break my leg walking the paved road up there at sundown by myself. Sunrise Mountain had its usual crowd of couples sitting improperly on the benches.
Finally got around to doing Windbeam properly. I maintain I already did it, but that report has been disputed. Couldn't find much of a view from Windbeam itself, but from Little Windbeam it was quite nice; I could see the parking lot where my car was at the Stonetown Recreation Area (not the best part of the view). Unfortunately, it was ferociously muggy, and made the climb (and the whole day) pretty grueling, but it made me kind of interested in doing the whole Stonetown Circular someday, when there's not such an oppressive atmosphere.
I think I may have discovered a talent of mine in which I manage to find what indisputably seems to be the hardest path both up and down each and every mountain. I'm not sure if there are helpful paths up, but I started out by following a path for a few hundred feet and wound up accidentally bushwhacking the entire climb through wretched thorns. The way back down was even more thorny, rocky, slippery, and dangerous all around, but I took a nice path back to Ringwood Manor where I'd parked, which made me want to take the tour there sometime.
I had to really talk myself into hiking this third mountain of the day, and after the cloying oppressiveness of the vegetation on regular Bearfort, I wasn't really looking forward to it, but I did want to finish the list. Add to that the fact that as soon as I parked my car, it started raining with ample gusto, which somehow managed not to dissuade any of the small, biting UFOs swirling my head; in fact, it seemed as though it spurred them on to want to take refuge inside the swirled eyes of my curls, giving me the impression of a crazy loon who hears buzzing and humming that the rest of the world can neither hear nor see the source of. It is to the great credit of this mountain, then, that I actually quite enjoyed this hike, even as night was falling and the downpour eased its way in.
I parked at the second lot from the east on the Warwick Turnpike, which took me a while to trust as the guardrail gives no impression of there being any place to hike in the area. The blue trail, however, starts immediately on the other side, and runs just a short way up to the white trail which I took several miles until it ended at the yellow trail, which gets closest to the summit. There are some truly lovely ridges of rock up there (if you're into that sort of thing, which I am), though I didn't find incredibly much in the way of a view very near to the summit (a few obstructed views, which were still sort of nice, though the rain did its best to dampen all). I managed to find the yellow trail again, follow it back to the intersection with the white trail, and then immediately lose the white trail for quite a while. Not really sure how I managed that, but if I can reasonably blame it on the rain, I guess that's the least pitiful of any reason I could have (though I'm fairly sure it's not true).
Not quite as ridiculously easy as everyone else has been making it out to be, but still not hard by any stretch. I parked on Durham Rd., right after where it turns to a dirt road and walked in on a woods road, which is steeper than the western approach. There was actually a nice, steep (albeit only 30-40ft high) rock slope that I had to climb up.
Took the same route as everyone else: parked at the end of Bigelow Road at the Four Birds Trail parking area, where the trail starts. I built a (cute) little cairn at the top on the ridge that I thought was highest. Had fun exploring the old railroad cars across the road afterward.
Wasn't the completely rugged bushwhack I was expecting, but still a very nice hike. Parked at the parking lot next to the railroad tracks right off of 23 on Charlottesburg Rd. (Echo Lake Rd. in the other direction) and walked along Old Route 23 to Winnebago/Timberbrook Rd., which is blocked to cars by a gate. Just before the first view of the dam, there's a woods road leading up to the southeast, which I took almost all the way to the summit. Bushwhacked the last few hundred yards or so to the summit, found the cairn near the firepit, and had a lovely view on a lovely day. I would have stayed a bit longer, but it's watershed property and I thought I kept hearing voices from below (thought they might be the much lauded patrols). I think they were just turkey, though I did catch a couple of kids climbing the fence to get onto the dam, and generally doing silly-headed things.
Took the same route up as described by others (parked across from Tall Timbers Rd. and bushwhacked up). Made it almost to the summit before I found any useful woods roads, but I got there okay. Found the tepee and both benchmarks (discovered the first almost directly under my feet by chance), though not the cairn. Despite my awesome boots, I didn't really feel like pushing back through the swamp because of all the thorns, so I took the woods road down to where it came out in a development community (Jenny Layne, I think?). It's a windy set of roads, but they eventually lead down on Settlers Rd. to a road that intersects Route 565 a few hundred feet on (forget the name). Had to walk about .7 miles back to my car along 565, but a very nice truck driver honked and waved and made my walk back all the more enjoyable, unlike the young folk who'd honked when I'd initially parked.
Relatively uneventful, but I quite liked the Split Rock Trail. It had a lot of lovely cairns lining both sides, all the way up, and goes right over the summit.
Nice walk up, though I would have stayed at the lake a bit longer had it not been for the large group of unruly youths who were jumping in from both sides, and taking great pleasure in calling uncultured, rude epithets across the water and just generally being mean to each other. I was disconcerted until I was on my way down and met a pair of young gents who asked if there were any folks up top and, if so, were they obnoxious. To which I replied, extremely, though it gave me the impression that was a fairly common occurrence.
Cute mountain with quite nice views. Steeper than I'd expected, for the Allamuchys anyway, but manageable. Scared a half dozen hawks off the cliff with the lovely view up top and watched them soar all the way down, though afterward I smelled something that smelled persistently dead. Delightful.
I followed the green path to its end, and then followed it back until there was a break in the private property signs and more or less tried to scale my way up the vertical backside of it (the east/northeast side, I think). Was quite difficult and fairly challenging, but fun. At the top, found a patio with a picnic table, porch chair and matching table, and a large wood block that had "Pete and the Queen" inscribed into it. There's a very nice road that goes right over top of the mountain, but it seemed to be curving vaguely north-ish, and since I was parked south and had a time commitment I didn't follow it. Would be a dead easy way to climb up if you could find its source.
Much easier to find and climb than I'd anticipated. I went down Jonestown Rd. and parked at the Marguerite Lake Wildlife Management Area. I walked around there briefly, thinking it might be lovely, and it was okay, but the lake was all brown.
Anyway, went up to Lanning Trail, which was marked "private road", and there was construction on it. I asked these two kids in front of one of the houses if I could get up the mountain that way and they said no, but told me that I could walk in the woods next to the road up the mountain. I found a very faint path that I more or less followed directly upward. I was surprised to find it went directly to the radio tower at the summit. Glad I went that way, though, because the power line cut was all overgrown, and I'm not sure where the road leading to the tower came from.
Wanted to explore the nearby iron mine, but there were private property signs in that general direction along my way up, and I didn't know if I could make it down there without trespassing.
What a godawful mountain. I find it hard to believe no one else has pointed this out. Parked just onto Tunnel Hill Rd. and bushwhacked up the side of the road. Very steep, which was fine enough, but it was completely rocky, with thorns that easily made it up to my waist. And not the kinds of rocks that you can climb on, but the kind that are slippery and sucky and that you fall between. And not the kinds of thorns that you pass by as they grab at your jeans, but the kind you find embedded into your legs several hours later. What a wretched, wretched climb. Occasionally, I crossed a thin, overgrown trail that I can only assume was made accidentally by nj1k climbers, since no one else in their right mind would climb it. Went after to climb County House, which was marginally better, and passed the woods road in Sykes Gap, hoping desperately that it would lead somewhere useful, but it didn't.
Found the circle of rocks at the summit, but was tricked by about three other similar circles of rocks that I was desperately hoping were the summit. There was nothing fulfilling about the summit.
If you have any choice at all, or aren't hellbent on finishing this list, avoid this mountain. It made me wonder how much I actually wanted to finish the list, and why I even liked hiking in the first place.
Better than Oxford Mountain, anyway. Not as rocky or as thorny. Nevertheless, I was not about to go back the way I came, since I hated Oxford so completely. I got up to the private property line and...(shh) trespassed (which I recommend against!). Made it up to the summit, hoping it would be private because there was something worth protecting up there. Was almost at the top when a deer came tearing out at me at high speed. About ten feet away, I realized it still hadn't seen me, though it was coming straight at me. They're usually quite cute, but at that speed you really start to recognize how much they must weigh and how muscular they are. I clapped loudly and at the last minute he swerved away from me and almost took himself out.
Anyway, there's a house at the top, which I skirted, and then took their driveway down to Jost Road, which intersects Tunnel Hill Rd. Despite there being about six cars on the front lawn, I couldn't tell if anyone was home, so I was quick down the hill. When I got back, there was an SUV with two guys in it sitting in the road next to my car, though they drove away as I got close.
Parked at the pheasant farm and had a nice respite there, reading about the horrific train crash and watching the turkey in the pheasant cages get all puffed up at me.
Took the Overlook Trail up as far as it went, then bushwhacked up to the top. Found the private property line and walked along it. I was walking on it along the correct side, deviated for about fifteen feet from it to get around a fallen tree, and found myself stuck on the other side of the property line. Got around it eventually and came out on the road that crosses the second power line cut, where there were exceptionally unobservant men doing construction. Walked into the power line cut looking for the true summit and found a no parking sign completely overgrown by bushes...not exactly sure how cars would have gotten there.
Got more or less lost coming back down, and found myself sandwiched above a creek between two property lines, and eventually came out on a road that intersected Rockport Rd. and had very old, rusty machines all along the side as some sort of decoration. At the base, I found myself on the wrong side of extremely ornate, ugly gates, which I bypassed in order to get back to my car.
Quite a lovely mountain. Decided that the path wasn't going where I wanted, so I bushwhacked most of the way up, got to the top, and found the path again. Of COURSE I took the wrong path down, and came out in a big field behind someone's house that had a terrific view, somewhere on the western side of the hill. Even through the haze, I could see all the way to the Delaware Water Gap.
Met two people on the path, one older man on the way to the road, and one on the way back. The two of them combined to talk so that I stood listening to them for longer than I'd gone hiking. Both warned me extensively about bears. Both gave me loads of advice about where to go hiking. The first asked why he'd never seen me there before, and I watched a huge branch fall on the other one's car. Etc.
Got a map from the Saffin parking lot, and parked just down the road from the RV/Campground at a little used parking spot that looked only big enough for one car. This was probably the shortest route to the top, but I took a circuitous route back to my car, along the railroad, which was quite lovely. Took the wrong path back (obviously), but it intersected the path I was looking for anyway. Just keeping records of everywhere I get lost.
Bushwhacked myself lost, but I eventually found the firetower, and then the FAA tower. Found some blocks that looked like they used to hold a tower. One said "Remember..." on one side and "United States of Obesca" on another side.
Didn't feel like walking all the way back, so I went to the bottom of the mountain and walked along the road, coming out accidentally in a private community where a woman sort of snapped at me and told me in no uncertain terms I wasn't really welcome. She had roosters. When I got to the road, I found some neat cows and a man stopped to ask me if I was lost. Turns out he was the fire chief and, after giving me directions, he offered me a ride, which was quite nice, and which I accepted immediately. He took me all the way to my car.
I took personal offense at Mount Arlington defying me yesterday, so I went back for round two. Took the path most of the way up, then bushwhacked through an area where all the timber had been cut down and half of it fenced off for some sort of preservation/deer eating study (did see a deer there), then made it to the top with the blocks from an old tower, and found the path back down.
Definitely not a hiker's mountain, but pretty in the rain all the same.
Of course I took the wrong path and wound up at a sweet little pond. Backtracked a bit (but with the addition of a map from by the pond!) and went up the right trail. Found the two separate survey markers at the top.
Took me a while to find the Berkshire Wildlife Management Area, mainly because I get lost a lot and never exactly know where I'm going. Walked around and got good and lost in the management area. Unfortunately, while I walked for a long while along a high ridge that I thought was the summit, I'm not sure I actually made it to the top, which is a bit irritating as I was lost in the pouring rain for hours and got all wet and furklempt. I may comb the satellite imagery better later to see if I can recognize anything (a dammed pond I saw, for instance) with the intent of finding I did summit, but I'm not too hopeful.
After the ridge, I managed to come out on the wrong side of the fence of what appeared to be a recycling center, meaning I couldn't take the road down. Went back in to the woods and, since I'd not brought my compass, ended up coming out on the road miles from where I'd parked. Got directions from a man at a library who first tried to tell me the power was out, then warned me against bears. After walking along Berkshire Valley Rd. for a long time, I got bored and ventured back into the woods. Ended up walking for a very long time along a huge pipe that was stamped intermittently with the ambiguously unhelpful "American Ductile Iron Pipe". It did lead me back, though.