|Distinct summits attained||24|
After hiking parts of the Highland, red, white, yellow, blue and connector trails in Allamuchy most of the day but not scaling any peaks, I decided to try and find a way up Upper Pohatcong. I got as far as two 'for sale' lots on a new road of macmansions off of Highland Road, west of the high point. One could probably easily trespass there but I didn't. I also scoped out O'Brien Road by the radio towers - bristling with 'no trespassing' signs. Finally I explored possible access from the west side of the train tracks along Rockport Road in Hackettstown. This looks like the most interesting route. There may be Rockport Wildlife Management area fencing. But it was getting dark so I never made it up Upper. Now that I know how to do it, I may try it next time I'm in the area. It is wonderful that Upper Pohatcong still looks pristine from Centennary College - development is not visible from there.
Luckily, I was able to park at the Methodist Church inside Waterloo Village. Parking along the road and at the trail head was a sea of ice and snow this morning.
A fairly steep icy climb up the Highland trail lead to the yellow (Pebble) trail and to the white trail (517 to Waterloo). Off the white I found a sign reading "Ice Cream" and followed an otherwize unmarked trail up to a wonderful snow covered erratic which must be at or near the summit of "Allamuchy North". I tried but failed to get up on top of this rock for an even better 360 view through trees. I continued off and on this trail until I started to head downhill. On my way back I took other parts of the pebble trail and the highland back to Waterloo Village Road.
I got to blaze these trails in the snow this Sunday morning except for part of the white where an ATV had messed earlier.
A good map of the bike trails in this park is available on the JORBA website.
I tried out my stablizers for the first time on this hill. They work. I passed over this lovely spot twice on my way to and from Allumuchy North.
From the kiosk on Stuyvesant Road I took the red (Switchback) trail to the purple (Ditch Cardiac) up and over the mountain to the white trail. It is not too far northeast on the white trail to "Allamuchy North" if you want to do both in the same day.
Just west of the summit and about 15' south of the trail I found a nice January view of the Delaware Water Gap & Ridge through the trees.
This is my first obsessive compulsive 'peak bagging' day of my NJ1K career. I started at the Ramapo Reservation 202 parking lot and followed the orange trail (flooded as usual along the river) to the intersection of the red/silver trail. I had dared myself to climb straight up Rocky from there but myself chickened out so I follwed red/ silver to the gas line cut, slogged up in several inches of wet snow to about the crest of the cut and then went into the woods and up to the cairn and the lovely view on the rock ledges. I followed the cut back down to get to Drag Hill.
From the red/silver trail I went up Drag hill on the gas cut. There was little snow on this south facing hill so I could marvel at the true ugliness of the route. At the top I went into the woods and scrambled around on the rocks to what I assume is the summit. I followed the cut back down the icy north slope to the cable tower and pumping station (or what are these gas line outcroppings called? the smell of gas is pretty strong in the vicinity and it made a lot of noise too). I took the paved bit of road down to the green trail and the start of the woods road to Bald Mountain.
From the green trail I followed the woods road north but I did not find the ruins that I was expecting would mark the trail up to the summit of Bald. I may have forked off onto the wrong rutted road or I may have turned around too soon but I'd passed my - turn around now or you will not get out before dark - moment. I will try this another time using the Stag Brook approach.
I started at the picnic area on 23 just west of Echo Lake Road. I found various trails and woods roads to the STAR (nice view of Charlotteburg reservoir + ATV damage & lots of beer cans) and then I took the woods road to the summit for a great NYC view on this beautiful clear Christmas day. I followed various animal footprints in the snow and more woods roads to a trail down to Echo lake where I turned south onto the Highland Trail for a while but it was very wet from snow melt & rain. I returned more or less the way I came. There are excellent views of the cliffs of Green Pond mountain & Mount Newfoundland from the trail back down to 23.
I started at P9 on the Clinton West trail and then headed west on the Highland to Dunker Pond. Crossing the narrow rocky pond outlet -Dunker Brook? - I saw bear prints in the snow/ frozen sleet. If I were a bear this is where I would come to catch fish. Do NJ bears fish? The broken cliffs above the brook look very cosy.
I found the trail off the Highland leading to Dunker summit and I wandered up and around the sub summits heading south where views of Kanouse, NewFoundland/Green Pond, Oak Ridge Reservoir are not all due to the power line cut.
I went back the way I came.
hiked the 4 birds trail northern section and then backtracked south on Green Pond Mountain rocky spine outcrops to the 1260' point
I did not realize I'd climbed Mount Newfoundland until I read Eric's description of his ascent & his discovery of White Pine Bluff. Oh, THAT's Mount Newfoundland. I found the same place having hiked up from the parking spot on 513 south of 23 where the 4 birds trail crosses to climb Green Pond Mountain. White Pine Bluff/Mt Newfoundland is not the same mountain as Green Pond. From Green Pond you descend into a valley (madly babbling brooks everywhere after the nor'easter rains of December 11 and I think that by following this dip between the 2 mountains south west you will ascend a continental type divide & find yourself in the the headwaters of the Rockaway River, Dr. Livingston) before beginning the scramble to White Pine Bluff. The view of this Bluff is spectacular from 513. It is unfortunate that the view of the Green Pond Cliffs just to the south is obscured by the steel framed horror- Craigmeur picnic area. Can we petition to tear it down? It belongs to Morris County. Charming History of the place: http://www.skiernet.com/craigmeur.html