|Distinct summits attained||51|
A beautiful day for a walk in the woods. Several inches of Sunday's snowfall remains but with no wind and temperature just above freezing, hiking conditions were ideal. Today's only challenge was finding a parking lot. Struble Road was closed, Brook Road was closed, and Haneys Mill Road was closed - looks like it's been closed for years. After driving around for more than an hour, we decided to park at Haneys Mill Road and walk in from there. It added an additional 1.5 miles each way, but it was easy walking. Followed Mountain Road (closed) to Buttermilk Falls and then took the Blue Trail uphill to the AT. Then followed unmarked woods roads to the summit. Since we got a late start and it was 3.5 miles back to the cars, we skipped the add-ons to Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond. We'd both done them on previous walks anyway.
Started at the trailhead on Cranberry Ledge Road. Took Green to White to bushwhack to the summit. Lots of unmarked trails. Some of the trails on the NYNJTC maps are difficult to find - likely due to the fallen leaves. On the way back, took the well-used trail at the edge of the Scout Reservation (the yellow DO-NOT-ENTER signs made for easy-to-follow trail markers) to White to Green back to trailhead. An easy walk.
NYNJTC cleaned up and blazed the trail (easy-to-see Pepto-Bismol pink!). Didn't see anyone until getting back to Surprise Pond. Maybe past peak but still a gorgeous walk. State Line Marina to AT to Yellow to Pink to Green to Yellow to Blue and back to the parking lot. Added another rock to the cairn at the Bearfort North summit (about 10 yards off the trail).
Done as part of the Highlands Trail. Previously, I did it from Stirling Forest. Today, it was from Long Pond Iron Works. Although it was more strenuous coming from the south, it was much more scenic too.
Done as part of the Highlands Trail. Gorgeous. Some downed trees from Isaias, but nothing too difficult to get around.
Did as part of the Highlands Trail. Lovely.
An easy walk with my hiking buddy from Hudson Farms Westby. Followed the dirt road to within 20 yards of the summit. From here, on to Westby Ridge and the end of my quest!
Backtracked on the trail from Wright Pond Cliffs to what looked like a good place to start the bushwhack up Westby Ridge. Halfway up we crossed another woods trail that looked promising. I vaguely recalled another person (Steve Jones) reported on the trail, but being it was the last of my NJ1K peaks, I thought it was appropriate to bushwhack to the top! No cairn at the top and not much of a view. Even though tropical storm Isaias was only 3 days ago, the Hudson Farms crew had all the roads clear. Amazing!
Short celebration at the summit with my hiking buddy Glenn before taking the woods roads back.
Did as part of the Highlands Trail. A short, not-too-difficult bushwhack off the HT.
I was here several times in the past, but didn't bushwhack off the trail to the "official" high point. Today, I was on the trail doing invasive species surveying for the NY-NJ Trail Conference, so I decided to take a detour to the high point coordinates. Nothing to see, but now I'm official!
After reading all the reports, I was apprehensive about this walk. With the brambles and the No Trespassing signs. But it wasn't too awful. It was challenging with the brambles and that we didn't find much in the way of trails to follow. And it was hot and humid today. But we took our time.
Parked on state land near 927 Rockport Road and started on an ATV trail, but it quickly disappeared into the brambles. After that, made it across the powerline and a more-or-less direct route to the summit. No view from the summit. Less than 2 miles round-trip. We found a few No Trespassing signs, but one of my hiking buddies (works for the State of NJ wildlife division), confirmed we were on state property and could ignore the signs.