|Distinct summits attained||10|
For my 10th ascent of Jennings (and 12th of Big Beech), I took this route: E. Shore Rd at yellow gate, cross bridge, go 100 yards, bear left & angle up mountain to right on very faint herd path. At level spot turn left (southwest)then in 100 ft, scramble up rocks. For great view of Greenwood Lk, cross to southwest corner of ridge & drop down to bare rock by cedar trees. Return to southest side of ridge and climb north-northeast to summit cairn by split boulder. Now continue STRAIGHT on east side of ridge eventually descending to a seasonal view and evidence of iron mining (small pit, long trench, tailings). Angle down and to the right (east-northeast) following small stream to yellow Jennings Hollow Trail. From here I continued to Big Beech, but you can turn right on yellow to return. After swamp, keep right on unmarked woods road (yellow trail bears left & crosses brook). Woods road takes you back to bridge & E. Shore Rd.
I approached Big Beech from E. Shore Rd and Jennings Mtn. After climbing Jennings and descending to yellow Jennings Hollow Trail (see Jennings Mtn trip report), I turned left on yellow, crossing two small brooks along the way. Before the big water crossing (Jennings Brook), bear left on woods road marked w. 3 blue, spray-painted X's. follow 1/4 mile into NY State & turn right on red stripe-on-white blazes of Lake to Lake Trl. There is a bridge to get you across Jennings Brook. Follow Lake-to-Lake Trail to top of Sterling Ridge & turn right on Highlands/Sterling Ridge Trail (blue rectangle & teal, diamond-shaped blazes). Follow back into NJ to summit, over rocks, past south-facing view and down toward Long Pond Ironworks. Side trip: after crossing a stream, an unmarked woods road leads left to Patterson Mine 1/4 mile ahead on right. Backtrack to Highlands Trail and bear left on it. Go downhill toward Long Pond Ironworks, then turn right on yellow Jennings Hollow Trail. After 1/2 mile take left fork (still on yellow), edge along bog and make tough crossing of Jennings Brook. Follow yellow 50 more feet, then turn left on unmkarked, wet woods road. You are at the foot of Jennings Mtn again. Woods road will lead you to the bridge, E. Shore Road and your car.
I approached this one from the NY side off Long Meadow Road, at Blue Lake parking area near the IBM building. Here's how you do it: from the parking lot, take woods road around the western and southern side of the lake. After about .3 mile, bushwhack up the hill to the faintest remnant of a woods road. Turn right on it and follow uphill to crescent shaped summit. Bear left on top of ridge to reach the NJ state line and partial view of Wanaque Reservoir, Board Mtn and other Ringwood hills. Return as you came.
Attempted to do this as a trail run, but ended up hiking large parts of it due to leaves and slippery conditions. Route: start at bottom of Stephens Rd by Union Valley Road. Run up Stephens Road to top. Turn left on yellow trail and climb to tower (on left off trail). Climb tower, descend, resume yellow trail/Highlands Trail southbound. Stay on yellow as HT turns right. Left on blue to Hanks Pond area. Left on Blue/White trail (woods road) and follow all the way back to Stephens Rd. Right on Stephens and down to the car.
Wife and I are section hiking NJ AT southbound. We detoured on Ernest Walter Trail past Surprise Lake, down the rocks to the southern outlet of West Pond and up to the ridgeline. Where the trail turns right, you turn left and follow the ridge southbound for maybe a 1/3 of a mile. We returned to the E.Walter Trail, turned right (north) on AT, then doubled back to hike southbound to the AT/Warwick Tpk junction near Wawayanda Park entrance.
I took that standard approach described in my book West Milford Baker's Dozen: the Old Coal Trail to the unmarked path to the summit. After that, I continued on the unmarked path over to Little Boulder, through the rhododendron jungle and out to the gas line where I turned left. I followed it to the Old Coal Trail where I turned left and continued to Lake Wawayanda where our group had cars waiting.
This is an unusual route, not recommended if you're not a local...hike began at southern (Stowaway) end of Pinecliff Lake. Take Stowaway Rd over Belcher's Creek bridge, turn left on woods road (private property), bear right then right again past vernal pond to foot of mountain. Follow old gas line up the mountain (a few white spray-painted blazes can be found to guide you). Use your NYNJTC map: you're trying to catch the blue Spring North Trail where it curves left. Climb to top of first ridge, turn left and find Spring North Trail. Right on Spring North Trail, left on yellow-on-white trail, right on red-on-white trail. Follow to high point, then descend and turn left on white trail. Proceed clockwise around Terrace Pond as Terrace Pond North Trail joins from left. Follow co-aligned trails, then turn left with T.P. North and follow to the "new" gasline. Turn right and follow gasline all the way to Plymouth Ave. Continue straight on Plymouth, turn right on Union Valley, then right on Bearfort Rd. Follow Bearfort to end. Walk Lichtig's path through woods to Anchor, Capstan and Stowaway Rds (just keep following around Pinecliff Lake counter-clockwise) to return to starting point.
Crazy attempt to make this a figure 8 loop hike. Rt 23/Cannistear Rd: HT north to highest rise of land. Turned right, which I had tied a red necktie around last year (a tree along the old stone fence on the western end of the broad, flat summit. From here, bushwhacked east and turned right on dirt bike trail. Partial views of Rt 23 from power lines. Returned to HT via dirt bike trail. CROSSED HT on dirt bike path and descended to woods road down by Dunker Pond. Turned right, followed to HT (explored area), then turned right on HT south and followed all the way back to car.
Awesome Halloween trail run...this makes a nice loop, mostly runable except final summit ascent: Skylands Bot. Gdns to White Crossover Trail. Keep going past Halifax, follow crossover to top of ridge. Left on Red trail, climb, cross Halifax Trail and climb steeply to summit. Backtrack, then turn left on Halifax to woods road at bottom by Glasmere Ponds. Left on woods road, follow past gasline and along Potake Pond into NY State (private). Make sharp left on another unmarked woods road, run uphill and make SECOND left on unmarked woods road. This takes you down and around the south side of Shepherd Pond. Keep straight at boathouse/parking lot, then turn left at toll booths (paved). Follow road back to Skylands. Turn left at the cement eagles and find your car uphill on the left, just past the toll booth.
Quick up and back via Stonetown Circular Trail. Parked at chain link fence pulloff just south of ballfield on Stonetown Rd. Took Stonetown Circular Trail steeply uphill to east- and then west-facing views. Back down and home just in time for trick-or-treaters.