High Mountain Feed

High Mountain Clove Area 50 Years Ago

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When I walk to the Clove in the High Mountain Park Preserve, I enter from the end of Scioto Drive or the little circle on Indian Trail Drive -- both in Franklin Lakes.

I've always suspected that the roads once extended into what is now the High Mountain Park Preserve.

This old Hagstrom (early 1960s) shows that two roads from Franklin Lakes did lead into what is now the preserve.

Interstate 287 was proposed at that point. The dotted line across the bottom denotes the Bergen-Passaic border.

That thin black line denotes a stream that flows over Buttermilk Falls, located in Passaic County but outside the preserve.

The clove would be at the bottom of the map, slightly left of center.

Please Take This High Mountain Survey

HIGH MOUNTAIN AERIAL JW LIghtHawk IMG_1681                      Credit: TNC/LightHawk/Jim Wright

I am a big fan of High Mountain -- especially the views from the summit and the history-infused Clove, and I am pleased to pass along the news that The Nature Conservancy recently contracted with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference to overhaul the trail network at High Mountain.

The goal is to make the trails more sustainable, more accessible to a wider audience, and easier to navigate. To achieve this, we might be incorporating some of the more engineered but unofficial mountain biking trails into the network.  

TNC recently launched a public survey to help inform their decision-making as they work through this process. They’d love to get your thoughts, and encourage you to share it with any friends or family in your network who visit High Mountain.  The survey will be live for the next 3 weeks or so, and TNC  is hoping to get as many respondents as possible.

Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HMPPsurvey

Thanks for your participation.


More about that High Mountain Painting

Fletcher High MountainLast week I wrote about my artist friend Bob Fletcher, who died recently.

One of my favorite paintings of his featured High Mountain in the distance. I've always loved the story behind it -- Bob said that in the winter, after a heavy snowfall, the sight of the local bus plowing snow meant that the school would soon be open.

Susan Serico, director of the North Haledon Public Library, adds to the story:

"We have a copy of this painting in the library. I remember my mother, who lived up on the top of Manchester Avenue from 1942 basically until her death in 2005, telling me the Bingler bus (one that went from North Haledon to downtown Paterson) plowed the roads.

"The bus got stuck up there one year and she was asked if they could use one of her large oak trees as leverage. She fiercely protected her tree and somehow they managed to get the bus out without tying a rope to her beloved tree. By the way, the tree still stands!"

I'm sure that Bob would have loved the story.

Sad News about a Great Man & Great Artist

Fletcher High Mountain
I learned this week about the death of a dear old friend, Bob Fletcher, a wonderful artist who lived with his wife Betty in Warwick, N.Y.

Back when I lived up that way, I had seen his fine-arts prints of Warwick scenes in a local bookshop and immediately became a huge fan.

Patty, Corie and I would visit Bob and Betty at their farm, admire Bob's paintings, and bask in the warmth of their friendship and kindness.

Of all his paintings, the one that stays with me is one that Bob did from a childhood memory of North Haledon. It is pictured above.

Bob said (and I hope I get this right) that in the winter, after a heavy snowfall, the sight of the local bus plowing snow meant that the school would soon be open.

Later, when I fell in love with High Mountain, I remembered Bob's wintry print.

There in the background, beckoning like a beacon, is High Mountain.

Bob will always be in our hearts.

The Clove Gets a Big Prune

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Stopped by the Clove at High Mountain yesterday to see first-hand what I had heard by email -- that The Nature Conservancy took major action against all the invasive Ailanthus trees that had grown up there during the past few decades.

The trees had become Spotted Lanternfly magnets in the past couple of years -- and had to go.

There had to be at least seven huge piles of Ailanthus logs.

As a result, the Clove looks a lot more like in the days of yore. (Thank you, TNC!)