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.

High Mountain Clove, Late Aternoon

IMG_0598This is the view from the southern end of Franklin Clove. looking back through the ravine toward Franklin Lake.

Always great to see blue skies in January.

The water you see drops to a trickle by summer.

The clove, by the way, might be the closest you'll come to a "Last of the Mohicans" setting this side of upstate New York.  (Lenape native Americans wintered here 500 years ago.)

You can read more High Mountain posts here.

The Lenape(s) at High Mountain

On a recent visit to the Mohonk Preserve, I happened upon a reproduction Lenape Longhouse, pictured above.

I share the photos because an extended family of Lenape(s) is said to have lived in a similar longhouse in Franklin Clove in what is now High Mountain Park Preserve.DSCN9957

The Lenape(s) used the clove's steep walls to protect them from the winds. They ice-fished in what is now Franklin Lake. And they got water in what is now called Buttermilk Falls.

In addition, their predecessors/ancestors lived in at least one rock shelter next to the clove.

I learned this from the late Jim Longo, Franklin Lakes historian and all-around good guy. (Jim's video about the Clove and the Lenape is featured below.) 

An old map featuring the falls and lake is at right. The clove would be at the bottom of the map. The line in the map is the border of Passaic and Bergen counties.

(The preserve is owned by Wayne Township, The Nature Conservancy and the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust.)

You can learn more about High Mountain here.

High Mountain's Franklin Clove

One of my favorite places to wander is High Mountain's Franklin Clove, which offers history, pre-history, geology and natural history all rolled into one. Here are some of my recent photos from the ravine from both sides, plus a historic early American rock shelter.

It was the first of many discovered by the legendary Max Schrabish, an amateur archaeologist from Paterson. He discovered this one in 1900.

High Mountain Zoom Talk Info


You can watch a recording of my High Mountain Zoom talk for The Nature Conservancy here.

The Nature Conservancy's web page about High Mountain (with that cool drone aerial footage) is here.

You can read my comprehensive article about HighJW High Mountain Franklin Clove LightHawk Mountain here.

You can read about my favorite High Mountain hike here.

Aerial photo to the right is of the Clove and Franklin Lake (thanks to LightHawk for their help!).

You can download a High Mountain trail map here:

Download High-mountain-park-nature-preserve-trail-map

The late Franklin Lakes historian Jim Longo's video about Franklin Clove is below.

Monday Morning Mystery Answered for Real!

IMG_1435On Monday, I asked:

Near a stream by the Red Trail at the High Mountain Park Preserve, I saw several rocks with small holes in them.

Anyone know what's going on?

William Paterson University Geology Professor Martin Becker writes:

The rock does not appear to be a vesicular or amygdaloidal basalt.

It is also more rounded and not angular as one would expect from the local Preakness Basalt Formation.

The surface color is not a good match either for weathered basalt.  

I think it is a glacial erratic and piece of the Oriskany Sandstone of New York State and what you are looking at are one of two things:

a) non-quartz minerals that have chemically and physically eroded away leaving behind the “holes”

b) remains of ichnofossils in the form of “holes” or “tubes.”  

Prof. Becker asked me to do a test on the rock. Will try to do so...  (Thanks, Prof. Becker!)