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.

A High Mountain Hike

IMG_4943Fellow Celery Farm volunteer Bruce Davis hiked a bit of High Mountain on Monday, enjoying the last gasps of fall foliage on a beautiful autumn day.

A surprising amount of water, too.

We parked in the Red Trail Parking Lot and hiked the Red Trail to the White Trail -- a new way for us.

We did not see or hear any Wild Turduckens, but they are typically found closer to the summit.

You can read more about High Mountain here.

You can read an article about High Mountain that I wrote for Autumn Years here.


High Mountain in the Spring

I have hiked to the summit of High Mountain three times in the past six days in conjunction with a new Nature Conservancy promotion. 

This is a great time of year for the hike -- saw my first NJ butterfly of the spring and quite a few birds there last Thursday, and heard Spring Peepers all three trips. Lots of neat mushrooms, rocks and other stuff along the way

The 1.5-mile hike to the summit is strenuous. It took me 30 minutes to reach the top, and I was walking briskly with no stops.  I would bring water and a snack, too. It's a great workout.

You begin at the start of the Red Trail at the Red Trail Parking Lot (below left) at William Paterson University and hike to Marry Me rock at the summit (below right).

That's Manhattan way in the distance. The views from the summit are great.


Take the High Mountain Challenge

High Mountain aerial
I am a big fan of the 1,260-acre High Mountain Park Preserve in Wayne and North Haledon and Wayne, ever since The Nature Conservancy sponsored a hike there nearly 10 years ago.

Now, to promote this great chunk of open space, TNC is partnering with NJ native and ultra-marathoner  Jessica Bagley to increase awareness of and visitation to High Mountain.

TNC is challenging visitors to hike/run to the summit and share a selfie using #highmountainchallenge on social media.

More on the challenge here and here.

A Kiosk for High Mountain

It wasn't easy, jack-hammering four 20-inch-deep holes into solid basalt, then assembling a very complicated kiosk with a half-baked set of instructions.

But a bunch of Nature Conservancy folks with a big assist from the New York New Jersey Trail Conference got the job done over two long hot days.

(A few shots of the project in progress are below, in no particular order.)

A huge thank you to Scott Sherwood, Damon Noe, Adrianna Zito-Livingston, Jennifer Wells and Ryan Smith of TNC and Chris Connolly and Alec Malyon of NYNJTC!

The Nature Conservancy provided the map and informational display for the kiosk, and it looks great. At the Red Trail Entrance by William Paterson University.

(Thanks to all!)

  DSCN1895                    Among the heavy-lifters (l. to r.):  Scott Sherwood, Alec Malyon, Chris Connolly, Ryan Smith and Jennifer Wells.



The Sounds of Buttermilk Falls, Part 1

One of my favorite places in winter is High Mountain in nearby Passaic County, especially just after a snowstorm when the snow is beginning to melt.

I put together this video of the sights and sounds of Buttermilk Falls near Franklin Clove, at the end of Scioto Drive today.

Just can't beat that soothing sound of a waterfall.

I will post a similar video of the other Buttermilk Falls in High Mountain Park Preserve -- the one off Reservoir Drive -- on Tuesday.

The Nature Conservancy works with Wayne Township,  the New Jersey Natural Land Trust and  the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference on this 1,260-acre nature preserve.

More about High Mountain here.