Copperas Mountain

Copperas Mountain, Pequannock Watershed (1/7/2012)

Today we climbed Copperas Mountain on the Four Birds trail to enjoy one of the most spectacular views in New Jersey, overlooking the Charlotteburg Reservoir. We hiked a lollipop of my own invention. We parked on Route 513 (Green Pond Road) and took the trail east to the ridge of Copperas Mountain, hitting the two vistas (very near each other) denoted on the NYNJTC Jersey Highlands Trails Map #125. According to the New Jersey Walkbook, there is another panoramic view 0.6 miles south from where we stopped, but the map has no indication of such a view, and since I couldn't imagine getting a better view, we decided to forgo the extra 1.2-mile out-and-back.

After taking in the magnificent view we headed NE on a path denoted on the map as an "unmaintained trail" (red dashed). Far from being unmaintained, it was quite nicely graded and very easy to follow, all the way to the abandoned Wharton and Northern Railroad. The last 0.2 or so was some of the steepest trail we've seen in New Jersey (I can't imagine doing that part when it's icy). We headed west on the abandoned RR bed making a left, very shortly thereafter, onto a woods road (as indicated on the map) which began as an eroded partial stream, but soon became an obvious woods road. This we took SW back to the Four Birds Trail, which we then took west back to the car.

Total distance hiked today was nearly 4 miles in just over 2.5 hours. A permit is required for hiking in this area, which can be purchased at the office on Echo Lake Road. The permits are good for the calendar year, so the earlier you purchase it the longer you will have to hike in these areas.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Starting east of Route 513

Old tree

Lovely pines

Tiny creek


Well-blazed Four Birds trail

Sphagnum moss


First views ...

... of the ...

... Charlotteburg Reservoir

[Photo by Laura]

Four Birds trail heading south

Unobstructed views ...

... of reservoir building ...

... Route 23

Island in southern part of reservoir

Hills directly east


[Photo by Laura]

Sweeping ...

... views ...

... east

View NE

Fire ring

On unmaintained trail

Partial view from trail

Antenna tower north

Steep descent

It gets ...

... even steeper

Abandoned RR

Kanouse Mountain

Kanouse Mountain across Route 23

Abandoned RR looking west

Rusted bridge of operational RR

View west of RR tracks

Flooded path

Old blazes on woods road

Very wet in places

Ice art



Woods road

[Photo by Laura]

Boundary walls

Laura discovering ...

... a bear carving!

It was carved inside the tree!

Close-up of face


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