Highlands Meadow & Monksville

Highlands Meadow & Monksville, Long Pond Ironworks (11/10/2012)

Monk's Mountain at Monksville Reservoir is an old stand-by when we are short on time (it's not far from us and the one blazed trail takes less than 2 hours). It was a stand-by today as well, but this time because the majority of New Jersey and New York parks are still closed two weeks after ferocious Hurricane Sandy. Intent on stretching our legs (we missed last weekend because of the hurricane) but also intent on exploring new trails, I designed a hike which visited trails in and around the mountain, using the white trail as little as possible, having hiked it three times in the past.

Today, for the first time, we started at the south boat launch, where there is a large parking lot (as there is at the north launch). We headed west into the forest and, following a woods road, found a newly-blazed yellow trail heading east towards Greenwood Lake Turnpike. We didn't know it at the time, but we were following a trail at the Highlands Meadow complex. We took yellow counter-clockwise until we picked up another section of yellow north of Greenwood Lake Turnpike. We explored the area around Board Mine (which we never actually saw) until reaching the fantastic vista over Monksville reservoir from a rock ledge above the turnpike. We headed back to the Highlands Meadow complex and continued on yellow counter-clockwise until finally reaching a woods road which we took north to the spectacular gaping Winston Mine.

Trying to use the white trail as little as possible we turned west into a gasline cut and climbed the mountain steeply. We should have continued west in the gasline cut but I decided to head SW in the powerline cut. This was a mistake since there was no road or trail in the cut and we were forced to bushwhack on very rugged terrain north of the cut before reaching a nice woods road heading west to the reservoir. We continued on another woods road south until it ended at the very southern tip of Monk's Mountain where we had lunch, a great spot. We headed back north on the same woods road in order to pick up (finally) the white trail which we took east to the vista we visited at least three times in the past and then back to the car.

Totally distance hiked today was 5.8 miles in just over 3.5 hours.

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

South Boat Launch

Large parking area

Trail along bank

On bank of ...

... Monksville Reservoir


On white [photo by Laura]


Descending white to ...

... new yellow trail

Highlands Meadow


Homestead wall

Harry Vreeland house

Reservoir from house

Front porch


Vreeland house

On Waterview side


Vista of reservoir [photo by Laura]

South boat launch from vista

Great view

Greenwood Lake Turnpike below

Monksville Reservoir dam

Board mine cans

Hurricane Sandy damage

Deer jaw! [photo by Laura]

Back to Vreeland house

At Highlands Meadow

Boundary wall


Various ...

... shots of ...

... Winston Mine

Winston Mine [photo by Laura]

Climbing gasline cut


View from powerline cut

Reservoir from cut

Mountains in distance

Laura rock scrambling

Resevoir in distance

View west in cut


Finally a woods road!

Woods road along reservoir

Monksville Reservoir western arm

Trail to southern arm


Laura on the tip

From other direction

View from tip

Zoom to lookout from earlier

More fishermen


We're heading there next

Reservoir dam

Our lunch spot

Woods road north

Serious climbing ...

... on white

Vista not on map

Powerline cut west

Rolling hills west


Laura in lean-to

Reservoir from vista off white

[Photo by Laura]



Views of ...

... Monksville Reservoir

Back to parking lot

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