Manaticut Point

Manaticut Point, Norvin Green State Forest (6/21/2008)

Our hike time was limited this weekend so on Friday night I cracked open NYNJTC North Jersey Map 115 to search for trails that: (1) weren't far away, and (2) allowed for an escape plan if the hike was taking longer than expected, and (3) we hadn't yet hiked. The third condition made this nearly impossible, until my eyes fell upon a "star" (which indicates a particularly good view) at a peak called Manaticut Point just north of West Brook Road (and west of Stonetown Road). It's accessed from the southern trailhead of the northern portion of the Hewitt-Butler trail (not to be confused with the southern portion which is not contiguous with this portion and which is contained in Novin Green State Forest south of Otter Hill Road). It was within 40 minutes of us, there were no other intersecting trails (which meant it would need to be an out-and-back which is the perfect hike to elongate or shorten as need requires), and we never hiked it before. Perfect!

We parked on the eastbound shoulder of West Lake Road just a few yards west of a roadside mailbox with the number 711. There is enough space for 3-4 cars. The trailhead is across the road just a few yards east. We hiked about 2.5 miles in until we reached a woods road at which point we turned around and headed back. The hike took about 3.5 hours and was wonderful. There were terrific views (and several, not just one), a challenging crossing of West Brook at the beginning, a beautiful lake with a gazebo (not even on the map), lots of wildflowers blooming, birds soaring, and critters crawling.

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

Tricky crossing of West Brook

West Brook

Already a layer comes off

Saddle Mountain across the road


Mountain Pink

Nice scramble to the peak


On Manaticut Point

Houses below

Blueberries ripening

View of Norvin Green mountains



Lake and gazebo (not on map)

View from West Brook Mountain

[Photo by Laura]

Mountain Laurel in bloom


Jaw bone

Close-up of teeth

Mountain Pink

Sea of grass

Mountain Laurel

Soaring hawk


Rock jumble

Why blaze this sapling?

Beautiful caterpillar


View of mansion

Back to the lake

Tiny, tiny frog!



Lovely ferns



View of quarry

Close-up of quarry

Open hips



Blurry red eft

West Brook crossing


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