Mountainside Park

Mountainside Park, Pequannock Township, NJ (10/2/2010)

The first time I heard about this hiking area was yesterday, when I saw it listed as one of the parks to be featured in a future new NYNJTC map set. After a bit of Googling I discovered that it was within 30 minutes of my house. When I located this hike on the LocalHikes site and this map, created by Troop 144 of the Eagle Scouts, I was set.

Don't let the word "park" fool you. This is a rough mountainous area. And while the author of the aforementioned hike rates this "Easy" with a distance of 3 miles, neither is true (and yes, we followed the hike description perfectly). This is a moderate hike and in hotter weather would have been moderately strenuous. There is a lot of climbing, and at times the path is incredibly rocky and rough. And the hike is over 4 miles long, not 3. Having said that, we encountered wonderful cascades (it rained hard in this area yesterday) and wonderful views. The only drawback is its nearness to Route 287 for the last mile, but even though the trail skirts civilization quite closely at times, you'll have a feeling of isolation most of the time. This area is a little hidden gem. Oh! And when we returned to our car, someone had left a hardcopy of the previously cited map under our windshield wiper. Now that's service!

Total distance hiked today was 4.3 miles in approximately 2.5 hours.

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

Trail head

Route 287

Rocky path

Cascade within 5 minutes

Rushing after the rains


Interesting blazes


Another waterfall further in

Saplings abound

On Red

Bench at intersection of Red and Orange


Huge rock [photo by Laura]

Fire ring


Another Eagle Scout project

Colorful mushrooms


Swampy area


Gas line cut

Climbing on Red


Sturdy bridge

Remains of a lean-to


Gorgeous stream


Manhole cover!

Climbing on Yellow

Reaching the peak

View west from peak


View south

View southwest

Lincoln Park airport

Kiosk at peak

Zoom view of Manhattan

View east

A bench with a view


Enjoying the view

Another viewpoint off the Blue trail

View of Lincoln Park airport

View east to Manhattan

Group of mansions

View north

Beautiful Northern Flicker!

On the Blue

Very rocky

Very green

More cascades near Eagle Troop camp

Eagle Scout pavillian

Eagle Scout shelter

Old engine in the stream

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
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