Mountainside Park

Mountainside Park, Pequannock Township, NJ (1/22/2012)

Not only were temperatures around 10 degrees F in Morris County this morning, but we got at least a half a foot of snow yesterday. Conclusion: time to go hiking! We first hiked this park in October, 2010 when no official map was available for this rugged, mountainous area. At that time we followed a sketchy hike description on Since then two hikes have been posted on the NYNJTC for this area, as well as a wonderful free map put together by the NYNJTC.

We followed the Hike of the Week for 1/4/2012, which uses the blue trail north to the viewpoint, and then returns on the yellow south back to the car. There is a fair amount of climbing along the way, and the snow made it even more strenuous. But we didn't see another soul (in fact the parking area wasn't yet plowed, so we parked on the street) and yet we were surrounded by life. We saw fresh animals tracks everywhere: birds, deer, rabbits, coyotes and/or fox, but no bears (they're probably hibernating). We were the first to hike in this park since the snow. The only prints besides ours were those of the critters, hundreds of critters.

Total distance hiked today was 3.2 miles in approximately 2.5 hours with lots of climbing and lots of snow!

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

On the dead end road

View from SUV east to Rt 287

The parking area was not plowed

There are steps under that snow

Heading north on Blue

Animal tracks

Loads of bird tracks



Rabbit tracks

[Photo by Laura]

View east to Pequannock Township

Jets ...

... criss-crossing


Continuing north

That's the peak we'll be climbing

Animals follow blazed trails!

Stream crossing

Paralleling Rt. 287

Boy scout camp

Sturdy bridge

Blue and Orange co-mingle here

[Photo by Laura]

Camp shelter

View from inside

Hammer on dining structure

Fire ring under snow

Makeshift lean-to

Start of long, steep climb

View east from end of woods road

View west from same spot

Heading back to Blue

More climbing

Taking a breather

Awesome ...

... views open ...

... to the ...

... east

Snowy roofed houses east

Tiny tree on snowy tree

View east from the vista

Incongruous bench at top

[Photo by Laura]

View to ...

... Lincoln Park airport

Zoom to runway


Yellow trail

Kiosk at top

Second incongruous bench

View west

Cedar Crest Village

View south

View to shopping mall

Peaks south

Snowy woods road south

View west

View south

View east

Distant mansion west

Now on Yellow

Cedar Crest Village

Tank behind Cedar Crest Village

Steep descent ...

... on Yellow

Yellow blaze

Building on park boundary

Another sturdy scout bridge

Late winter color

That's the peak with the view

Water break at scout bench

Coyote or fox tracks

Crossing with Red

Snowy kiosk

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
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