Paulist Fathers
It's been a very tough week for us. Laura's mom got very ill on Friday the 19th, was rushed to the emergency room of the hospital, entered the ICU late on the 21st and got progressively worse until she passed away the evening of Tuesday the 23th. Her funeral was Saturday the 27th, a mere 8 days after it all began. So after a very stressful, very busy, very sad 8 days, we decided we needed to de-stress and so we headed into the woods without delay. And wow how healing those woods are!

This area has been on my To-Do list since my friend David B. emailed me in June 2012 to let me know about the state's purchase of this land, used for many decades as a retreat for the Paulist Fathers. But it wasn't until my friends Daniela and Shawnee visited in late August that I was convinced it was worth a visit. (Up to then, I only had the NYNJTC trail map #126 which includes only the Highlands Trail and a few disconnected woods roads. It's very incomplete.) Amateur cartographer Daniela made this terrific map and with it we were able to do a nice strenuous 5 miles following her hike but without the ascent of Mount Paul. We're saving that mountain for another day, along with the several other miles of trails in the area.

Total distance hiked was just shy of 5 miles in 3 hours and 15 minutes.

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

Powerline cut at...

...trail head

Paved road

Evergreens along road

Pump in cemetery

Steps from cemetery


Power shed

Abandoned building

Main building of retreat

Heading down to lake


Laura on bank

OK, I will


Lady and the lake

This area is closed

Uh-oh! I didn't do that!

Unpaved red heading east

Leaves are changing


White trail head

White climbs a lot!


More climbing

Early fall foliage

Hunter Dan [photo by Laura]

View from hunting seat


Fall colors!

Taking a break


Carpet of leaves

Trail tomfoolery

This tree grew on stone!

Don't forget to look up!

Nice yellows

Still on White

More blow-downs


Now on Blue or Purple

Dan taking... [photo by Laura]

...this picture

Highlands Trail





First ascent on HT


Goldfinch feather?


Very interesting holes

Ferns beginning to change

Huge blow-down

Small boulder field

Look at that color!

Garter snake

Christmas tree!

Back to the...

...powerline cut

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