Tory Rocks

Tory Rocks, Passaic River Coalition (6/28/2008)

This out-and-back follows a 3-mile western section of the Stonetown Circular trail near Norvin Green State Forest to Tory Rocks. It was a hot and humid day but the hike only had one somewhat challenging climb (right near the beginning). We parked at the Ringwood Fire Station on Stonetown Road, hiked north along the trail reaching Burnt Meadow Road, a dirt road filled with ponds of rain water, before reaching an intersection with an orange-blazed trail heading to the west. At this point we turned and headed back. This orange-blazed trail, incidentally, isn't on the 2007 NYNJTC New Jersey Trails Map 115, nor is it mentioned on the webpage of Norvin Green State Forest, so it must be brand new. In any event, we hiked for 6 miles in about 3.5 hours.

The hike did involve one of the eerier experiences we've had hiking in New Jersey. There's a giant boulder jumble on the way to Tory Rocks. I began climbing around it in order to explore it. As Laura was taking a photo of me I heard a long, low-pitched, very stern groan of an incredibly irritated nature, coming from between the rocks very near where I was standing. As soon as Laura heard it she dashed off the boulders because she has a brain. I, on the other hand, apparently enjoyed the sound so much that I stayed for about four more rounds ... each time the groan grew more and more pissed. Finally I decided to hustle it out of there. I still have no idea what it was, but black bear comes to mind. One website does mention that there is a sizeable bear population in the Tory Rocks area which is partly sustained by the huge amount of blueberry bushes. One thing is for sure -- it wasn't happy at all that I was there on those rocks. On our return it was no longer there. Or at least he was in a better mood.

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

Deer right at the beginning

Laura and her new trekking pole

Ferns galore

Beginning of rocky ascent

Steep climb

View from vista


My new trekking pole [photo by Laura]

Tree house at peak

Near that groan

Boulder jumble where we heard the groan

Listening at a same distance

Climbing to Tory Rocks

View from Tory Rocks


Extremely tiny mushroom

The dreaded rubber tire bush


Macro of beetle

Burnt Meadow Road


He's looking right at me!

Lizard at Tory Rocks


Laura at Tory Rocks


At base of Tory Rocks

Huge mushroom

No groans this time

The groan came from in there

View from peak


Lunch in the tree house



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