Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Point Mountain Reservation, NJ


Easy to miss - no sign at road.  Watch for small opening in trees and enter on gravel drive.

(The North Section is not shown correctly on the combined map so you would want to print the North Section map out also.)

Point Mountain -

11.45 miles covering all sections
There are many options for forming shorter hikes.

The forecast was for fog until 9 AM then clearing and sunny.  Instead it drizzled almost the entire hike.
The white trail starts through farm fields from the parking lot.
There is something to be said for hiking in the fog.  As long as it does not last all day.
Everything blooming early this year due to the mild winter.
Creek crossing just before Penwell Road.
To connect to the Northern Section, cross Penwell Road slightly to the left and look for the trail going uphill to the right at the private drive road sign.
After going up and over a mountain, the trails go around farm fields in the northern section, probably with better views on a nicer day.
Back in the Central Section, a bench at a field view comes in handy for changing into dry sock just in case you were to have slipped into the creek earlier on slippery rocks.
Blue trail along the scenic Musconetcong River.
Musconetcong River
These two mallard ducks were swimming upstream as though on a mission...
... then they suddenly stopped paddling and rode the current back down like having the best time in their own water park:
Flowers already blooming along the river.
Rock scramble up Point Mountain.
View from Point Mountain.  The dot in the sky in about the middle is a bug flying by the camera lens.
View from Point Mountain without the bug.
[  0.00]    White trail starts through field from parking lot
[  0.60]   White trail veers left into woods
[  0.90]   Stone ruins on right at creek crossing
[  1.35]   White trail veers right when yellow comes in from left
[  1.40]   White trail crosses Point Mountain Road slightly to the left
[  1.55]   Stone ruins on left
[  1.90]   White ends at stone wall, right on orange (map shows white/orange combined but it is only orange)
[  2.30]   Left on orange when unmarked comes in from right (not on map)
[  2.50]   Turn right on white when orange continues straight towards a field
[  3.00]   Rock hop over creek with waterfalls (map is missing mileage between creek and Penwell Road)
[  3.15]   Turn left on Penwell Road briefly then right on white at private drive sign
[  3.85]   At top of mountain, turn right on red when white goes left
[  4.00]   When red ends turn right on blue
[  4.35]   When blue ends, right on white
[  4.45]   Keep straight on white when unmarked goes left (not on map)
[  4.55]   Right on white when orange goes left
[  4.80]   Make sharp left turn on orange just before white ends at parking lot P4; at fields continue straight - no orange blazes in this area
[  4.90]   Turn left at far side of field
[  5.00]   Turn right at opening to next field then jog left and follow along left side of field
[  5.10]   Turn right at end of field
[  5.20]   Turn left to next field then either continue straight or turn left ending up at opposite corner of field
[  5.35]   At opposite corner of field, exit field on trail where orange blazes resume
[  5.60]   Right on white/orange when orange goes left (shown as orange on map)
[  5.65]   Turn right on unmarked t-intersection, white blazes come into view up ahead
[  5.70]   Straight on white when unmarked goes right
[  5.80]   Right on white when blue goes left
[  6.00]   Right on white when blue goes left
[  6.20]   Right on white when red goes left
[  7.00]   Cross Penwell Road slightly to the left
[  7.50]   When white ends at orange, turn right on orange and come out into field with bench
[  7.65]   Left on orange at the end of the field
[  7.70]   Turn left on blue when orange goes right
[  7.75]   Blue leaves the field at second bench
[  7.80]   Blue trail starts to follow Musconetcong River
[  7.90]   Keep right at fork when unmarked goes left
[  8.00]   Keep right when the blue trail forks (left fork shown as orange on map but it is blue)
[  8.45]   Cross Point Mountain Road and continue on blue to the right after crossing
[  9.25]   Cross Point Mountain Road to parking P2; turn right on parking lot to blue trail (shown as orange on map)
[  9.30]   Turn right on orange when blue goes left; rock scramble to summit
[  9.65]   Overlook; continue right on yellow when orange goes left
[  9.85]   Cross Point Mountain Road
[10.10]   Right on white when yellow ends
[10.85]   White trail leaves woods and enters fields
[11.45]   Back at parking


  1. I live just up the mountain from here on the Morris side. I come to this park often. Unfortunately, the section of the Blue trail crossing Point Mountain Road was pretty overgrown. I suppose not many people take this path. This past summer it seems the local kids have been spending too much time at the overlook, as I've routinely seen and heard them hanging out there, and when they do leave, they leave a good amount of trash behind, bottles cigarette butts, etc. And they've also attacked the rocks both at the lookout and back in the woods behind where White splits from Orange heading toward the farmland on Mountain Top with graffiti. Even saw some of it along the Riverwalk. Problem is catching these kids in the act. Shame though, it's otherwise a nice local park to take a good rigorous hike in. Be careful crossing Penwell Road, especially right where the White trail does between the North and Central sections. I know that turn in the road well and people don't do 25mph on that road. It's recently become a shortcut for people to get from the Schooley's Mtn area down to 57. Worst time is mid to late afternoon and they will not be expecting to see people crossing there as there really isn't any warning.

    1. I have heard the blue trail is very overgrown now. I suppose it was still passable when I was there early in the spring before it filled in. What a shame, that is a nice, more remote part of the trail. And a tragedy that kids find it necessary to destroy nature. Something really should be done about that.