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High Mountain Preserve Loop

Intermediate
  4.7 ( 3 ) Favorite

Trail

8.1 mile 13.0 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 980' 299 m
Descent: -980' -299 m
High: 860' 262 m
Low: 405' 124 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by Charles Behnken

Climb to top of High Mountain to see NYC skyline in the distance, then return to the gullies and woods of the preserve.

Charles Behnken

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Overview

Get lost in the woods of High Mountain Preserve in the middle of urban NJ while experiencing an awesome view of the NY City skyline to the east from the peak of High Mountain - reportedly the first land sighted by Henry Hudson. Then plunge into the heavily wooded areas of the preserve before rising up Beech Mountain to a view to the west of the NJ Highlands and Pyramid Mountain.

Description

From Red Trail Parking Lot take the Red-Blazed Trail until you meet the Yellow Blaze Trail. Take the Yellow Blaze Trail uphill to the top of High Mountain. Looking east you can see the NYC skyline in the near distance. Note there are two viewpoints, one a little below the actual top.

At the top, head west across the field looking for the Yellow Blaze Trail. Take the trail downhill as it winds along the edge of a ravine. Eventually you'll intersect with the Red-Blazed Trail; cross it and continue on Yellow Blaze Trail until you come to Reservoir Rd at the very north. Head to the left along the edge of the road until you see the trail enter the woods. This is now the Orange Blaze Trail (6 months ago, and on maps, it is a continuation of the Yellow Blaze Trail, but the yellow blazes have been painted over in orange).

Shortly you'll come to the White Blaze Trail. At this time stay on the Orange Blaze Trail and take it uphill, heading south. Eventually the trail will turn back to the north and shortly thereafter you'll come to a ridge on the left with a view point west; climb the ridge. If you look carefully at the mountains in the distance you can see a cut where I-287 runs and you should be able to see trucks on the highway. This is also a good lunch spot.

The Orange Blaze Trail continues on, but backtrack to the intersection with the White Blaze Trail. The White Blaze Trail goes past a small reservoir (Ancient's Pond) and then a golf course. The trail is poorly blazed by the golf course; continue to head south, parallel to the golf course wall (do not veer too far from the wall) and you'll eventually pick up the blazes again.

The White Blaze Trail will eventually turn east and start to climb. At the top of the climb you'll meet the Red-Blazed Trail. Take it to the right and back to the parking lot (on the way you'll cross the Yellow Blaze Trail where you climbed to High Mountain).

Flora & Fauna

Saw Whitetail deer on the trail and three Red Tail hawks were circling overhead.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Dec 31, 2019
Valerie C
Red trail to yellow trail. Went to top of high mountain 3mi
Dec 30, 2019
Valerie C
Red trial to yellow trail 3mi
Nov 1, 2019
johannus franken
Awesome hike! Lucky with beautiful weather and clear skies. Trails were a bit muddy due to rain the previous night and we missed the intersection o… 8.2mi — 3h 30m
Aug 29, 2019
Paige Park
Beautiful hike! Saw deer, hawks, and lots of little frogs ☺️
Apr 13, 2019
吉飞 黄
Apr 7, 2019
Sarah S
8.1mi
Apr 3, 2019
Christopher Klingaman
8.1mi

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#1827

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#10

in New Jersey

#1,827

Overall
88 Views Last Month
3,170 Since Jan 31, 2018
Intermediate

0%
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67%
33%
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Photos

Ancient's Pond off White Trail
Feb 2, 2018 near North H…, NJ
It's not all rocks. There are stretches that are mostly flat footing, aside from the occasional root and buried rock.
May 8, 2019 near North H…, NJ
Sometimes you get lucky and the deer are out running, too.
May 8, 2019 near North H…, NJ
Yellow trail climb to top of High Mountain
Feb 2, 2018 near North H…, NJ
View west to Ramapo Mountains and I-287
Feb 2, 2018 near Townshi…, NJ
View east of NYC skyline
Feb 2, 2018 near North H…, NJ

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