New Jersey isn't known for tall summits like New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, however the Kittatinny Ridge and mountain contains many shorter summits worth hiking. High Point itself is a remarkable summit with an interesting obelisk monument at the summit.

An unusual sight- highpoint of New Jersey
Day: 5
Miles: 660

Continuing with the theme of state high pointing, I came down from the Catskills and headed out to Kittatinny Mountains of New Jersey. New Jersey isn't exactly known for mountains but up north near the Delaware River Gap, things get surprisingly rural and rugged. Its funny because this is exactly how I remember New Jersey. I spent part of my childhood in New Jersey and I always remembered it being like this. So when I had the opportunity to return and hike the high point, I'm glad that not much had changed. Sure, it was an easy high point to accomplish, but it was still as enjoyable as mountains 4 times as high.
Here's my map, taking the Appalachian Trail from the south-

This time of year, they don't appear to charge admission to visit the park which was a nice benefit. September weather was still quite hot and muggy, but the bugs weren't so bad. I did end up also visiting the lake below the summit which made for some nice pictures-

Kittatinny Ridge from the Summit

Alpine Lake below the summit
It is possible to simply drive all the way to the high point and then walk a few steps up from the parking lot, but that's simply not a good form if you are able to hike it. I approached south from the Appalachian Trail which isn't exactly difficult either. I suppose if one really wanted to make it difficult, they could hike from the valley or hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Well, it is your call. I am on limited time!

Hiking the Appalachian Trail to the high point was actually quite interesting- there's an excellent wooden tower south of it that has no crowds save for AT hikers. It was certainly less crowded than the high point itself. I was continually surprised at the sheer relief that the mountain had from surrounding valleys and the Delaware Water Gap. New Jersey is such a pretty place and much of it is very quaint and bucolic. The smaller towns feel much like New England but with a Mid-Atlantic flavor. Again, it was just nice to be in a place that was such a huge part of my childhood.
This is the New Jersey I remember...
I must have spent an hour reminiscing and admiring the view at the summit. In the summer, you can actually walk to the top of the monument but in the off-season, you can only do so on weekends. Oh well.

I've learned that New Jersey has a fledgling peakbagging club known simply as the "New Jersey 1kers". It is similar to the 4kers up in New York and New England but obviously much lower. Seemed like a great list and club anyways. Perhaps something to aspire to?

After the peak, I actually headed over to the nearby Sunrise Peak which also has a parking lot near the top but is significantly less crowded. Unfortunately I did not get a view here- the fog rolled in. I came down from here and visited my kind-of-sort-of home town and was surprised at how much I remembered and what I didn't. It was a poignant day.

Read. Plan. Get Out There!