View Full Version : AT to High Point, NJ?

Mohamed Ellozy
03-28-2004, 09:43 AM
As part of my spring county highpointing trip I am planning to do High Point, NJ. It is a driveup, but I want to hike, and the AT goes close to the highpoint.

I would be very grateful if someone could look up some potential starting points for a hike anywhere between 4 and 6 miles (give or take) each way.


poison ivy
03-28-2004, 11:49 AM
Mohamed --

I haven't hiked this one yet, but the "Exploring the Appalachian Trail" book suggests a 5.4 mile hike (or 10.8 miles, roundtrip if you turn around at the monument) starting from an AT parking lot on the Deckertown Turnpike. It says there isn't a lot of altitude change on the hike, but it is rocky. You'd be hiking from south to north to the monument.

To get to the Deckertown Turnpike, it says to got north 1/2 mile from the edge of the town of Sussex on Route 23 and take a left onto the Turnpike, also known as County Route 647. Follow the road about nine miles to the Stokes State Forest boundary and continue .6 miels to the Kittatinny Ridge. There is a day parking lot there and a water pump on the left.

Hope that helps,

Papa Bear
03-28-2004, 12:07 PM

Here's (http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze2h6gy/papabear/AT_section_1.html#day4) a link describing the section of the AT I did with a friend south and north of High Point.

South of High Point you are on the Kittatinny Ridge so it's a rocky ridge walk. North of there the trail rurns right and you cross some valleys. That day we started down off the ridge near Rutherford Shelter (about 5 miles south of HP) and ended up at Pochunk Mountain shelter, about 12 miles north so it covers any route you might take. That day was April 8th when it was still cold and night with little leafing-in along the ridges. beautiful area.

If you can spot a car you might see a bit more of both ridge and valley.That would be what I would try to do.


03-28-2004, 07:56 PM
I live less than 3 miles from High point. The best way to hit the monument is to startOn rt 519. The best way to get to it is from the town of Sussex take rt 23 North about 5 miles. Eventually you will pass the High Point Country Inn. Once you pass this you will then hang a right onto rt 519. Take rt 519 about 2 miles and eventually you will see where the AT crosses. Just past the crossing there is a small lot or pullover for a few cars. If you cross into NY you went to far. Take the AT South you will climb some steep short sections as well as long gradual climbs. Eventually you will come to the monument trail (Red and Green markers) Make that right and follow it to the Summit. Once you are on the summit you have two options. First is to turn back and head back to you car or if you want to explore more than continue down to the parking lot. At the far end of the lot you will pick the monument trail back up. Continue on the Monument trail. You will eventuall decend off the ridge and come to were the Shawangunk trail goes left and the Monument trail goes straight. Take the Monument trail pass this over the bridge. Eventually you will come to another unmarked trail on the left. Take this and do the loop around the cedar Swamp and then go back onto the monument trail via this short unmarked trail. Continue on the monument trail and eventually it takes you back to the AT. Once you intersect with the AT take it North back to the start. This loop may be a little loger but once you are the ridge the hiking is fairly easy. To shorten it you can skip the cedar Swamp trail. The views are awsome and you can even see the Catskills. They say you can see NYC from the monument but I found it to be untrue.

If you do decide to do the AT from Deckertown you are looking at a good 10+ mile day going out and back. Also someone mentioned to get at the Deckertown lot make a right onto 647. That part of the road is no longer 647 it is actually 650 and the bottom portion of the road is Libertyville. Deckertown is the name farther up. This tends to get a lot of people confused. Hope this gives you some ideas.

If you want send me an e-mail with your adrdess and I can send you a copy of this loop on a topo. That way it will be easier to understand it. Depending when you do this I may be able to join you since I live so close.

03-28-2004, 08:00 PM
Hi Mohammed,
I was on that section in December and mapped out the route with my GPS - I can send you the Coordinates, if you'd like.

If you are looking for a 4-6 miles hike with some elevation gain (rather than starting on the ridge South of High Point), I would suggest you start your hike North of High Point on Ferguson Road.
Parking is on the Side of the Road at an elevation of 800' next to a farm.
From there, head South through some pastures/farmland and past a pond or two into the woods just North of High Point where you'll gain about 900-1000 feet of elevation. The hike to High Point from Ferguson Road is 3.5 miles. This is a nice area of NJ to hike in.

About 3/4 mile before you reach HP, you'll come to the cutoff for High Point Shelter - A great place to spend the night when you return from your quest and then hike out to you car and drive home the next day. Keep in mind you would be cutting your trip short if you didn't drive 20-30 miles further South on the Kittatinny ridge and check out areas like Crater Lake and the Delaware Water Gap.

I downloaded a map of the route (elevation profile is from N-S) and if I can atach it fine, if not, let me know your e-mail adress and I can send it along with the waypoints.


Puma concolor
03-29-2004, 02:03 AM
I did the hike Snowshoe described in his post and highly recommend it. It's a little shorter than what you are looking for ... somewhere around two miles one way if I remember right. But what's the sense in making a mountain out of a mole hill? I came from I-84 in New York and took Exit 2, heading south off the Exit. I can't remember what the Route # was in New York, but it's the only way to Jersey and it turns shortly into 519. Like Snoeshoe said, the AT crossing is just into New Jersey. The best way to describe this hike is pleasant; not strenuous at all with only around 700 feet elevation gain, but a good stretch for the legs. Once you get toward the top, the merging trails get confusing. I just said screw it and followed anything that looked like it was going uphil, turning back often to make sure I could remember the route back to the AT. The views are very good. Have fun.

Add on - Trail map I have is the North Kittatinny Trails map published by the NY/NJ Trail Conference. The maps are good but get a C- for High Point State Park Coverage. Trail Map 18 depicts High Point but on the far right side. Only on the less detailed back of the map do you get the proper overview of the hike described from 519 (AKA Mountain Road), but it does show the loop Snowshoe talks about.

03-29-2004, 05:47 AM
I think we were posting around the same time last night and we both recommended starting from the North. I think the road I chose is just the next road North of 519.... I really like that area of Jersey.

I am leading an ADK backpack trip this spring, from the south that finishes at Deckertown Tpk. Since you live so close the the area, have there been any problems with vandalism in any of the parking lots on Deckertown? Is it better to leave a car in the Iris trailhead lot for a couple of days instead?


03-29-2004, 06:19 AM
Rick, Your right the road you mentioned for starting is the next one over and a good spt as well.

The lot on Deckertown is for day parking only. You have to park over at the AT lot next to the park office on rt 23, for overnight. The reason you cant park overnight on Deckertown is because the Mashipacong shelter is very close by. It keeps the party people out. Were do you plan on starting? The next two areas that let allow overnight parking is Culvers Gap and then the Butermilk falls parking. All South of High Point. If you hike to the park Office from Deckertown it is another 4 very nice miles. You can even take the Iirs trail for easier hiking and stop off at Lake Rutherford. Depending when you do this there is a possiblity I can pick you up on Deckertown since I live 1.5 miles from that lot.

As far as vandalism goes there has never been a problem in at least 15 years and probably longer. It is a very safe area. Hope this helps

03-29-2004, 12:42 PM
Keep an eye out. Stokes State Forest has bears out the wazoo. Because they are government-kept and regulated, there are more bears than nature would tolerate. Whenever they find a bear wandering in New Jersey, off he goes to Stokes.
This means bears in Stokes don't have normal behavior patterns. More like people in Somerville or Central Falls, R.I., or some similar overcrowded place. Expect the unexpected. There haven't been any deaths but a lot of weird encounters.
Having said all that, I had my own encounter with a bear there. I was above him on a trail next to a creek and I saw him first, about 70 yards away, crossing perpendicular to my path. Within seconds, he smelled me, nose up in the air. When he looked at me, I stood still and told him to get going, come on now, get going. He did! Just ambled off. I kept an eye on him as I walked down and out of the forest.

Jay H
03-29-2004, 12:59 PM
We had a bear in Butler NJ last summer, was scared straight up a tree and sat there til Fish and Game had to be brought to get him down... I remember that day as I was doing yardwork but could hear a helicopter hovering for what seemed like hours. I thought that was odd, it's not like there's some huge intersection where a traffic helicopter might be reporting. However, I found out later on the news that there was a small black bear in a tree...

Then this spring, they took a big black bear from hibernation in Oakwood Pond near Norvin Green and moved the guy into Norvin Green...

You're right about moving all the bears to Stokes though! It's like a bear sanctuary of NJ...


03-29-2004, 01:03 PM
My Stokes bear encounter--

I was strolling uphill towards Sunrise Mountain and two deer ran across my paht about 30 yards ahead. I heard rustling in the bushes and stood still, pulled my good camera out and pointed it at the bushes that were moving. About 40 yards away a bear strolled out into the open. Little guy, who saw me and just veered to the left without breaking stride and went downhill. He must have scared the deer across my path.

Cool stuff


03-29-2004, 02:14 PM
You're right about moving all the bears to Stokes though! It's like a bear sanctuary of NJ...
And as soon as their done with that, Carmella Soprano wil find another way to get that F&G warden back out to her house

03-29-2004, 06:26 PM
Thats actually not true about the bears being moved to Stokes. The only reason why you see such a high concentration of bears in Stokes and the rest of the Kittatinny's is because that is were they originally came from before they took over the rest of NJ. Before they were almost wiped out there were a few left in the Kittatinny's like Stokes as well as in the NJ Highlands in Wawayanda SP. That is why there is so much more bears in these areas. The reason why they are so use to people is because Stokes and Wawayanda are one of the most heavily used parks in NJ. Also a majority of the bears in Stokes have no tags in their ears. Another indication that shows they were never removed.