Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hiking Pyramid Mountain

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” So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.” ~ Ben Franklin

Most of us who hike often have a place close to us where we go to hike when we have a few hours but not enough time to go far.  Some place close to home but still away in the woods. I’m lucky to live 15 minutes away from Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area in Morris County, New Jersey.  I know, those of you not from around here are probably thinking - “A forest in New Jersey?”.  Yes, believe it or not, most of New Jersey is not like the New Jersey Turnpike.  I’m within an hours drive of the Appalachian Trail, many state parks and some wonderful county parks.Tripod rock

Pyramid Mountain Park is over 1300 acres of trails, forests and wetlands. It has several unobstructed views on the New York City skyline. A unique glacial erratic known as ‘Tripod Rock’.  This is a many ton boulder balanced a three smaller boulders.  It was deposited here by the Wisconsin Glacier over 18,000 years ago.  The park also has ‘Bear Rock’, one of the largest glacial erratics in New Jersey and a fun rock for kids to climb.

There are old stone ruins that are fun to find and explore. There is also a nice season waterfall, more than 100 species of birds and 30 species of mammals including black bears, beavers and (some say) bobcats.  You can sometimes see eagles, herons, egrets and vultures.  Also in the park are scarlet tangers, yellow warblers, indigo buntings, red-bellied and pileated woodpeckers and black-capped chickadees.

The woods you walk through are quite varied depending on the part of the park you are in.  It could be blueberry patches, paths through rhododendron, chestnut oaks, American beech trees, or holly shrubs. Like most parks in this populated area, once you get 1/4 or 1/2 mile up the trail, the people become few and far between.

These two video’s (below) show you some highlights of what to expect in the park.   To find Pyramid Mountain, follow the directions on the county web site here.


  1. Pyramid Mountain is one of my favorites destinations (don't forget Turkey Mountain as well). Here are some pictures from my recent visits....




  2. Stephen,
    Those are great photos. Pyramid mountain is such a beautiful place. The waterfall video on this post is actually from the Turkey Mtn part of the park.

    Wondering what other places you have explored in the area. When I have time for more of a drive, Harriman State Park is one of the places I love to go for longer hikes.