Saturday, March 9, 2013

High Point, New Jersey (State High Point #7)

High Point, NJ (1,803') via Appalachian Trail (State High Point #7) October, 2008.

Distance: 2 miles RT

Elevation gain:  less than 300'

Trailhead: High Point State Park, Route 23, 8 miles NW of Sussex, NJ.

Lesson learned: High point monuments need maintenance.

Hiked the high point of New Jersey with Rich, Rhiannon, and Isabelle (Rhiannon's pug). This high point, aptly named "High Point," has a tower at the top which visitors can climb for maximum views.  
It was a beautiful fall day though the colors had gone by for the most part.  We parked our car at the visitor center and quickly found the Appalachian Trail, which would take us to about 1/4 mile from the tower.

Taking a break. Monument in the background.
We passed through some forest and field and soon came to the cut-off to the monument.

Looking up from very close.

The monument was closed for the season so we couldn't enjoy the view from the top.  In fact, there was evidence of vandalism on the door and it appeared the state was working on revitalizing the structure.  

Base of the monument (notice the door on the right).

There were many visitors at the site that day.  We took a few photos and headed back to our car.  

The High Point monument is a stately structure worthy of revitalization and I imagine the area has received a sprucing up since our visit.  

Jerimoth Hill (RI), Mt. Frissell (CT), Mt. Greylock (MA)

Jerimoth Hill, RI (812), Mt. Frissell, CT (2,380') and Mt. Greylock, MA (3,491); State High Points #3, 4, and 5, July, 2008.

Distance: see below

Elevation gain: see below


Jerimoth Hill, RI: Drive east on CT 101, crossing the Rhode Island border. Continue to the broad top of a hill and park on the highway shoulder at a sign on the south side of the highway that says “Jerimoth Hill States Highest Point 812 Feet.”

Mt. Frissell, CT: The trailhead can be tricky to find with not much for signage. These directions were found on the website: Route 41, Sheffield, MA, south of Egremont, MA. Mt. Washington Road is off of Route 41. Take Mt. Washington Road up the mountain (it will eventually flatten out). Pass Mt. Everett State Reservation on your left and then a short distance later Mt. Washington State Reservation on your right. Mt. Washington Road becomes East Street which becomes a dirt road. Follow this road to the Connecticut/ Massachusetts border. Directly across the street from the road sign and border marker is a small grass parking area.

Mt. Greylock, MA: I believe we took the Cheshire Harbor trail off West Mountain Road in Adams, MA. There is a parking area and signage.

Lesson learned:  Double check the state sign you're holding before the picture is taken!

We'd done the high points of Maine and New Hampshire and the Mountain Mommas were headed to Vermont to do Mt. Mansfield (the high point of that state) later in the summer so I figured this would be the year we'd knock off the New England state high points.  

Norm and Charlotte had already visited Jerimoth, Frissell and Greylock and offered to be our "guides."  We picked a weekend of frenzied driving and picture taking, in fact it was billed as a "ride, hike, ride, hike, ride, hike, ride" weekend!

Jerimoth Hill, RI.  

Distance: few hundred yards down a path.  

Elevation gain: negligible.

We started in Portsmouth NH, driving as a caravan the two+ hours to Jerimoth Hill.  This high point used to be the most difficult to visit as it was privately owned and the owner valued his privacy  - to say the least.  Things have changed and on this day it was a matter of parking and walking the few hundred yards in to the high point.   

As you can see by the photo below, I grabbed the wrong sign for the photo.

This is the way to the high point of Rhode Island.

We took some pictures, got back in our cars and headed for Mt. Frizzell, several hours' drive west.

Mt. Frissell, CT

Distance:  2.6 miles RT

Elevation gain: about 600'

Following the directions to the trailhead wasn't as difficult as we'd thought.  There's a good description of all the Mt. Frissell trail options at Ellozy's page (my favorite resource).  It was around noon when we got to the trailhead and made quick work of the ascent, going over Round Mountain, which had some nice views.

Charlotte reaching the summit of Round Mountain.

The Connecticut highpoint is on Mt. Frissell but the actual summit of Frissell is located in Massachusetts.  We took some photos at the high point (marked by a cairn). 

The right sign for the CT high point!

This high point is located on a tri-state corner and we took the short walk to the post and had some fun with it.

Back down from the hike, we headed to dinner and lodging close to Williamstown Center, MA. The motel was actually located in Vermont  (a seedy place that smelled of pine cleaner - would not recommend staying there).

That night a fantastic thunder storm ripped through the area.  

Mt. Greylock, MA:  

Distance: 6.6 miles

Elevation gain: 2,100'

The next day we headed to Mt. Greylock, our final hike of the weekend.  Our friend Barb from Connecticut joined us.  The day was hazy and there were thunderstorm warnings. We parked in the grassy lot and headed up the Cheshire Harbor and AT trails to the summit. The pace was easy and grade and footing moderate (click here to find more on Mt. Greylock trails).

The woods were thick and green and I don't recall much for views until we got to the top. This has to be the prettiest high point in the northeast!  

Mt. Greylock has three summit markers and we did find two of them, along with the AT markers.

There are amenities at the summit (Mt. Greylock's summit is accessible by car) but everything was closed as the road was under repair.  

We enjoyed the solitude, the pretty tower, the nicely groomed grounds. But the skies were darkening so we ducked back into the woods and toward our cars. We got there just as big drops of rain started assaulting us.  We drove home just ahead of the big storms.

This was one fun weekend!  I would recommend the Highpointers Club for more information on state high points.