Essex County High Point Trip Report

Date: November 11, 2001
Author: Fred Lobdell

The Watchung "mountains" are made of basalt. They are lava flows that are Late Triassic and/or Early Jurassic in age. Rifting and volcanism developed at various places along what is now the east coast of North America. Rocks of this age, largely basalts and immature feldspar-rich sandstones (called arkoses) were deposited in these rift basins from the Maritime provinces of Canada as far south as Alabama. Then, for some reason, rifting and volcanism stopped here. These rocks are collectively known as the Newark Group (or Supergroup).

County Sanitarium

As noted in previous reports, the sanitarium is long gone and most of the buildings have been demolished. The highest ground appears to be in a brushy field. We were rewarded by seeing a fox here.

two areas 0.5 and 1.25 miles southwest of the sanitarium

Also as previously noted, these areas require separate approaches. See Mike Schwartz's and Dan Case's reports for the approaches to these areas. Conditions are unchanged from these reports.

one area 1.75 miles southeast of the sanitarium

This is the area behind the Claridge apartments. Follow previous reports for the approach to this area. The highest natural ground appears to be a rocky outcrop just beyond the chain link fence at the rear (east) of the easternmost building. To get to the other side of the fence, go to your right along the fence line to a partially broken-down section. Cross here and work your way along the ledge, only inches wide in places, back along the fence until the rock widens out into the high knob.