Hunterdon County High Point Trip Report

Date: June 29, 2001
Author: Dan Case

Well, it was another sultry day in the Northeast and I finally nabbed this one on my way home, taking advantage of its relative proximity to Morristown, a key junction on the way home. (If doing it with any other NJ county, Somerset is the nearest and best choice). I came from the north but followed Mike Schwartz's directions and did the areas the same way he did, although you don't have to and I found a possible short cut.

one area 2,200 ft south of Camp Beisler (1,060+ ft)

Only thing to add to Mike's directions is an idea of how to get to Califon. I came via Morristown, following county Routes 510 and 513 (the former route of NJ 24, whose signs are still visible in many places) off I- 287, through Mendham, Chester (where 510 ends and you pick up 513) and Long Valley. Continue straight at the light at Long Valley to stay on 513 (West Mill Road). The county line is several miles to the south, and then it's the same distance to Califon. Or, you can turn right at Middle Valley Road (the community center and chapel on your left) and follow that twisting, narrow climbing road about 2 miles or so over to Califon Road near the county line, about midway between the two HP areas.

At this one, the bump is the very obvious high ground west of the road opposite the entrance to the county park, Teetertown Ravine Natural Area. You could park in the entryway and shorten the walk, but if it's open there's usually plenty of good spaces in the lot at the end of the driveway. In any case, walk across the field to the woods, trending towards the northern corner. Once there, you'll find a use path into the spruce grove that quickly peters out but gives you access to what seems to be the highest ground: a collapsed stone wall to its south where deciduous trees begin, not too far into the woods.

USGS BM Smith (1,060+ ft)

This one was a little trickier.

First, driving the requisite distance up Pleasant Grove entails crossing back into Morris County, where the road becomes Califon Road.

Second, the subdivision road is Ascot Drive, not Road. The development is called Riding Meadows.

Third, Ascot loops around on itself near the rear of the property. You could take the left fork and get to the crest a little bit more quickly.

The property you want to get to is 46 Ascot. There is a large, wooded lot next to this house where the obvious high ground is (no indicator as to where the county line might be, though, but you don't need to find it to reach this).

I went 200 feet into it to the highest ground and stood on a small rock. However, I did not find the benchmark or reference markers, possibly due to the heavy undergrowth in the area at this time of year.