Passaic County High Point Trip Report

Date: November 1993, revisited December 1999/April 2000
Author: Michael Schwartz

I highly recommend purchase of the "North Jersey Trails" map set from the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference ( that shows the trails, pipelines, and 100' contours of this area. The considerable bushwacking required is best done using both the trail map and the USGS topo.

1 point 2000 ft north of Terrace Pond (1480+ ft)

From NJ 23 take Clinton Road north 7.3 miles to a large parking area on the left. Cross Clinton Road and take the blue trail, bearing left into the woods. After about 1/2 mile, the trail intersects a pipeline right-of- way and goes straight uphill. After a short climb, the trail reenters the woods to the right and proceeds to Terrace Pond. For this area stay on the right-of-way, and after reaching the middle of the crest of Bearfort Mountain, turn right into the woods and bushwhack south. The mountain has a multitude of small ridges. Keep working south and ascend each ridge that appears higher. The actual point will appear clearly higher than any others in the area. The bushwhacking is made very difficult by laurel thickets and wild rosebushes. In the off season, you can see far enough from ridgetops to verify your elevation relative to other nearby ridges. With a full growth of summer underbrush, this verification would be almost impossible, and the tick threat would be very high. Continue south and intersect the blue trail. Take this to Terrace Pond, a mountain lake nestled among cliffs. Notice the bedrock, a conglomerate of white pebbles in a purple matrix. This is known locally as puddingstone, and can be seen as a building stone in Passaic and Morris Counties.

2 points 1000 ft northeast of Terrace Pond (1480+ ft)

For the two points northeast of Terrace Pond, take the blue trail across the outlet at the northern end of the pond, and hike uphill on the far side. When the trail appears to crest and starts downhill, backtrack about 50 feet, and bushwhack into the woods on the uphill side. Depending where you enter the woods, you may cross a low ridge, or bushwhack directly to the high point ridge, less than 100' off the trail. On the ridge is the USGS BM inscribed 1942 Bearfort, and a reference BM 20' north is labeled No. 1 with an arrow pointing to BM Bearfort. From here bushwhack southeast, again climbing individual ridges until confident you've been on the highest of the group. Retrace your path to BM Bearfort and then back to the blue trail, then back to the white trail on the west shore of Terrace Pond.

3 points 1000 ft southwest of Terrace Pond (1480+ ft)

For the three points southwest of Terrace Pond, take the white trail from its junction with the blue trail, and hike along the west shore of Terrace Pond. Several rock benches, with views of the pond, make great lunch spots. Blueberries abound in season, and wild ducks (have seen wood ducks and buffleheads) can be spotted in spring and fall. The white trail cuts into the woods about half-way down the lake shore. Take it to the junction with the yellow trail, then follow the yellow trail for about 100 yards, along cliffy high ground. At this point, there is a pretty obvious ramp-like break in the cliffs, affording easy passage to the high ground. Once on top, bushwhack north, topping several knobs, two of which seemed about equal in height and the highest around. Scramble up about ten knobs to ensure covering the highest. As you work north, the pond will come into view, and no higher ground lies further north. Bushwhack back to the yellow or white trail, and return to the pond.