Passaic County High Point Trip Report

Date: November 12, 2001
Author: Fred Lobdell

This is, by a considerable margin, the most difficult and demanding of the New Jersey county highpoints. It involves a hike of several miles and unpleasant bushwhacking through mountain laurel, greenbriers, and raspberries, with Class 2 ascents of many rocky knobs and prominences. Mike Schwartz said that we were lucky: the low areas between the ridges and rocky fins usually had water or ice (depending on the season) in them, but because of the very dry fall, these areas were dry.

We followed Dan Case's recommendation and hiked up the pipeline (not shown on the topo). (There is parking for two cars on the west side of Clinton Road about 100 feet north of the pipeline.) When we reached the ridge crest, we bushwhacked south-southwest, following the trend of the ridge line, in search of the northernmost of the six tiny 1,480-foot contours. We reached what was apparently the pointy rock that Dan considered this point. From here we continued bushwhacking south along the ridge and ascended three more candidates for this point. One of these rocks even had a small cairn built upon it. None of these rocky protuberances can be seen from any of the others, so no determination of relative elevation could be made. From the last of these, we continued bushwhacking generally south until we intersected the blue-blazed trail.

We turned left on the blue trail and followed it until it intersected a white-blazed trail at the north end of Terrace Pond. We then followed the white trail generally east until some large rocks loomed up on our right, then bushwhacked a short distance to these rocks and ascended them. We found BM Bearfort, and we agreed with Dan that the knob to the north-northeast appeared to be the highest of this cluster. From here we bushwhacked to the southeast to get to the third area, a tiny contour that was located near the south end of a high ridge.

For the last three areas, the ones southwest of Terrace Pond, we bushwhacked back, across the ridge with the bench mark, to the white-blazed trail. We followed this back to its junction with the blue-blazed trail at the north end of Terrace Pond, then continued south on the white trail as it passed along the western shore of the pond. A short distance beyond the pond is an intersection with a red-blazed trail. (We didn't take this trail up, but did take it down, and we think it is the most efficient way to attain this ridge. It has been newly blazed and improved.) Follow the red trail southwest as it ascends to the ridge crest, then bushwhack north along the ridge looking for the three highest knobs. We felt that we found one that was higher than the others in this area.

For the return trip, return to the red-blazed trail, take it downhill to the white-blazed trail, and take that north to the blue-blazed trail. Then follow the blue trail until it emerges on the pipeline and follow that back to Clinton Road and your car.