New Jersey, High Point (1,803 feet)
Date: December 29, 2014
Distance: Drive up
Born and raised in New Jersey, I was excited that my Mom was able to join in this adventure surrounding our normal holiday celebrations. What I love about this state highpoint, other than the fact that it sports Washington Monument-esque glory, is that it’s called High Point. NJ is the only state to identify their highest natural point with such literal words. The other positive about High Point is that the drive, unlike some highpoints, is easy and well marked.
The approach offers nice views of the obelisk, a sense of impending excitement. Driving in the state park was peaceful and largely empty, likely because we visited in the dead of winter.
Judging from the signs in the park, it appears as though camping in High Point State Park may be popular during the summer. If you’re camping or traveling with kids, you’ll have your pick of several playgrounds to keep them happy. Over 50 miles of hiking trails run through the state park, including part of the Appalachian Trail.
At the top, you’re rewarded with views of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. We visited on a cold, windy day, long enough to get the feel for the joint. In the summer, this would be a gorgeous park to take a picnic lunch and perhaps enjoy a cool breeze. The obelisk is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. While the park will charge a fee to enter during that time (half price for NJ residents…or double the rate for out of staters, depending on how you dice it), you will gain the benefit of warmer weather and also be permitted inside the tower.
For your bathroom needs, the Visitor’s Center is a great option. The summit also may have bathrooms. I wasn’t fully paying attention, but I noticed a building near the top, which I’m assuming is equipped with flushing toilets.
Nearby in Milford, PA is the Grey Towers Historic site. Tours weren’t running when we were there, but the building is at least worth driving by. For a good lunch, assuming you haven’t enjoyed a picnic lunch at the summit, check out Joey’s Pizza, down the road from Grey Towers.
January 1, 2017
We decided to spend New Year’s doing some of the New Jersey sections of the Appalachian Trail, and visiting the New Jersey Highpoint. Anyone who makes fun of New Jersey has never been to this part. We had a lovely day hiking in the snow both in Highpoint State Park and in the nearby Delaware Water Gap. The one day we allowed wasn’t enough. We’ll be back again to spend more time in this beautiful area.