The Northern Wyanokies

April 5, 2019

West Brook Mountain

This is the site of two named views. The first one is Manaticut Point, located at the top of Hewitt-Butler Trail's relentless 400-foot climb up West Brook Mountain from West Brook itself. A easier route is available from a trailhead on Crescent Drive to the east. "Manaticut" is a word meaning "observation place", and the name is fitting. The vista centers on the Saddle Mountain Quarry, at the foot of its namesake. Windbeam Mountain is prominent to the east. Wyanokie High Point, Ramapo Mountain and High Mountain are also visible.

 

Following trails to the northwest of Manaticut will lead to another, more secluded view known as Overlook Rock. Its view of Lake Sonoma is overgrown and is more suitable for winter. Views also include the Stonetown Range and the Ramapos passing into Harriman State Park.

 

Signal Rock

Used by the Lenape to send smoke signals to other hills in the Wyanokies. The view looks over Stonetown Valley -- bounded by Windbeam, Wyanokie High Point, and Saddle Mountain. Access requires a bushwhack from the Stonetown Circular, and care should be taken to remain on public property. Frequently associated with Signal Rock are the nearby Tory Rocks. British supporters used these rocks as a hideout during the American Revolution.

Windbeam Mountain NJ1K #49

The site of a former fire tower, Windbeam is one more of the more prominent peaks in Wyanokies. The climb is steep from any approach. The overlooks are on the southern subpeak of Windbeam, which is not Little Windbeam as some have suggested. This area has three rock outcrops that show the landscapes to the west, south, and east respectively. The southern overlook was improved by forest fires in the wake of lightning strikes. The primary fire occurred in 2010 and was responded to by Erskine, Skyline, and Ringwood volunteer fire companies until relieved by NJ Forest Fire Service. The peak is featureless and has no view.

 

Bear Mountain

Mention of this peak always causes confusion with its more famous cousin that straddles New York's Rockland and Orange counties. Its peak is a great spot for a break while looking at Windbeam Mountain and the Wanaque Reservoir.

 

Board Mountain

Named for Cornelius Board Welch, who worked with Lenape to locate key iron deposits in 1732. Also named for him was the town of Boardville, which was submerged by the creation of the Wanaque Reservoir. A steady climb of Board Mountain reveals one view of the Monksville (aka Stonetown) Dam. The dam impounds Monksville Reservoir and separates it from the Wanaque Reservoir. Stonetown Road runs on the top edge of the dam, featuring impressive roadside views.

 

Harrison Mountain

The Harrison Brothers were a pair of ironmasters from the London Iron Company. The mountain named for them has a prominent powerline cut, identifiable from many surrounding hills. Views of Monksville Reservoir and Monks Mountain are found along the cut. Some areas have crossing woods roads that can make navigation more difficult.

 

Horsepond Mountain

This hill has an interesting summit area, but its centerpiece is an expansive, east-facing view dominated by Monksville Reservoir and Monks Mountain. The view reaches as far as New York's Ramapo Torne, identifiable by camera lens or binoculars. The rest of the mountain is covered with ATV trails, many of which intersect or co-align with officially blazed routes. One of these paths leads down to Sunset Lake, located on the back side of Horsepond Mountain.

 

Big Beech Mountain NJ1K #35

The steady climb up Big Beech begins near ruins of the Long Pond Ironworks, which supplied iron to patriots during the revolution. Additional mines are located near the route up Big Beech Mountain, including the Patterson Mine. Near the peak, great views are found off-trail about a half mile before the Sterling Ridge Trail reaches the New York border. Past the state line, the trail continues to the Sterling Fire Tower.

 

Jennings Mountain NJ1K #43

This is the most northerly mountain in the Wyanokies before the range's terminus at Greenwood Lake and the New York border. Jennings is notable for being entirely trailless while having an outstanding view of the Stonetown Wyanokies. Access is difficult from any angle.

 

Introduction

Southern Wyanokies

Northern Wyanokies

Bodies of Water in the Wyanokies
 

This article was built with information largely obtained from New York-New Jersey Trail Conference through its maps, books, and online resources. A trail guide by the American Ethical Union, obtained from the Highlands Natural Pool. Information from NJ DEP.

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