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.