High Point State Park in New Jersey is home to the highest point in the state, known aptly as High Point. Located in the state’s northwestern corner, this park offers stunning vistas of the surrounding area, including views of the Pocono Mountains to the north and the Catskill Mountains to the northwest.
What Is New Jersey’s Highest Peak?
At an elevation of 1,803 feet above sea level, High Point is the state’s highest elevation and provides a unique view of the landscape below. Visitors can hike to the top of High Point on one of several trails that wind through the park’s wooded hillsides, passing through scenic overlooks and past tranquil streams and ponds.
One of the most popular trails is the Monument Trail, which leads to the top of High Point and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. This trail is a moderate, 3-mile round-trip hike that takes about 2-3 hours to complete. Another option is the Appalachian Trail, which runs through the park and offers hikers a chance to experience a small section of this famous trail that stretches over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine.
In addition to hiking, High Point State Park offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. The park features a 20-acre lake, Lake Marcia, which is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. There are also picnic areas and playgrounds scattered throughout the park, making it a great destination for families.
Visiting High Point Monument
Visiting the High Point Monument in New Jersey is a unique experience that offers a glimpse into the state’s rich history and stunning natural beauty. Standing 220 feet tall, the obelisk monument was built in 1930 as a tribute to New Jersey’s war veterans. The monument is made of white granite and features a statue of the goddess Nike at the top.
Visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the observation deck, where they can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the rolling hills of the Kittatinny Mountains and the Delaware River Valley. The climb to the top is well worth the effort, as the views are truly breathtaking. Additionally, the monument is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails and picnic areas, making it an ideal destination for a day hike.
The History of High Point State Park
High Point State Park in New Jersey has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. The land was initially owned by the New York and Greenwood Lake Railway, which operated a tourist train through the area. In 1923, the state of New Jersey purchased the land with the intention of creating a state park.
The park’s development was part of a larger movement to create countrywide state parks and forests. During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a major role in developing High Point State Park. The CCC was a federal program that provided jobs for young, unemployed men during the Great Depression. They were responsible for building many of the park’s facilities, including trails, picnic areas, and campgrounds.
During World War II, the park was used as a training ground for the 78th Infantry Division of the United States Army. After the war, the park underwent significant improvements, including the addition of Lake Marcia, which was created by the CCC.
Today, High Point State Park remains a popular destination for visitors seeking outdoor recreation and natural beauty. The park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing. It is also home to an extensive trail system, including a section of the Appalachian Trail.
The history of High Point State Park is a testament to the importance of preserving natural resources and creating public spaces for recreation and enjoyment. From its early beginnings as a tourist train route to its current status as a premier state park, High Point has played an essential role in the history and development of New Jersey.
Overall, High Point State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in hiking, history, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature. With its stunning views, tranquil lakes, and diverse recreational opportunities, this park is a true gem of the Garden State.
About the Author/s
The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.