High Point State Park Monument Trail

Colesville, New Jersey 07461

High Point State Park Monument Trail

High Point State Park: Monument Trail Professional Review and Guide

"You can see forever (or almost forever) if you hike through High Point State Park on a clear day. The road leads to a parking lot beside a 220-foot obelisk built to honor New Jersey’s veterans. It stands 1803 feet above sea level—the highest point in New Jersey. When open, the 291-step climb to the top (fee) is definitely worth the effort, but save those vistas for the end of the hike. If you’re too tired by the time you get to the monument, the view from the base is also fine for admiring the Delaware River, the Pocono and Catskill Mountains, the Wallkill River Valley, and farmland.

The trail, a series of mini ups and downs along the Kittatinny Mountain ridge in the northwestern corner of the state, passes through dense woods, a cedar swamp, and along the bank of Lake Marcia—the highest lake in the state. Bring along a magnifying glass to examine sphagnum moss in the swamp and binoculars to view the hawks and vultures that frequent this area. Campsites with wooden tent platforms are available at Sawmill Lake, within the park, and, two cabins can be rented at Lake Steenykill, also within the park."

High Point State Park: Monument Trail Reviews

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Nice trail with pretty views on both sides towards the start of the trail. Trail marker is a circle - half red, half dark green. We ended up cutting our trail short because we stopped following the red/green marker and picked up a light green one instead. We completed the first half of the trail before cutting off to a different trail - it had a good surface - dirt/rock - and was pretty easy to do. Just be careful to not slip or twist your ankle on the rocks as the surface is not even. If you get hungry and want a good hamburger, I recommend Arlene 'n Tom's restaurant in/near Port Jervis.
This is a good long trail. not very dificult but is a workout. If you start the trail from the parking lot, the end is all uphill and for a kicker you can climb the stairs to the top of the monument. there is nothing at the top other than the accompishment of making it.
We started out early for this highpoint. The weather forecast called for afternoon thunderstorms. We arrived to find courteous staff at the park stations. The person stationed at the pond at the base of the trail gave us the choice of the easier, yet longer, trail to the left of the pond, or we could scramble up the wall on the right of the pond and find the trail there. We figured on the more direct approach, with plans to meander down the longer easier trail after attaining the summit. We stopped halfway at a point junction with the AT. There was an elevated platform with nice views to the monument. We met an aged man hiking through, telling us he was on his way to Maine. Hmmm, Maine- sounds like a future hike for us! We snapped some pics there and headed back to the trail. The markers are pretty easy to find in daylight- and the trail seemed to cross a dirt road several times. After the first scramble at the lake, the rest of the ascent was a nice rigorous walk- just what the doctor ordered! We gained the summit in about 90 minutes. We took more pics, noticed the billowy storm clouds in the distance coming from the west. I remember giving us about 1 hour tops before the storms arrived. We clambered up to the top of the monument to look through the tiny peephole at the top, and realized we might have 40 minutes to descend. At the bottom, we checked the mileage of the monument trail around the circuit, and figured the faster descent would be best. So, we scampered down the way we came, as the rain started to fall on the rocks near the bottom. We witnessed beautiful arcs of lightning hit the lake as we hurried on ahead of the deluge. The raindrops actually soothed our bruised, sweaty bodies, but the lightning forced us to hurry towards the car. We made it- another highpoint claimed- only 48 more to go!!

High Point State Park: Monument Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
300 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Day hike or overnight camping
Dawn thru dusk
High Point State Park
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Jul 2018