"A noble little loop hike that takes you to the peak of Monks Mountain, sharing several views from the top, where you will look down on Monksville Reservoir. Explore (carefully) the prickly pear cactus found bordering one of the vistas. The route also takes you by the nineteenth-century Monks, or Winston, Mine, with its gaping maw. Locating magnetite ore with a magnet might be a fun break from the hike.
Prickly pear cactus (PPC), with its yellow-orange flowers and red-purple fruit, adorns the top vistas from June to August. It can grow upright or like a carpet, as it does here. Also called “no pal,” or “devil’s tongue,” this is the only native cactus found in the Garden State. It appreciates dry, sandy, or rocky soil where it is hot and sunny. Besides Monks Mountain, PPC grows on Mount Tammany’s peak (Delaware Water Gap), along the Jersey Shore, and throughout the Pine Barrens."