Archive for the ‘Getting High on Mountains’ Category

Highest Point in Delaware and Cape Henlopen Beach

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Cape Henlopen Beach

Cape Henlopen Beach

If you love state high points and beaches then you’re going to want to check this out!  Now, Delaware may not be home to the highest of all high points, but you can’t skip over the easy ones; it’s just as special as the rest of them.

And I didn’t just head to the beach to head to the beach… this beach is quite relevant to my future.  You see, as most of you know, I’m going to walk/run across the country next year and this beach is actually the starting point of my journey.  And I have to say, the beach at Cape Henlopen is gorgeous!  It goes on for miles and miles and it was nearly empty when I went, but the wind, crashing waves, hungry birds and jets flying overhead kept me company.

And now I’m sure you’re ready to watch the video below to see it all for yourself…

HOW DO YOU GET HERE?

If you want to check out Delaware’s high point, in Wilmington, Delaware, then CLICK HERE for directions.  The high point marker and sign are right beside the sidewalk, but you can turn into Ramblewood Drive and find a place to park alongside the road there, like I did.

And if you want to check out Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware then CLICK HERE for directions.  This will take you to where you want to park if you want to see the start of the American Discovery Trail, and there’s a trail that goes right to the beach from there.  But be aware that you will have to pay a fee to get into the state park.

HELPFUL TIPS

There are actually three different high point markers in the same general area, but the one you’re looking for is directly beside the sidewalk.  In fact, the sidewalk has a notch cut out of it so they could avoid pouring concrete over the marker; it’s hard to miss, even if there are some leaves over it.

If you don’t really care about seeing the start of the American Discovery Trail and the signs they have there, then you can park in the huge parking lot right before the road I direct you to above.  The bigger parking lot is right outside of a bathhouse and a boardwalk, so you can get to the beach just as easily from there.

WANT MORE?

If that wasn’t enough for you then check out the official site for Cape Henlopen State Park: http://www.destateparks.com/park/cape-henlopen/

And here are more pictures:

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Mohonk Mountain House and the Highest Point in Connecticut

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Garden at Mohonk Mountain House

Garden at Mohonk Mountain House

If you love outdoorsy resorts and climbing to new heights then you’re going to want to check this out!  This time around, I decided to take in two different views, in two different states, in two very different locations.

The first location is called the Mohonk Mountain House, which is a castle-like hotel on a cliff, in front of a lake.  It’s a really fancy resort and there are trails all over the place, but the views you can get of the hotel and cliffs are amazing.  It’s quite the hidden gem in Upstate New York.

But the second location is found on a backroad in Connecticut.  Oh yes, I tackled yet another state high point, and this one goes by the name of Mount Frissell.  It was a confusing high point, and you don’t actually go to the peak of Mount Frissell (because that’s in Massachusetts), but it was an interesting challenge that I’m glad I went through.

But take a few minutes and watch the video below to see what treasures await you at these two locations…

HOW DO YOU GET HERE?

If you want to check out the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, then CLICK HERE for directions to where I started my hike.  The green arrow points to the parking lot for people who have purchased a day pass, in order to check out the resort’s grounds.  If you are staying at the hotel, you will of course be parking a lot closer.  There are also shuttle buses that will take you closer to the hotel, if you don’t want to hike.

If you want to check out Connecticut’s high point in Salisbury, Connecticut, then CLICK HERE for directions to where you should park.  The green arrow points to the parking lot, off to the right of the gravel road.  If you turn on the satellite view on Google Maps and zoom in to just above the state line, just north of where the green arrow is, you can see where the trail starts, off to the left of the road.  In fact, you can pretty much follow the trail all the way up to the rocky top, with the satellite view.

HELPFUL TIPS

I just want to warn you that it does cost $25 (at least when I went) to hike around the Mohonk Mountain House, and if you think that’s bad then check out the room rates.  But I honestly think it’s worth it, because there is so much to explore, on land and in water.  And they will provide you with a map, so that you know where everything is, and you can ride their shuttle for free.  Some trails are difficult, but the main trails are really easy to hike and you’ll love seeing all the views, bodies of water and gardens.  And an interesting rumor is also floating around that this hotel was the inspiration for the hotel in The Shining, since Stephen King is said to frequently stay at the hotel.

And, to help dilute some of the confusion about Connecticut’s high point, you first want to start just north of the state line, right after you see the concrete marker.  It’s hard to miss and your trail starts off to the left, which is marked with red blazes.  There is more than one way to hike to the top, but this is how I made it there.  Now, not far down the trail, you will want to make another left and continue to follow the red blazes.  The trail will slowly start climbing and then you will have to scale some rocks, so make sure you have some sturdy boots that have traction.

You will eventually make it up to the top of a rocky mountain, see some great views and possibly think you’ve made it to the high point… you haven’t!  What you are on at this point is called Round Mountain, and you will need to continue on the trail to the right.  Yes, the trail does actually go downhill, but you have a longer climb ahead of you soon.  Once you tackle the second rocky climb, you will come to a fork in the trail.  If you go to the right, you can sign the log book and think you’ve made it to the high point… you haven’t, yet!  Go ahead and sign the log book, then head back the trail the other way (as if you turned left at the fork), and before long you’ll come upon a pile of rocks and a metal pole, stuck in a rock.

This is another Connecticut/Massachusetts border marker, but it also marks Connecticut’s high point.  It’s odd that they don’t mention anywhere on the marker that it’s the high point, but it definitely is.  And sadly for me, as you can see in the video, it started raining hard by the time I got to the top.  So, I feel bad but the log book got soaked before I could get it back in the box, but it happens, and I made it through all of the confusion so that you don’t have to be so confused.

WANT MORE?

If that wasn’t enough for you then check out the official site for the Mohonk Mountain House, here: http://www.mohonk.com/

And if you’d like to check out the instrumental video, while avoiding my face popping into the picture, then check out that video below…

And here are some more pictures…

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Highest Point in New Jersey and Manitoga

Friday, July 20th, 2012

 

Looking up, from the bottom to the top of the 220 foot monument at the Highest Point in New Jersey (1,803 feet)

Looking up, from the bottom to the top of the 220 foot monument at the Highest Point in New Jersey (1,803 feet)

If you love summiting high points or walking through calm, wooded areas then you’re going to want to check this out!  This time around, I managed to check another high point off my list (New Jersey) and to check out a man-made forest, constructed by Russel Wright.

Since I started out my hike on a section of the Appalachian Trail, I came across many hikers on my way up to the 1,803 summit.  It was a rocky and strenuous climb but the views are always worth it, even if I did climb 290 steps (after the hike) to see things from the top of the monument.

And I’m glad that designer Russel Wright, took it upon himself to restore his 75 acres, which had been ruined by logging and quarrying, because it’s such a peaceful and protected area today.  Other than a few sets of stone stairs or walkways, you probably won’t even realize that Wright had a hand in bringing things back to life, in a natural way.

But, why don’t you watch the video below and tag along with me on my trip?

HOW DO YOU GET HERE?

If you want to check out New Jersey’s high point, in Sussex, by hiking up to it then CLICK HERE for directions to where you’re going to want to park.  You can park here for free (avoiding the entrance fee) for about 12 hours, and there are bathrooms and drinking fountains right next to the parking lot.  In fact, you’re parking next to the state park office, which is only open from 9 AM to 4 PM, so it’s probably a good idea to move your car before 4 PM.

And if you’d like to check out Russel Wright’s Manitoga, in Garrison, New York, then CLICK HERE for directions to the driveway you want to drive up.  There is a sign along side the road (pictured below) which will let you know that you’re turning up the right driveway, and there’s a parking lot at the end of the drive.

HELPFUL TIPS

When hiking to New Jersey’s high point, you’re going to want to be wearing some sturdy boots, and have some water with you.  It’s only about a mile to the summit, but the trail is really rocky and it can take a toll on your feet.  As to be expected, when summiting a high point, there’s also a bit of an incline, especially at the end.  And there is a trail at the viewing platform on the Appalachian Trail that goes to the beach… you want to ignore that trail and continue on the trail just a little farther until you see a trail that is marked with green blazes: that’s the trail you take to the monument.  And the actual high point marker is in front of the monument, past the pavement, attached to one of the rocks in the open area.

But if you really want to climb up into the 220′ monument, at the high point, then you’re going to want to come at the following times…

  • Memorial Day weekend to June 24th: 8:30 AM – 4 PM (weekends and holidays only)
  • June 25th to Labor Day: 8:30 AM to 4 PM (daily)
  • Labor Day to Columbus Day: 9:15 AM to 4:45 PM (weekends and holidays only)

But in all honesty, all you can do at the top of the monument is look out some small, closed windows and the view isn’t much different from up there.  So, if climbing about 290 steps isn’t too appealing to you, or you just came at the wrong time, then don’t worry; you didn’t miss much.  But there are some historical displays in the base if you want to check them out.

And the three trails at Manitoga are pretty easy, and not too long, so you might be alright without hiking boots or water bottles there.  I’d recommend you check out the Lost Pond and the second view up top, and be prepared to see some wildlife along the way.  There really isn’t a fee to hike here, and it’s open daily (during daylight hours), but there is a suggested donation of $5.  So, do what I did, and hike the trail first and if you enjoyed yourself then feel free to donate.  And you can also purchase tickets for guided tours through Wright’s home and studio, which are beautifully designed to merge perfectly with their natural surroundings.

WANT MORE?

If that wasn’t enough for you, then check out the official site for New Jersey’s high point: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/highpoint.html

And check out the official site for Manitoga: http://www.russelwrightcenter.org

And you can even check out the instrumental video, without my face popping up in the screen:

And here are some more pictures:

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Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted in Getting High on Mountains, New Jersey, New York, Views | 1 Comment »