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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Garden at Mohonk Mountain House
View of Mohonk Mountain House from Sky Top Road
The Lily Pond on Sky Top Road
The Sky Top Tower
View of Sky Top Reservoir from Top of Sky Top Tower
View of Mohonk Mountain House from Top of Sky Top Tower
Geographic Marker on Top of Sky Top Tower
Compass on Top of Sky Top Tower
Plaque Inside of Sky Top Tower
One of Many Maps of the Mohonk Mountain House Area
The Mohonk Mountain House Up Close
The Cliff to the Left of the Mohonk Mountain House
View from Round Mountain
The High Point/State Line Marker
The Pile of Rocks Beside the High Point Marker
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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.
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.
Mount Davis – The Highest Point in Pennsylvania (3,213 Feet Above Sea Level)
If you like mountain views and challenges that bring you to new heights then you need to check this out! There’s something fulfilling about going to the highest point in your home state, or some other state, and looking over the surrounding area. Now, this isn’t my first highpoint, but Ohio’s is nothing compared to these two.
Pennsylvania’s highpoint (Mount Davis) has a really nice view, but you have to climb up on top of a 40 foot tower to really appreciate it; there are too many trees to really see the view from the ground. The tower might toy with your fear of heights, if you have one, but the tower is very sturdy… there’s nothing to worry about! You can drive right up to the highpoint if you want or take a short (.8 mile), flat hike to the tower, the official highpoint marker and all the plaques there. And once you make your way up the tower steps, you’ll soon realize it was very worth the climb.
Speaking of climbs, there is actually an uphill hike you’ll have to take to get to the top of Backbone Mountain (Maryland’s highpoint AKA Hoye Crest). It’s only a mile-long hike, but you’ll have a 700 foot increase in elevation, during that hike. And hey, that’s not much to ask, considering you’ll end up 3,360 feet above sea level! And I liked how this highpoint had a little log book you could sign, and a certificate to prove you had been there; Pennsylvania was slacking on that one! The view’s not too shabby up there either, and you don’t need a tower to see it.
But instead of reading this boring text and trying to picture it in your mind, watch this video so you can see all of what I’m talking about:
HOW DO YOU GET HERE?
If you’d like to check out Mount Davis in Fort Hill, Pennsylvania then CLICK HERE for a map to where I parked. The green arrow points to where you’ll pull in and park; there are bathrooms and picnic tables here. To head toward the High Point Trail, just head to the right, to the far end of the open field. There’s a map that will show you where to go, in fact, if you switch to the satellite view on Google Maps, you can see the trail I’m talking about, Southwest of where you pull in.
If you’d like to check out the Hoye Crest in Oakland, Maryland then CLICK HERE for a map to where I parked. Yes, you will be parking in West Virginia, and you’ll want to look for a spot on the side of the road that you can pull off on and park. The trail starts on a turn in a road, and there is a green sign that points toward the trail, telling you it’s the highpoint trail, but if you’re coming from the north, and you pass that sign, then you’ve already passed where you want to park. I parked right at the trailhead, there’s enough room for maybe two cars. I wouldn’t recommend driving up the trail, as it’s pretty rough.
If you take the High Point Trail, to Mount Davis, then be sure to stay on it! Don’t be like me and get distracted, just before you get to the highpoint, by a trail called the Mount Davis Trail. Yes, that’s what the highpoint is named, but this trail goes off on it’s own and is pretty dang rocky and narrow. You don’t really need hiking boots for this one, even though there is one muddy patch, but other than that it’s smooth sailing and it’s free to enter the park.
The trail up Backbone Mountain, to Hoye Crest, is clearly marked by orange blazes, so you shouldn’t get lost or distracted. You’ll probably want to wear hiking boots, bring water and put on the bug spray for this trail though. There are a few muddy spots, and a rocky section, so the boots will come in handy. And with moisture comes gnats and other bugs, so be aware that they will be in your face during some sections. In fact, I would be walking along and hear hundreds of crickets jumping all around; that was actually kind of cool. But, since it will take longer to get to the top, you’ll probably want some water along to way. In fact, bring a lunch with you; there’s a picnic table right at the highpoint, so you can eat and enjoy the view. Oh, and it’s free to hike to the top of this one as well!
If you’re into reaching new heights in exploration and climbing on top of sculptures then you really should check out these places! I’ve had a goal for a while to travel to the highest points in every single state in the United States, as well as highpoints in Canada and Mexico, and I just recently began working toward that goal, with Ohio’s highpoint. It’s named Campbell Hill and is currently located inside a fenced-in school area, named the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center. Now, this wasn’t exactly a big challenge, since it’s only 1,549 feet above sea level and you can park right beside the highpoint. But hey, you have to start somewhere, right? And it’s cool that they have a logbook and little “certificates of achievement” which you can fill out as proof that you were there.
But after I finished standing on the highest point I could possibly find in Ohio, I headed to see an eleven foot tall, stone sculpture which you’re actually allowed to stand on as well. The Chief Leatherlips Monument was created by Ralph Helmick, in his unique way of layering things, in honor of an old Wyandot chief who was say to never break a promise, with the white man or his fellow natives. His life might not have ended too beautifully but the park where the monument is located is said to have been the location of his final hunting camp.
Scioto Park really is a beautiful park, filled with waterfowl, which you’ll soon see when you watch the video below:
HOW DO YOU GET HERE
And just to be sure that you make it to the right locations, I’m going to provide you with directions to the exact spots. As I said before, you’ll have to drive inside the fenced in area, of the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center in Bellefontaine, Ohio, to get to Ohio’s highpoint, but you can park in a lot right beside the highpoint, which you can see if you CLICK HERE. The green arrow on the map is where you want to go, and the highpoint is underneath those trees, up and to the right of where you’ll be parking.
But if you want to go check out the Chief Leatherlips monument then you’ll want to head to Dublin, Ohio’s Scioto Park and park where the green arrow is located when you CLICK HERE. You can actually see the monument off to the left of the parking lot, if you switch to the satellite view; it looks like a white V out in the lawn.
If you’re coming to see the highpoint during the day, then you should have no problem driving up to the parking lot, unless it’s a Sunday. The gate you have to drive through isn’t open at all hours, but they told me that there is a gate you can walk through, at any time of the day. So, if the gate isn’t open for you to drive through, then just park your car, walk through the smaller gate and you’re good to go! It won’t be much of a walk, either way.
And, as with most parks, Scioto Park is really only open from dawn to dusk. Which I don’t think would be much of a problem, since I’m sure most of you like to see places like this during the daylight hours.
If that wasn’t enough for you, then I’d like to direct you to my favorite site, when it comes to highpoints, so that you can get more information on Campbell Hill. You can check that out here: http://www.summitpost.org/campbell-hill/154109