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Ascent of Second Watchung Mountain-Essex CoHP on 2012-06-23

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Saturday, June 23, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Second Watchung Mountain-Essex CoHP
    Location:USA-New Jersey
    Elevation:660 ft / 201 m

Ascent Trip Report

CoHPers give 5 Candidate High Point Areas for this County. PB gives 3 of these Areas on the Second Watchung Mountain-Essex and the other 2 on the First Watchung Mountain-Claridge House. I visited all of these areas on today's trip in the order given below, I used Michael Schwartz's TR for the directions.
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SECOND WATCHUNG MOUNTAIN-ESSEX CoHP.

AREA 2 (Old County Sanitarium) ....... 1.5 miles, 50 minutes RT
To reach this area we approached from the southeast, I278, exit 148, and drove north on Bloomfield(CR506) (to Verona and on to Caldwell) for 5.2 miles to a right on Mountain Avenue(CR527), .56 miles north to a right on Courter Road, then to the parking lot for the Essex County Hilltop Reservation on the left. The TH is at the southeast corner of the lot ..... the kiosk has a nice trail map of the Reservation, which can be downloaded from www.hilltopconservancy.org.
From the TH I followed the winding trail northeast to the summit (the location of the old sanitorium) at about .75 miles. On the way I passed the old water tank on the right continued on the paved road to a right (east) just before the Water Tank on top of the Hill, at 50 yards are 2 Informative Signs, giving the history of the area.
From here a path heads north 150 yards to the flat topped meadow on the summit. Nothing obvious in the tall grass, all of the old buildings have been removed, I chose my spot at GPS 40.84657,-74.25029, 100 yards northeast of Water Tank.

AREA 1 ...... drive up with 60 yards RT.
From Area 2 we returned to corner of Mountain/Bloomfiled turned left (east) .19 miles to a left on White Rocks Road, .37 miles north to the crest-of-road where we parked. The HP summit is on the right with a Water Tank at 30 yards.
I walked the perimeter of the fenced-in Tank and chose my spot at 7 yards to the east GPS 40.84027,-74.25629.
Just east of this summit is a huge building presently under construction. The large Water Tank on Area 2 dominates the skyline to the east.

AREA 3 ..... drive up with 100 yards RT.
From Area 1 we returned to the corner of White Rocks/Bloomfield and turned left (east), .16 miles right on Fells Road (opposite Verona Fire Station), .47 miles left on Fellswood, at the top of the road we stayed left and parked at the crest-of-road. On the right is an overgrown entrance to an old road with a "No Trespassing" sign, which climbs to the summit at 50 yards with 2 Water Tanks.
No natural ground here, we picked a spot between the Tanks, GPS 40.83095,-74.26270.
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FIRST WATCHUNG MOUNTAIN-CLARIDGE HOUSE.

AREA 1
From Second Watchung Mountain above we found our way to the corner of Bloomfield/Pompton(Hwy23) and drove north on 23 for .6 miles to a right on Claridge Drive, signed "Claridge Private Residences", then .2 miles to the taller main building on the left.
This is a ritzy area with security, so permission to walk around is required. We parked illegally and in no time concierge was at our car. The nice gentleman told us where to park with permission to walk the grounds.
I walked to the rear of the buildings at 2 rock outcrops with an old fence. Chose my HP at the one to the left GPS 40.83329,-74.22085.

AREA 2
From Area 1 we went back to the corner Claridge/Pompton and turned a left (south) on Pompton, .12 miles left on Cambridge Road, .19 miles left on Nassau, 100 yards left on Crestmont which climbs .25 miles to the summit area with a number of Medieval Styled Buildings, among them the Salvatorian Fathers Mission House and the Kips Castle which is now a park, owned by the County. Kips Castle was closed to the public on this day.
We walked the beautiful area, a number of people sitting/enjoying the day. We chose our natural HP at the rock outcrop rear/right of the Mission House, GPS 40.82964,-22330.
The view to the east of the NY City Skyline from this HP is simply outstanding. One of the ladies told us that the time to come here in on a clear evening, the lights are amazing.
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"ALTHOUGH I HAVE TRAVELED ALL THE ROADS,
CROSSED MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS FROM EAST TO WEST,
IF I HAVE NOT DISCOVERED THE FREEDOM TO BE MYSELF,
I HAVE ARRIVED NOWHERE." ....... first verse from the "El Camino's Pilgim's Prayer".

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:260 ft / 79 m
    Elevation Loss:260 ft / 79 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:210 ft / 64 m
    Extra Loss:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:walk to 3 areas in verona/caldwell
    Trailhead:mountain/white rocks/fellswood roads  500 ft / 152 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:210 ft / 64 m
    Extra Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Route:walk to 3 areas in verona/caldwell
    Trailhead:mountain/white rocks/fellswood roads  500 ft / 152 m



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