Sunday, May 18, 2014

Family Hike to Pyramid Mountain

Today's hike took us to Pyramid Mountain in Boonton Township in New Jersey. It's about an hour and 13 minute drive from Princeton. The weather was perfect for hiking, not too hot nor not too cold. We had our backpacks packed with lots of snacks, water, and some sandwiches for lunch. The trailhead is not difficult to find as you park at the Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area parking lot where there is a visitors center and trail access. Here's a map of trails. I highlighted the route we took in yellow. 
Pyramid Mountain Trail Map - 5 mile loop highlighted in yellow

You can also access a zoomable map here (our route isn't highlighted, but you get a better picture). What is nice, is there are lots of options on trails to take. You can make it as long or as shot as you want.

Our route started out by following the blue trail. We followed the blue marker (like the one you see on the tree below) until we got to yellow markers.
Pyramid Mountain blue trail

Pyramid Mountain Pyramid Mountain
Great thing about this trail is the markers are easy to find, so finding your way is pretty easy. It's always nice when the trail is well marked. I really enjoyed how this trail's terrain changed. At some points on the trail there are no rocks and boulders, then all of a sudden there are rocks and boulders. The boys really liked the rocks. Climbing and jumping from rock to rock was their favorite parts of the trail.
We came across the blue markers on our way to Lucy's Overlook.
Pyramid Mountain Lucy's Overlook sign
Pyramid Mountain Lucy's Overlook
We stopped for lunch at the overlook. It was a nice spot. It was great because we had it to ourselves. Well not exactly to ourselves as we had some big birds as company (4 of them). They looked sorta like hawks or could have even been vultures, anyhow they were in the trees in front of us and were pretty big. The view was nice. Although the power lines make the view a little disappointing but I guess I shouldn't complain, as people do need electricity. ;)

After a nice lunch, we headed towards Tripod rock where we followed the white markers. 
Tripod Rock or Three Pillar Rock
Tripod Rock or sometimes called Three Pillar rock is pretty neat! It's a huge boulder balanced on three smaller boulders. I think it's amazing that it hasn't moved. According to the map we got, it was deposited by the Wisconsin Glacier over 18,000 years ago.
After Tripod Rock, we continued following the white trail markers passing Big Cat Swamp.
Then we turned off to the left and followed the red and white stripes towards Whale Head Rock. Be careful as I almost missed the turnoff to follow the red and white stripes.
Here is a pic of me at Whale Head Rock with my 4.5 year old.
Whale Head Rock
After hanging out at the rock for a bit, we turned off to the left to follow the blue markers down and pass Bear Swamp and then hit Bear Rock.
Bear Rock Pyramid Mountain Trail
After Bear Rock, we followed the yellow markers towards the blue trail markers. 
Pyramid Mountain Trail
Then we followed blue to two scenic overlooks. The first one seemed to be the best viewpoint. It's pretty neat as you can see the NYC skyline. However once again the powerlines make it a bit disappointing as they obstruct the view of the city.
From here, we follow the blue markers back down to the visitors center. 
In all it was a great hike! Turned out to be about a 5 mile loop. Loved how the terrain varied and there were some pretty cool glacier rocks and scenic overlooks to see. The kids did great. Collin, our 3 year old is starting to walk a bit more rather than staying in the Deuter backpack my husband carries him in. He really likes the rock sections of the trail and calls it the "fun" part. While, Payton our 4.5 year old is just awesome. He had no troubles on the trail, just had to take water breaks, but other than that I'm a proud Mommy. I would definitely recommend this hike to others, especially those with kids. It is very doable and I'm sure the kids will enjoy it.

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