High Mountain Park Preserve


View from the summit of High Mountain - Photo by Daniel Chazin


View High Mountain Preserve in a larger map

Park Overview:

High Mountain Park Preserve features a stunning view of New York City on a clear day. The basalt knob on the western descending section of the Yellow Trail yields a long view over a valley, a reservoir, and occasionally magnificent sunsets

Trail Uses:Hiking
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:11.5 miles
Park Acreage:1260 acres
Wayne, North
Buy Trail Map:Jersey Highlands: Central North Region Trails Map
Web Map:Trail map provided by Wayne Township
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Park Description:

High Mountain Park Preserve contains nearly 1,300 acres located in the Preakness Range, a northern continuation of the Second Watchung Ridge.  The Preserve includes High Mountain itself, which features excellent views of New York City. Much of the rest of the Range is occupied by William Paterson University, a golf course and private homes.

The Nature Conservancy, Wayne Township, and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection [Green Acres Program] cooperated in protecting this open space.

Trails Overview:

The park preserve has five trails ranging from 0.2 to 4.9 miles.  The Red Trail [red blaze; 2.0 miles] begins at a trailhead next to the hikers' parking lot [to the west of Parking Lot #6] at the top of College Road; it is also accessible from Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve where an 0.3-mile segment along Reservoir Road connects the two parks [curbside parking is available here].  Other trails branch off the Red Trail, including the Yellow Trail [yellow blaze; 4.9 miles] which features views from High Mountain.

A trail map can be viewed using the Web Map link above.  It has not been recently updated and the Red Trail extension into Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve [identified as Haledon Reservoir on the map] is not displayed.

  • After descending the west slope of High Mountain, the Yellow Trail intersects and crosses the Red Trail and continues to Reservoir Drive circle. It re-enters the park about 75 yards west along Reservoir Drive circle. The Yellow Trail then goes up and over another ridge past a wetlands and then up again to another ridge line moving south until a westerly turn as it descends. There is a basalt outcropping/knob on the west-side of the trail yielding a beautiful view of Point View Reservoir and the distant hills to the West before descending to the valley and passing some commercial buildings. Eventually the Yellow Trail continues to Indian Trail Drive and Dakota Trail in Franklin Lakes.
  • Just before the Yellow's terminus at Indian Trail Drive is a side connection to the very short Orange Trail to Buttermilk Falls at the Scioto Drive gate.

Click for a detailed description of a hike in the Preserve.

  • Take Hamburg Turnpike [County 502] to William Paterson University's Entrance #5, College Road, in Wayne, NJ.  The trailhead for the Red Trail is west of Parking Lot #6  at a new 13-space hikers' parking lot at the top of College Road [0.7 miles from either Hamburg Turnpike, or from Belmont Ave to W. Overlook Ave and through Entry Gate #6 and then turning right]
    • Driving directions to the campus, and campus map.  Follow the "Directions/Map" link.  The map may not show the hikers parking area west of Parking Lot #6, or changed road alignments.
    • Public transportation to the campus: NJ Transit bus 744 and 748 [use the link above for more information.]
  • From the north, the Red Trail may be accessed from two points along Reservoir Drive and Indian Trail Drive, both in Franklin Lakes.  It is also possible to park at Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve to access the Red Trail.  The Blue Trail can be accessed from Hamburg Turnpike: Turn north onto Valley Road and then right turn onto Point View Parkway and a quick right turn onto Chicopee Drive.  To locate the north trailhead of the Yellow Trail, enter "Indian Trail Drive and Dakota Trail, Franklin Lakes, NJ" into Google Maps.
Contact Information:Wayne Township Dept Parks and Recreation

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Blue trail

I just walked the loop part of Blue today for the first time in years.  Missed a few turns, got stuck in mud near far N.W turn, but good to see the marks as they should be.  Very little sign of use. I entered from Berdan Ave near Toys Are Us traffic light and walked in anti clockwise direction.  I didn't see the fork point coming from South West, but realized I had got on trail back to Valley Road and turned around and easily saw the left& right symbols on the same tree.  I recall that there was s sign sometime around 2004 or 2005 when I was a regular there.   Robert Fouchaux, Montclair,  formerly of North Haledon and 75 year veteran of High Mountain trails.

High Mountain

Some of the Blue trail sections in the Pancake Hollow area are in poor condition and are in the process of being refurbished and we caution hikers to be extra alert. A GPS may prove helpful.

Blue Trail in Pancake Hollow has been reblazed

The blue-blazed Pancake Hollow Trail has been reblazed and is now easily followed.