High Point (New Jersey State Highpoint)

High Point State Park, New Jersey

Trip Date: Saturday, September 28th, 2019
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★☆☆(3/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.4 miles roundtrip
Time 30 minutes
Terrain A few hills
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible Yes

Highlights

Hike Walkthrough

My 14th state highpoint brought me to another interesting place, the northwest corner of New Jersey and the massive stone monument crowning the top of the creatively named High Point. At a whopping 1,803 feet above sea level, this highpoint is shorter than the highpoints in otherwise flat Midwestern states like Kansas and Nebraska. However, High Point has over 800 feet of topographic prominence, making it feel more like a highpoint than the flat spots in those states. Whether you care about highpoints or not, this is a fun day trip to escape civilization and enjoy some nature!

Before or after you visit the monument, I highly recommend stopping at the Lake Marcia Bathhouse for the picturesque view of the monument pictured below. There's also a beach there if it's warm enough to swim!

High Point Monument from across Lake Marcia

High Point Monument from across Lake Marcia

Most of the uphill is covered during the drive, and only a short walk from the parking lot to the monument separates you from the summit. I wouldn't really call this a hike, but this highpoint is still slightly harder to achieve than Iowa's.
The uphill approach to the highest point in New Jersey

The uphill approach to the highest point in New Jersey

Given New Jersey's reputation for being ugly and polluted, I was surprised when I saw the rolling hills and thick forest with a twinge of fall color. Though this highpoint was developed rather than left natural, you benefit from the 360-degree views of the largely undeveloped surroundings that would have otherwise been obscured by trees. The pictures below barely capture the beauty here, and I can only imagine how much better the scene would look on a sunny day or a few weeks later during peak fall colors.
The view from an overlook looking east

The view from an overlook looking east

A rocky outcropping and the view looking west towards the Delaware River

A rocky outcropping and the view looking west towards the Delaware River

The largest marker for any state highpoint, High Point Monument was completed in 1930 and honors veterans of all wars. For $1, you can climb the stairs to the top, 220 feet above the ground. All I can say is the trip is quite a workout, and I wouldn't recommend climbing on a hot, humid summer day -- there's no air conditioning. The stairs are rather narrow, making it slightly awkward when other people go by.
The dizzying spiral of stairs leading to the top of the monument

The dizzying spiral of stairs leading to the top of the monument

Once at the top, the room isn't particularly special -- just an old square platform with one small window on each side. The windows are cloudy from age, casting a haze on the slightly further views you get from this height, as pictured below. If you're afraid of heights like me, the descent will be a bit uncomfortable since you can see down so far (I was glad when it was over).
The view south towards Lake Marcia from the top of the monument

The view south towards Lake Marcia from the top of the monument

Visiting High Point is a worthwhile trip if you're in the area. While in the park, check out some of the other trails if you want a real hike, or spend the day picnicking or lounging at the beach on Lake Marcia. Let me know what you think in the comments section below and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram!

Important Information

Dogs are allowed on leash. The area around the monument is accessible, and designated parking is available up the hill near the monument. This is a kid friendly destination and people of all ages can enjoy the sights from the overlook; it is not recommended for children to climb the stairs to the top of the monument. You can visit the highpoint any time of the year, but note that the interior of the monument is closed between Columbus Day and Memorial Day weekend. In the winter, the road to the parking lot may be closed due to weather. Expect to see other people when you visit.

Directions

High Point State Park is about 2 hours from New York City. Use the Google Maps link below to navigate the web of highways in New Jersey required to reach this far northeast corner of the state.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Each vehicle must pay a park entrance fee from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. New Jersey residents pay $5 on weekdays or $10 on weekends; non-residents pay $10 on weekdays or $20 on weekends. No fee is necessary after Labor Day until the following Memorial Day weekend. Restrooms and water are available in the building near the parking lot.

External Links

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