High Point

New Jersey

High Point

New Jersey is not a state known for mountains but rather for freeways, Bruce Springsteen, beaches, and toxic waste, often in combination! This is quite unfair! The Garden State highpoint is picturesque and noble--though not anoxic--and the state is extremely proud of it. Located at the extreme northern corner of the state, High Point is not a mountain in its own right, rather the highest point in the long ridge of Kittatinny Mountain. The state has built a huge monument in the style of a classical obelisk on this point and made it a state park. The monument is comparatively huge given the height of the mountain itself and can be seen for dozens of miles in several directions.

Getting There

High Point State Park is the usual launching point for any assaults on New Jersey's mightiest peak. It is at the top of the Kittatinny Ridge on Route 23. The park headquarters are 2.7 miles north of the small town of Colesville, NJ, and 6.0 miles south of Port Jervis, NY. There is an A.T. trailhead a few hundred feet south of the park headquarters on the west side of the road. The Appalachian Trail (AT) runs past the trailhead and it is easy to follow it across the road and through a mile of forest toward the summit. After 3/4 of a mile, you will encounter a nice viewing platform. From here the summit tower should be obvious. Descend into a small swale near the paved road and continue straight where the AT bears right and down hill. From the junction it is a short steep climb up to the monument itself.

Recommended Route

Walk right up from the parking lot.

Red Tape

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, High Point State Park collects fees to drive up the park road when the tower is open (see overview above). The fee is $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends per vehicle for New Jersey residents, $10 / $20 for out-of-state visitors. There is no charge to walk-in visitors or cyclists. Fall is perhaps the best time to visit as access is free and the leaves can be spectacular.


Camping is allowed at High Point State Park. There are two A.T. trail shelters (three-wall lean-tos) within High Point State Park--High Point Shelter (1.7 miles 'north' of Route 23) and Rutherford Shelter (2.6 miles 'south' of Route 23 near a feature known as Dutch Shoe Rock). These shelters are meant for multi-day backpackers only, however, and will be crowded during thru-hiker season (July-August). There are other established camping areas within the park as well including the Sawmill Camping area on Sawmill Lake.

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