High Point State Park
New Jersey - January 2, 2011
High Point State Park, at 1,800 feet, is the highest point in New Jersey. It is located on top of the Kittattiny Mountain which is a ridge off the much larger network of mountains, the Appalachian Mountain Range that runs diagonally on the eastern section of the United States, from Georgia in the south to Maine in the north, all told a total of 2,175 miles.

High Point State Park has all the makings of a major attraction -- landscaped parks, lakes, and picnic tables with barbecue grills on fixed stands were everywhere.

On the park grounds’ highest elevation is an Egyptian-shaped obelisk, 220 feet tall, completed in 1930 to honor war veterans. Around the monument’s base one gets an unobstructed view of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, the Catskill Mountains in New York, and the Delaware River that separates New York and Pennsylvania.

Sadly, though, the park seems in need of repair. The asphalt roads are cracking and can use some repaving. And the fact that although we’ve lived in the area for over a dozen years and yet we never felt compelled to visit seems to indicate that the locals aren’t interested enough to spread the good word about this magical place.

Whatever the case, High Point and its surroundings are far from being a desolate spot on the tourist’s map. In fact, it’s chock-full of attractions. Nearby are the towns of Milford, PA where the Grey Towers, a castle-looking French ch‚teau is located, and Port Jervis, NY. Both towns were voted as among the 10 coolest small towns in America by Budget Travel. The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway starts at Port Jervis and the Poconos, a top honeymoon destination with its many waterfalls -- Raymondskill Falls to name one -- starts at Milford.

If you want a quick getaway far from the usual high-caliber but often crowded attractions that are jam-packed with tourist buses and where a vacation doesn’t always feel like one, High Point State Park may be the place to go. Its quiet and spacious environs high up in the mountains not to mention the quaint easy feeling that the small towns below can offer might earn the reputation of being the vacation you can call your very own.

Click on a picture to enlarge.
High Point State Park. This lake is one of several as you approach the Monument. Vi took this picture.
I'm guessing the park isn't as popular as it could be is because itís in competition with other attractions. Samís Point in the Shawangunks, Woodstock in the Catskills, and Minnewaska State Preserve are among several that are more accessible to those coming from New York City.
The Egyptian-shaped obelisk, 220 feet tall, was completed in 1930 to honor war veterans. The Washington Memorial in Washington DC in comparison is 555 feet tall. Vi took this picture.
The Monument seen from the parking lot.
On a clear day, the Monument is visible for miles around, some areas up to more than 30 miles away. Vi took this picture.
The view all around the Monument's base is grand. Vi took this picture.
A corner base on the platform. Vi took this picture.
I notice the sky beginning to color as we were nearing the end of our photography...
...but didn't expect it to dazzle when it did.
Sunset at High Point State Park. The lakes are frozen this time of year -- a family was playing on the ice in the middle of one lake we passed -- but we can imagine people swimming, boating, and fishing in the summer.
I don’t think High Point State Park is very well known outside its locality. As such, although its ambitions may be grander, it has probably turned into more of an impromptu destination for local families whenever the weather is good.
Nearby Poconos is a top honeymoon destination. We didn't ask but this young couple could very well be honeymooners.
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