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Welcome!

Welcome to the High Point State Park blog - your source for information about nature and history programs in the Park. High Point is located in the northwestern corner of New Jersey in rural Sussex County.

Please call the Interpretive Center at 973.875.1471 if you have questions about park programs, or email us at highpointprograms@gmail.com.

For questions about hiking, camping, swimming, picnicking or other information, please call the park office at 973.875.4800 or go to the official website for High Point State Park and the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry.
Need directions? Click on the link above.

Monthly Calendar

To view the full program description in Google Calendar, click on the program title, then click on the "more details" link at the bottom of the expanded entry, and a new window will open with all the program information. You can also switch between "monthly, "weekly," and "agenda" views by clicking on the tabs in the upper right corner. To create a printer-friendly calendar, click on the icon to the left of the tabs. To advance through the months click on the forward/backward arrows at the top left of the calendar.

Weekend Programs Fall 2014

An Artful Study of Leaves

September 28, 2014 from 1:30 AM to 3:00 AM

For families with children ages 4 to 10 years old. Fees: $3 per person or $5 per family. Registration is required. Please call 973-875-4800. Fees must be paid before the program begins at the Park Office. Calling all budding artists! Join us for an afternoon class in the study of leaves. We will take a short nature walk to observe the colorful palette of trees at High Point and to collect leaves for closer study. Once back at the Interpretive Center, we will identify our leaves, examine them with an artist’s eye, and use them for inspiration as we create autumn masterpieces. Participants will take home a finished artful study of their favorite leaf.

Fall Foliage Bicycle Ride

October 4, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Come enjoy the beauty of fall at High Point with the Friends of High Point State Park! Bring your own bicycle (and helmet) for a lovely ride on the loop around Ridge Road and Saw Mill Road. A few short stops will be made along the way to point out things of interest. Bring your own lunch and we will picnic at Saw Mill Lake. On the return, we will walk or ride our bikes along the historical Ayers Trail. We will meet at the Winter Parking Lot at 11 am and should be back around 2 pm.  Call 973-702-0488 for registration and questions.

Autumn Park Scavenger Hunt

October 5, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

For all ages. Free. Team up with Family and Friends to search High Point State Park for natural and historic facts and artifacts. Suitable for all ages ‘ this scavenger hunt can be difficult or easy as you make it, and resourcefulness and creativity will count in this friendly competition. Meet at the Interpretive Center.

Nature from A to Z: Mountaintop Edition

October11, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Families with children ages five to ten. Free. After a quick review of the alphabet, we’ll explore the top of Kittatinny Mountain around the Monument searching for natural items that correspond to the letters of the alphabet. “A” is for acorn. What will we find for “Z”?

Yoga on the Mountain

October 17, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Come enjoy the view while relaxing your mind and body. No experience necessary, but you’ll want to bring a yoga mat.  Registration is recommended - call 973-702-0488. Sponsored by the Friends of High Point State Park.  Suggested Donation: $5.00. Proceeds support future Yoga on the Mountain Programs and other Friends of High Point programs and events.

Annual Open Hearth Cooking Day

October 25, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Step back in time and see how food was prepared before there were electric stoves and microwave ovens. You’ll see how food can be cooked on a wood fire and will get to taste the results. There will also be crafts for kids. Sponsored by the Friends of High Point State Park. All ages. Event is free of charge, but donations are appreciated. Proceeds support future Friends of High Point State Park programs and events.

High Point Highlights Hike

November 1, 2014 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM

For adults and teens. Fees: $3 per person or $5 per family. Registration is required. Please call 973-875-4800. This hike has a lot of variety. From the easiest of surfaces (pavement) to one of the most challenging (the rocky Appalachian Trail), from a level lakeside foot path to a steep climb up to the Monument and back down again. On this 2.5 to 3 mile loop you’ll explore the heart of High Point’s historic district and the distinctive habitats that make the Kittatinny Ridge unique. We’ll meet in the parking lot at the site of the former Kuser Mansion. (On left as you turn to go up to the Interpretive Center.) This is a fairly challenging hike. You’ll want sturdy shoes and may want to bring water.

Yoga on the Mountain

November 8, 2014 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Come enjoy the view while relaxing your mind and body. No experience necessary, but you’ll want to bring a yoga mat. Registration is recommended - call 973-702-0488. Sponsored by the Friends of High Point State Park.  Suggested Donation: $5.00. Proceeds support future Yoga on the Mountain Programs and other Friends of High Point programs and events.

Plant and Animal Protection

November 8, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

For Families with children ages five to ten years old. Fees: $3 per person or $5 per family. Registration is required. Please call 973-875-4800. Sometimes the best offense is a good defense! From prickles and spines to camouflage, both plants and animals have many ways of protecting themselves. We’ll explore plants and animals that are on the defensive through games and activities, and weather permitting, will take a short walk to see if we can find defenders in action.


Homeschool Hikes

For homeschoolers age ten and up. 
Pre-registration is required - call 973-875-4800. 
Fee: $3 per child (must be accompanied by an adult.)

These easy to moderate, naturalist-led hikes will range between one to three miles and are a great opportunity for older homeschoolers to get a little fresh air and exercise while socializing with their peers, and learning a bit about nature and history along the way.

AT Platform

September 18, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

We’ll travel  a little over a mile round-trip on this moderate hike to the observation platform on the Appalachian Trail. Along the way we’ll observe seasonal changes and will hope for a view of migrating raptors from atop the platform. Most of the walking will be easy, but there are some stretches with a rocky, uneven trail surface and short but moderate climbs.

Lake Rutherford

October 23, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

This week we’ll walk an easy three miles, round-trip, to beautiful Lake Rutherford. Along the way we’ll check out one of High Point’s former slate quarries, and an abandoned beaver habitat, and may search for a geocache along the way.

Mystery Destination

November 20, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

We’re waiting to see what the weather is like to decide where to go on this final hike of the fall season. Check back in early November – the mystery should be solved by then!

  • Fees must be paid before the program begins either by phone/credit card or in person at the Park Office. 
  • Younger siblings may accompany us IF they are physically capable of keeping up with the group, or are young enough to be carried. 
  • Some trails may be navigable by “all-terrain” strollers, but not all. Please ask when you register. 
  • There is no additional charge for carried siblings.

Iris Trail in Autumn

Homeschool Naturalists - Fall 2014







For six to ten year-olds in first through fifth grades with some ability to read and write. Fee: $5.00 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

These hands-on activities provide homeschoolers with opportunities to explore the natural world and interact with their peers. Suggestions for further study and resources will be provided.

Ready...Set...Migrate!

September 19, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

Every year many animals travel distances that few humans could manage without a plane ticket. We’ll learn about nature’s travelers and their trips through games and activities, and, weather permitting, will spend some time on an overlook watching for migrating birds of prey.

Seasonal Changes

October 17, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

Nature is never static, and fall is a fun time to observe the many seasonal changes taking place. This month we’ll exercise our senses and explore the sign-posts of the changing season.

Plant and Animal Protection

November 14, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

Sometimes the best offense is a good defense! From prickles and spines to camouflage, both plants and animals have many ways of protecting themselves. We’ll explore plants and animals that are on the defensive through games and activities, and weather permitting, will take a short walk to see if we can find defenders in action.

How do we register?

You may register by calling the Park Office at 973-875-4800 or stopping by the office in person. You must register at least 24 hours before a program is scheduled to begin.

How do we pay?

You may pay by credit card by calling the Park Office at 973-875-4800, or you may pay in-person via cash, credit card, or check, at the Park Office, located on Route 23, across from the main entrance to the Park. Payment must be received before you attend a program. Payments cannot be accepted at the Interpretive Center.

What if we can’t make it?

If the Park must cancel a program, we will issue a full refund. If you are unable to attend a program, no refunds will be given.

Where do we meet?

Most programs meet at the Interpretive Center. If there has been a change, we'll let you know when you register.

What should we wear?

Programs take place both inside and out, so dress for the weather, and keep in mind that it is often a bit cooler and windier at High Point. Play clothes are recommended, as kids often get a bit dirty during craft activities and outdoor play. For hiking, sturdy shoes and long pants are usually best. You may want to bring water on insect repellent.

What if it rains?

Usually programs will go on as scheduled, but may be adapted for less outdoor time (but still dress for the weather). If the weather is severe, we may attempt to reschedule a program. More specific information about this season’s programs will be available when you register.

Can I bring younger or older siblings along?

You may bring siblings, but keep in mind that older children are likely to be bored, and younger children must either be physically capable of accompanying us, or young enough to be carried. For some programs we may be on terrain that is navigable by an all-terrain style stroller, but not all. If you have questions, please ask for more information about specific programs when you register.



Fledgling Naturalists - Fall 2014


Home Sweet Tree
This fall we’ll explore trees and their roles as homes for wildlife, including bears, raccoons, and owls. Fledgling Naturalist programs are designed to encourage young children’s curiosity, engaging them hands-on in the natural world through outdoor activities, stories, games, and crafts.

For 2.5 to 5 year olds and an adult partner. 
Fees: $5.00 per adult/child pair. $3.00 for additional siblings age 2 to 5.

Thursdays from 1 to 2:30 PM
September 25, October 2, October 9, and October 16
or Fridays from 10:30 AM to 12 PM
September 26, October 3, October 10, and October 17

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do we register?
You may register by calling the Park Office at 973-875-4800 or stopping by the office in person. You must register at least 24 hours before a program is scheduled to begin.

How do we pay?
You may pay by credit card by calling the Park Office at 973-875-4800, or you may pay via cash, credit card, or check, in person at the Park Office, located on Route 23 across from the main entrance to the Park. Payment must be received before you attend a program. Payments cannot be accepted at the Interpretive Center.

What if we can’t make it?
If the Park must cancel a program, we will issue a full refund. If you are unable to attend a program, no refunds will be given.

Where do we meet?
Unless otherwise indicated, programs will meet in the Interpretive Center, located on the left, past the beach, but before the Cedar Swamp picnic area.

What should we wear?
Programs take place both inside and out, so dress for the weather, and keep in mind that it is often a bit cooler and windier at High Point. Play clothes are recommended, as kids often get a bit dirty during craft activities and outdoor play. For hiking, sturdy shoes and long pants are usually best. You may want to bring water on insect repellent.

What if it rains?
Usually programs will go on as scheduled, but may be adapted for less outdoor time (but still dress for the weather). If the weather is severe, we may attempt to reschedule a program. More specific information about this season’s programs will be available when you register.

Do I participate?
Yes! The Fledgling programs especially are designed for children to participate with an adult caregiver. For Homeschool Naturalists, an adult is required to be present, and your input and participation are always welcome.

Can I bring younger or older siblings along?
For Fledgling Naturalist programs, you are welcome to bring infant or toddler siblings, as long as you are still adequately able to participate with your preschooler. Please make other arrangements for older siblings. If you have questions, please ask for more information about specific programs when you register.

Fall Programs 2014

Planning for this fall's programs is underway and nearly complete.
In the next few days, a few more programs will be added to the Google Calendar (above) as well as more details about programs already listed. Stay tuned... (And we hope to see you this fall!)

Programs - July and August 2014

Life in the Lake
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

For all ages. Come borrow a net and discover the many critters that live below the surface of Sawmill Lake. Stop by any time between seven and eight, and stay as long as you like. If it's raining, there will be a nature-themed DVD shown in the Interpretive Center - stop by and get dry! Meet at High Point State Park - Sawmill Lake Boat Launch.

Lake Marcia Mini-Hike
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join the park Naturalist for a short (about one mile) walk alongside Lake Marcia. We’ll explore the early summer blooms and plants along the way, and talk about the rich history of the area. The walking around two-thirds of the lake is quite easy, the last portion of the loop involves a bit of rock scrambling, but you can easily return to the beach the we came if you prefer. Meet in the shade to the side of the beach concession building’s patio. There is no additional fee for this hike, but summer parking fees ($10.00 for NJ residents, and $20.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet at High Point State Park Beach.

Family Nature Program: Sand Art and Scavenger Hunts
Friday, July 11, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join us Friday mornings this summer for family-friendly nature activities. Make a day of it by bringing a picnic and spending the afternoon at the beach. Activities are most suitable for school-age children, but ages three and up are welcome! This week, come make a simple picture using sand and/or other natural materials and pick up a scavenger hunt and go on a search for natural facts and artifacts near the beach. There is no additional fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($5.00 for NJ residents, and $10.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet at High Point State Park Beach.

Sunset/Moonrise Hike
Saturday, July 12, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM

For adults and children ages 10 and up. Fees: $3 per adult and per child age twelve and up. $1 per child ages 6 through 11. Pre-registration is required by 4:00 PM the day of the hike. Please call 973-875-4800 or stop by the Park Office in person. Payment must be made at the Office before the hike begins. Come hike a 1-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail to an observation platform where we’ll watch the sun set in the west and the full moon rise in the eastern sky. This hike is moderately strenuous with some steep portions and a rocky, uneven trail surface. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are a must! We’ll return to our cars in moonlight via an easier route.

Sunset from the AT Platform

Insect Safari
Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

For families with children ages five to ten. There are some bugs that bother us, but others are beneficial, and almost all insects are interesting. Come learn a bit about bugs and then go on an insect hunt armed with nets and magnifiers to see what you can discover. There is no additional fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($10.00 for NJ residents, and $20.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet at the High Point State Park Interpretive Center.

Orange Bluet on a Huckleberry Leaf

Yoga on the Mountain
Friday, July 18, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Come enjoy the view and the sunset while relaxing your mind and body. No experience necessary, but you'll want to bring a yoga mat. Registration is recommended - call 973-702-0488. Sponsored by the Friends of High Point State Park. Suggested Donation: $5.00. Proceeds support future Yoga on the Mountain Program and other Friends of High Point programs and events. Meet at High Point State Park Interpretive Center.

Family Nature Program: Bubble Fest
Friday, July 18, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join us Friday mornings this summer for family-friendly nature activities. Make a day of it by bringing a picnic and spending the afternoon at the beach. Activities are most suitable for school-age children, but ages three and up are welcome! Come have some fun with bubbles, practice scientific inquiry, and learn a bit about the science of bubbles. This activity will be messy! You can rinse off in the lake, but do come prepared to get wet and bubble-y. Look for the bubbles in the shade near the beach. Please note: this activity will take place unless it is actively raining (more than a drizzle or a mist). Bubbles do better with high humidity, so a foggy day might actually be a good thing. However, the activity may be relocated to the Interpretive Center if the weather is foggy or drizzly. Ask at the toll booth on your way in. There is no additional fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($5.00 for NJ residents, and $10.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet at High Point State Park Beach.

Bubble Windows

Outdoor Concert: Ray Sikora Band
Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

The Friends of High Point State Park are sponsoring an outdoor concert on the beach. Bring your friends, a picnic, lawn chairs or a blanket. In case of rain, the concert may be held in the Interpretive Center. Suggested donation: $5/adult. Proceeds support future concerts and other Friends of High Point State Park programs and events.


Family Nature Program: Life in the Lake
Friday, July 25, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join us Friday mornings this summer for family-friendly nature activities. Make a day of it by bringing a picnic and spending the afternoon at the beach. Activities are most suitable for school-age children, but ages three and up are welcome! This week the Park Naturalist will have nets on hand to help you discover the critters that live in Lake Marcia. Learn about insect and amphibian life cycles, and see what creatures you can find! Please note: this activity will take place unless it is actively raining (more than a drizzle or a mist). There is no additional fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($5.00 for NJ residents, and $10.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet by the playground at the beach.

Tadpole!

Make a Simple Kite
Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

For Families with children age 5 and up. Fees: $3 per adult and per child age twelve and up. $1 per child ages 6 through 11. In order to ensure that enough materials are available, pre-registration and payment are required by 4:00 PM, Friday July 25th. Please call 973-875-4800 or stop by the Park Office in person. High Point is one of the windiest places in New Jersey! Come hear a story about the wind, and make a simple kite that really flies. Stay for the “Monument Talk and Scavenger Hunt” and try flying your new kite at the Monument as the sun sets. Meet at High Point State Park Interpretive Center.

Sunset Monument Talk and Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

For all ages. Explore the mountaintop on your own with a family-friendly scavenger hunt while the sun sets, and/or join the park naturalist for an informal talk about the history of the mountain while enjoying the view. Come early, make a kite, and give it a fly at the almost-always-windy highest point in New Jersey! Meet by the steps to the Monument plaza.

Sunset at the Monument

Family Nature Program: Nature's Palette
Friday, August 8, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join us Friday mornings this summer for family-friendly nature activities. Make a day of it by bringing a picnic and spending the afternoon at the beach. Activities are most suitable for school-age children, but ages three and up are welcome! Explore nature’s colors and textures and use them to make simple natural paintings and collages. Wear clothes that can get dirty (or swimsuits for easy rinsing). Please note: this activity will take place unless it is actively raining (more than a drizzle or a mist), but may meet at the Interpretive Center if the weather is damp. Ask at the toll booth when you enter if uncertain. There is no additional fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($5.00 for NJ residents, and $10.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet at the High Point State Park Beach.

Family Nature Program: Bubble Fest
Friday, August 15, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join us Friday mornings this summer for family-friendly nature activities. Make a day of it by bringing a picnic and spending the afternoon at the beach. Activities are most suitable for school-age children, but ages three and up are welcome! Come have some fun with bubbles, practice scientific inquiry, and learn a bit about the science of bubbles. This activity will be messy! You can rinse off in the lake, but do come prepared to get wet and bubble-y. Look for the bubbles in the shade near the beach. Please note: this activity will take place unless it is actively raining (more than a drizzle or a mist). Bubbles do better with high humidity, so a foggy day might actually be a good thing. However, the activity may be relocated to the Interpretive Center if the weather is foggy or drizzly. Ask at the toll booth on your way in. There is no additional fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($5.00 for NJ residents, and $10.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet at High Point State Park Beach.

Outdoor Concert: Emish (Celtic Rock)
Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

The Friends of High Point State Park are sponsoring an outdoor Celtic rock concert with the band, Emish. Bring your friends, a picnic,  lawn chairs or a blanket. In case of rain, the concert may be held in the Interpretive Center. All ages. Meet on the beach. Suggested donation: $5/adult. Proceeds support future concerts and other Friends of High Point State Park programs and events.

Tree I.D. Hike
Sunday, August 17, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

Come take a short walk (about 1.5 miles) along the Old Trail and learn the basics of tree identification along the way. Ever wondered about the difference between a beech and a birch? This is the walk for you. All ages are welcome, but the topic is most suitable for adults and children ages eight and up. There is no additional fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($10.00 for NJ residents, and $20.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet at the trailhead for the Old Trail.

Family Nature Program: Life in the Lake
Friday, August 22, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join us Friday mornings this summer for family-friendly nature activities. Make a day of it by bringing a picnic and spending the afternoon at the beach. Activities are most suitable for school-age children, but ages three and up are welcome! This week the Park Naturalist will have nets on hand to help you discover the critters that live in Lake Marcia. Learn about insect and amphibian life cycles, and see what creatures you can find! Please note: this activity will take place unless it is actively raining (more than a drizzle or a mist). There is no additional fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($5.00 for NJ residents, and $10.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet by the playground at the beach.

Night Insects: Things that Chirp, Flutter, and Flash
Saturday, August 23, 2014 from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Families w/children ages five and up. Late summer nights are filled with the sounds of insects. Come learn about katydids, crickets, moths, and others. Bring a flashlight and we'll go on an after-dark bug hunt. Meet at High Point State Park Interpretive Center.

Katydid at Night

Bubble Fest
Sunday, August 24, 2014 from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Come have some fun with bubbles, experiment, and learn a bit about the science of bubbles. This activity will be messy. Come dressed to get a bit wet and bubble-y (or bring swimsuit and go for a swim in the lake to rinse off). Please note: this activity will take place unless it is actively raining (more than a drizzle or a mist). Bubbles do better with high humidity, so a foggy day might actually be a good thing. There is no additional fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($10.00 for NJ residents, and $20.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect. Meet at High Point State Park Interpretive Center.


Family Nature Program: Insect Safari
Friday, August 29, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join us Friday mornings this summer for a family-friendly nature activity suitable for all ages. Make a day of it by bringing a picnic and spending the afternoon at the beach. There are some bugs that bother us, but others are beneficial, and almost all insects are interesting. Come learn a bit about bugs and go on an insect hunt armed with nets and magnifiers to see what you can discover. There is no addition fee for this program, but summer parking fees ($5.00 for NJ residents, an$10.00 for out-of-state visitors) will be in effect.

Make a Simple Kite
Saturday, August 30, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
For Families with children age 5 and up. Fees: $3 per adult and per child age twelve and up. $1 per child ages 6 through 11. In order to ensure that enough materials are available, pre-registration and payment are required by 4:00 PM, Friday August 29th. Please call 973-875-4800 or stop by the Park Office in person. High Point is one of the windiest places in New Jersey! Come hear a story about the wind, and make a simple kite that really flies. Stay for the “Monument Talk and Scavenger Hunt” and try flying your new kite at the Monument as the sun sets.

Sunset Monument Talk and Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, August 30, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
For all ages. Explore the mountaintop on your own with a family-friendly scavenger hunt while the sun sets, and/or join the park naturalist for an informal talk about the history of the mountain while enjoying the view. Come early, make a kite, and give it a fly at the almost-always-windy highest point in New Jersey! Meet at High Point State Park Monument.

Due to insufficient internet resources, this blog will be mostly off-line until our technology situation improves. The Google calendar above will remain up-to-date with our current planned activities and programs, and the links above for directions and group information are active. If you have any questions you may contact the Park Office at 973-875-4800. There is also a link to High Point's page on the Division of Parks and Forestry website to the left. We hope to return to providing more information, news, and natural history phenomena before the year is up.