As the days grow long and the spring sports schedules draw to a close, you may actually have some free family time on your hands. MyVeronaNJ.com is going to have some suggestions on how to fill it, beginning with today’s idea: Pyramid Mountain.
Despite the name, this outing takes place in Morris County, not Egypt. The Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area–to call it by its full name–is a step up from the hiking we find in Verona. Leave the flip-flops and casual footwear at home: You’ll need sturdy hiking shoes or sneakers to tackle most of the park. The trails to Tripod Rock, Lucy’s Overlook and the namesake Pyramid Mountain are steep (sometimes very steep), the terrain is rocky and the views are superb. We had a red hawk circling overhead for part of our hike on a recent visit, so close that we could almost count its feathers.
This is a great excursion for kids who are beginning to study geology. You can talk all you like about how the glaciers pushed through New Jersey during the last ice age, but when the kids see giant sedimentary rock formations split like so many loaves of sliced bread, they really get it. And watch how the sibling sniping stops when they are confronted with Tripod Rock, pictured above. Let them wonder a bit about how that big mass of stone could possibly have gotten on top of several smaller rocks without heavy construction equipment. Some folks say Tripod Rock was used by New Jersey’s Native Americans for summer solstice celebrations.
Pyramid Mountain is located in Kinnelon, an easy 20-minute trip up Route 23 from Verona. It usually has a full schedule of nature events, which you can check on here. Many of these programs are geared to really little kids, who might have a tough time on the trails otherwise, and they are not limited to Morris County residents. Some day, without the kids in tow, I may get back for the outdoor yoga class.
Photos courtesy Douglass Vorolieff, Morris County Parks