Posts Tagged With: Morris County

A three-legged rock, a birds’ nest and a visit with Lucy: Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area

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Tripod Rock, a glacial erratic consisting of a giant boulder perched atop three smaller rocks, is one of the most popular natural features on Pyramid Mountain.

How has Tripod Rock not fallen over after all these years?

That was my first thought upon coming across said natural feature at the top of Pyramid Mountain. And if you’ve ever visited Tripod Rock, that has doubtless been one of your first thoughts as well.

That is exactly what it is: a giant boulder perched atop three smaller boulders, deposited there millennia ago by a moving glacier during the Ice Age. The technical term for it, as I understand, is a glacial erratic. And there it has stood, weathering the ravages of time, storms and probably more than one would-be-vandal.

I actually saw a couple of kids and parents who were gutsy enough to go crawling around in the space underneath the main boulder, all the better for taking selfies. I myself would be a bit squeamish about having that much tonnage of rock directly above me.

So, Erin, you may ask, tell me more about where I might find this mammoth Mesozoic monstrosity? Well, sit ye down, children, and I’ll tell you all about it – and some other cool features besides.

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Categories: Ecology, Hiking, History, Wildlife | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Sugaring Sap and Syrup in the Snowy Swamp: Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, Chatham, NJ

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The view from the wildlife observation deck off the orange trail at the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center.

I always figured that Vermont and Canada had pretty much cornered the market on maple syrup. Which is pretty much the case. But New Jersey has a maple sugaring season, too – granted, around here it’s much shorter than it is to the north.

I learned a few things about maple sugaring in late January, when I headed down to the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center in Chatham for a short group hike and a maple sugaring demo.

The center, near where Essex, Union and Morris counties come together, is part of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

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Categories: Ecology, Food and drinks, History, Walking, Wildlife | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Patriots’ Path: Morristown National Historic Park, Morris County, NJ

Blazes for the Patriots' Path.

Blazes for the Patriots’ Path.

What was it, exactly, that enabled the Continental Army to win the Revolutionary War?

Depends on whom you ask, I think. The historians and the primary school history books will probably say it was bravery, honor, intelligence – the usual stuff.

Personally, I think that America’s birth as a nation depended a lot on a good set of calf muscles. And if you’ve ever hiked along some of the trails in the Morristown National Historic Park in central New Jersey – the Continental Army’s stomping grounds in the late 1770s – I think you’d agree.

Some of the hiking trails there are a nice easy amble. But others – they’re a bit of a push to get up. So imagine, if you will, a soldier in 18th century uniform marching uphill with musket and powder horn.

And this was a thought that was crossing my mind once or twice when I went for a hike on the Patriots’ Path on one of my days off this summer.

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Categories: Hiking, History, Other | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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