Hike the Pyramid Mountain National Historic Area in Boonton
Impressive sites along the Pyramid Mountain hiking trail
Pyramid Mountain National Historic Area in Boonton, NJ is a must-do for all NJ families looking to explore the great outdoors. The park offers an educational visitors center, clearly marked trails of varying difficulties, views of Manhattan, and rock formations. Rock outcrops may not necessarily inspire awe and fascination, yet the ones at Pyramid Mountain will do just that.
The glacial erratic known as Tripod Rock, a 180-ton boulder perched atop three smaller boulders, proves to be the highlight of the park as visitors marvel at this rock that was deposited in this formation by glacial movements about 18,000 years ago. In addition to being a great resting and snacking spot, Tripod Rock serves as an Instagramer’s paradise as visitors capture the quintessential picture of them holding up this 180 ton boulder.
Pyramid Mountain hiking trails
At the first sign of spring, we put on our hiking shoes and headed to explore Pyramid Mountain. Excited for the start of the hiking season, we asked the ranger in the visitor’s center for advice on a hike that would cover various landscapes within the park. His suggestion proved perfect as we enjoyed a 5.5 mile loop that passed through forests and wetlands, and offered us the opportunity to witness various rock outcroppings. This hike captured much of the beauty of the park with flowing streams, wooden bridges, a rocky scramble, two scenic overviews, and of course the magnificent Tripod Rock.
We thoroughly enjoyed the beauty and tranquility of the park. In fact, the only time we actually passed anyone was near Tripod Rock itself. Most visitors take a shorter, roughly 1.5 mile trek to Tripod Rock and then retrace their steps. This hike even provides a view of Manhattan on a clear day from the highest point in the park on the way to Tripod Rock, as well as vistas of the surrounding valleys.
Look for cairns as you hike Pyramid Mountain
Throughout our many hikes in NJ, NY, and PA, we have grown accustomed to seeing human-made piles of stones, known as Cairns. These stacks of stones can vary in size, as hikers place a rock to indicate their passing through along the trail. In certain trails (like those in Acadia National Park in Maine), Cairns are even used to mark the route of a trail. We have found that in our local parks, small Cairns are often constructed at intersections of trails or near a viewpoint. We came across a few Cairns along our loop in Pyramid Mountain, which make for fun landmarks along the trail.
Now that spring is in the air, it is a perfect time to dust off those hiking shoes and enjoy the beauty of NJ and the surrounding states. The visitor’s center at Pyramid Mountain provides maps of the park, as well as information regarding the history and wildlife of the area. Pyramid Mountain contains a number of well-marked trails, and with only one short, steep, rocky section, is a park that families will enjoy hiking. And of course don’t forget to snap the perfect picture at Tripod Rock showing off your superhuman strength as you hold up a 180 ton boulder!
Want to hike more with your kids?
Check out these Jersey Family Fun blog posts about hiking.
- Hike the Stairway to Heaven Trail in Wawayanda State Park
- Hike NJ Hacklebarney State Park Hiking Trails with your Kids
- Hike Mount Tammany of the Kittatinny Mountains in NJ With your Kids
- Hike Up Anthony’s Nose in New York
- Hike the Ice Caves Trail at Sam’s Point Preserve
- Hunterdon County Hiking for Kids at the Hunterdon County Arboretum
- Hawk Rise Sanctuary ~ Linden’s Nature & Wildlife Trail
- Discovering a Kid’s Love for Nature in Blackwater National Wildlife Reserve
- Updated for 2019, Get Ready for the New Jersey National Trails Day Events