Stonetown Circular, what was meant to be easy turned out really hard

Stonetown Circular - NJ Travel Blog

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View from the highest mountain top

OK, after last week's intensive hike to Mount Greylock with a total ascend of 1022 meters (3353 ft) I thought that this week's hike should be an easy one. Not because of the fact that I was tired, it was also extremely hot and humid. So, no Massachusetts Highlands, no Catskill Mountains, no steep Hudson Valley Mountains, no, I decided to take it easy and hike in Northern New Jersey. On internet I had found a nice hike called the Stonetown Circular. The hike was classified as challenging, but hey, it cannot be as tough as a steep Catskill ascent.

How wrong could I be! This hike almost beat me. Although the biggest difference in altitude was only about 200 meters (656 ft) the 17-km (10-mile) hike crosses 4 major peaks and several smaller ones, bringing the total ascent of the trail to 926 meters (3044 ft)!! And that in the extreme humid and hot air.

The forest of peaks of this hike, adding up to a total ascent of 926 meters (3044 feet)
Sweating did not cool me down anymore, and I looked like I just had fallen into the water. Midway a huge (but fortunately only short) tropical rain shower started and made me even wetter.

This was too much, I lost co-ordination and tripped over almost every stone. I forced myself to walk really slowly, drank and rested a lot. Yet, it took me almost 6 hours to complete the whole hike. But I made it! I sat in the car with the airco on for at least 15 minutes before I dared to drive again. And I was still lucky, because, exactly 3 minutes after stepping into the car, a huge thunderstorm broke loose and lasted the whole rest of the evening.

I am going to hike this trail again in autumn of winter!

More pictures below!

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View from the highest mountain top
View from the highest mountain top
The forest of peaks of this hike, …
The forest of peaks of this hike,…
It was so hot that the grass and t…
It was so hot that the grass and …
It was so hot that the grass and t…
It was so hot that the grass and …
View on the Wanaque and Monksville…
View on the Wanaque and Monksvill…
A disturbing thing in the middle o…
A disturbing thing in the middle …
Tory Rocks, it is said some Britis…
Tory Rocks, it is said some Briti…
Tory Rocks, it is said some Britis…
Tory Rocks, it is said some Briti…
GPS Profile (rendered by GPSVisual…
GPS Profile (rendered by GPSVisua…
Stonetown Circular - NJ
photo by: mdalamers