We always ended up doing this section during bad weather or a dry spell with little water but it was a great view at top (sometimes!)
A tough hike after spending the night in Vernon, NJ.
Part of my thruhike. Remember this because it was July 4th and beer awaiting at the shelter.
After a week plus of steady rain, finally got a NJ hike in. Enjoyed the views from the top, as the fall colors were showing. Was very windy when I was there, but not too bad.
After Hiking 20 or so miles along the AT that day, summiting this mountain was a tiresome task. Slept out, under the stars on top of pinwheel vista, had a beautiful sunset.
From the journal:
The plus side of winter hiking is that you get plenty of sleep. We'd gone to sleep at about 8:30 and by 6 in the morning, we were up and well rested. The idea of oatmeal didn't appeal, so we headed out directly to do some warm-up miles. The trail quickly descended into the next valley and the sun came up. Frost crunched under our feet as we faced another gorgeously clear day.
Down in the valley we encountered the first surprise of the day; a relocation through Vernon Valley along an extensive boardwalk through beautiful marshland. This is the Pochuck Quagmire and is 3000' of boardwalk through cattail marsh and was built between 1995 and 2001 (see ATN, March-April 2000). The boardwalk meanders around always a couple feet above the surface with nicely spaced benches to rest upon. It was entirely deserted except for a group of perturbed Canada geese and perhaps a half dozen twittering bluebirds. In the middle of the boardwalk loomed the impressive suspension-type "Bridge to Nowhere" over a small creek. Then more boardwalking. A few more miles of field walking (including a railroad track crossing and a very active cow pasture) brought us to the end of valley walking.
Time to pay for all this easy terrain with some elevation gain! The imposing wall of Wawayanda Mountain blocked our path. After some impressive tallus piles near the base, we slabbed south and up finally reaching the rewarding Pinwheel Vista at the top. The valley we'd spent 24 hours traversing was laid out before us and in the distance we could see the greatly-diminished monument shining in the morning sun. Photos and refreshment were taken.
We resolved to kick it up a notch. Not only were we feeling good, rested, and able with easy trail and light packs, the siren call of pizza beconned toward a long-milage day. Wawayanda State Park was lovely and we strode purposely and at great speed through nice woods passing occasional day hikers, canines and a pair of horses. There was a small beaver pond (the southernmost such pond on the AT?) and a number of picturesque stream crossings. We were making great time and spirits were high.
Fun Hike. It really is an honest mountain no false summits or anything tricky and an awesome view.