New Jersey – Bears & Stairs

by Funhog Family on August 22, 2011

Tuten's in New Jersey

Jodi has never seen a bear in the wild. In our planning for the 50 state challenge, we learned about High Point State Park in New Jersey, which is supposed to have one of the highest populations of black bear in the eastern United States. It was a no brainer to make that our New Jersey adventure and finally see a bear in the wild. It was music to our ears as we checked into the park under the countless warnings and rules about camping in “bear country.” The rangers made it sound like there were so many bears that you might even trip over one while walking to your car in the parking lot. The lady in line in front of me got scared by all the warnings and had to be reassured that she and her son would be safe enough to camp in the park. With high hopes we drove through the park and I am sure there were countless bears all peeking at us from under rocks and behind the trees, but not one would show itself. To help increase our chances we even went for a 6am early morning drive on the Park Ridge Road. We did see some wild turkey, but the infamous bear remained a recluse. It became the family joke that spotting bears is much like a snipe hunt, where the prey is fictitious.

The Veteran's Monument

We never did have the satisfaction of spotting a bear, but we did find a beautiful park with many fun hiking trails and a monument (just like the Washington Monument) that we were allowed to climb to the top of. Elijah almost climbed to the top of the 267 stairs, until he asked that I carry him the rest of the way. We also got directions to a beautiful waterfall, Buttermilk Falls (outside of the park, but in the same area). We had a great time playing in the water at the base and top of the falls. We were not thrilled with the extra three hours it took driving the backroads from the falls to our next destination (though all the scenery was stellar), but we enjoyed our time in New Jersey.

Climbing the Monument

Buttermilk Falls

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