Pyramid Mountain Letterbox Series (5)
Pyramid Mountain Natural Historical Area
Planted 05/28/01, Updated 06/01/08 by Wingfoot
Montville, Morris County, New Jersey
Terrain: Moderate with a steep climb
Time: Approximately 2 1/2 hours
On 06/01/2008 this series was expanded with the addition of the Bear Rock letterbox (formerly known as the Bonus box "Unbearable"). In the two years that "Unbearable" was available it had only been found twice, so I decided to make it a traditional letterbox.
This series can be done in conjunction with the Turkey Mountain series and the Wedding Letterbox.
Please be discreet, as some areas of this park are heavily traveled.
Established after a lengthy grassroots effort to preserve the area from development, the Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area is over a thousand acres of open space rich in natural and historical resources.
The broad mountains, flat-topped ridges and narrow valleys of Pyramid Mountain are not only beautiful but also vital in feeding downstream reservoirs, supplying needed aquifers and supporting flora and fauna. The wide variety of natural habitats found within Pyramid Mountain include fields, forests, streams, swamps, and ponds, which support a number of plants considered uncommon to New Jersey as well as threatened and endangered plants and animals. Bears, snakes, foxes, and bobcats have all been seen in the park.
Historically, Pyramid Mountain is important for its lessons about the Lenape Indians, who flourished in this area, and the early European settlers, who came to the area to take advantage of its rich natural resources.
FROM INTERSTATE 287 NORTH
Interstate 287 North Bound, Exit 44 Main Street Boonton. Proceed to Boonton Avenue (County Road 511). Turn RIGHT. Proceed 3.3 miles on Boonton Avenue. Visitors Center on LEFT (Opposite Mars Court)
FROM ROUTE 23 NORTH BOUND
Take U-turn for right on Boonton Avenue (County Road 511S). Proceed 4.4 miles. Visitors Center on RIGHT. (Opposite Mars Court)
FROM ROUTE 23 SOUTH BOUND
Turn RIGHT on Boonton Avenue (County Road 511). Proceed 4.4 miles. Visitors Center on RIGHT. (Opposite Mars Court)
This hike takes you through the park and highlights some significant areas.
Diploma Letterbox (Placed 03/29/03)
Begin at the parking area across from Mars Court. If a map is available take one. Take and follow the blue trail to Pyramid Mt. You’ll shortly cross a bridge over a stream and then pass the beginning of the yellow trail staying on the blue trail. After passing the start of the white trail on the left of the trail a short ways up is the start of an unmapped trail off to the left of the trail. You may be able to make out the covered up red dots that this trail used to have. If you come to the new red trail, you've gone too far. Follow this unblazed trail about 25 yards to the end, there is an overlook and a boulder at the end of the trail. On the boulder you may notice the blazes have been painted over. From the boulder go 51 paces at 5 degrees. You will come to a rock mound. On the north face of the mound, near the ground and behind a rock is what you're searching for. Please be careful when finding this box. It’s very close to the trail (when first planted there were several more trees), be careful no one is watching. This box was planted to commemorate Wingfoot graduating from college!
Please hide box hidden from view after stamping in.
Bear Rock Letterbox (Was the “Unbearable” Bonus Box)
Go back and pick up the blue trail. Go along blue trail the way you didn't come for just a short ways. When the red trail starts take it. When you come to the white trail, go right. You will come to a gigantic boulder on the left of the path. This is Bear Rock. It is a glacial erratic. Take the blue trail heading north. Shortly you’ll hit a slight incline in the trail. Right before the trail begins to descend; there is a small blazed tree to the left of the trail. From that tree go 28 paces at 310 degree. You’ll come to a rock. Behind it, underneath a pile of rocks is what you seek. After stamping in please make sure to leave the box, hidden from view, in the same place as where you found it.
Pyramid Mountain Letterbox (Placed 05/28/01)
Continue along blue trail the way you didn't come. A ways down the trail you’ll come to a blue blazed tree filled with folks initials that were carved into the tree. From that tree turn around and go back down the trail until you see the next blue blazed tree (the last one you passed). From that tree go 17 paces at 290 degrees to the top of a downed tree. Under a pile of rocks, at the tree's stump, is what you are searching for. Please hide box hidden from view after stamping in.
Whale Head Rock Letterbox (Placed 05/28/01)
Now once again pick up the blue trail the way you didn’t come. You'll shortly come to the red/white trail on the right. Take the red/white trail. There is a steep rocky climb along the trail. Don't give up here, it's worth the climb. Once you reach the top continue along the trail. On the right you'll see the Whale Head Rock, a massive boulder. After passing the boulder continue along trail. Shortly you'll see a red/white blaze directing you to a left turn. From the tree with that blaze you'll be able to see a big split tree behind a rock at 130 degrees. Take 25 paces to that tree. From tree take 16 paces at 60 degrees. There will be a stump with a pile of rocks behind it; within the pile of rocks is what you're searching for.
Please hide box hidden from view after stamping in.
Tripod Rock Letterbox (Placed 03/29/03)
Now continue along red/white trail going the way you didn't come. You'll eventually pass another unnamed massive boulder on the right. Eventually you will come to a rock formation on the right of the trail; the trail will then begin to climb. Now it gets a little tricky. At the top you'll see two four foot tall rocks a few feet off the left side of the trail. If you look back, you'll see a blazed tree on the right of the trail. That tree is unblazed from your original approach. 90 degrees and four paces from the tree is the far four foot high rock, behind that rock, hidden behind two smaller rocks is what you seek. Hide box, hidden from view, after stamping in and continue along trail the way you didn't come.
When you come to the white trail take the south fork. Continue along white trail until you come to Tripod Rock. Tripod Rock, perched on a bluff, this megalith seems like a freak of nature, its 140-ton boulder resting precariously atop three small rock feet. Geologists believe a receding glacier created it some 18,000 years ago during the Ice Age. Some super naturalists suspect it was an Indian version of Stonehenge, used to pinpoint the summer solstice. (Reportedly some devotees gather each June 21 at sunset to burn candles and beat drums in tribute.) The planter of these boxes has not taken part in these ceremonies. After examining Tripod Rock continue along white trail. When you come to the blue trail, take the south fork. Eventually you'll come to the blue/white trail on your right. If you want to take a quick detour for an overlook take this trail to the end and you'll arrive at Lucy's overlook. Enjoy view and when done continue along blue trail. Blue trail meets up with yellow trail. Take the merged blue/yellow trail. When trail splits, take blue trail once again. When you come to the redirect blue trail signs, on the left of the trail there is an overlook. Enjoy the view. Continue down the hill on the blue trail back to parking lot.
Or if you brought the clues to the Wedding Letterbox…