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The Appalachian Trail parking lot for High Point State Park seemed to come up faster than I remembered. I also didn't remember the lot being as large or paved. Plus reaching the AT was not as described in any of the hike directions. Turns out (I confirmed this with a park ranger who was checking the lot as I finished hiking) it was not my bad memory, they had, in fact moved the parking lot which changes how you reach the AT.

Heading north on Route 23, you turn left into the AT parking lot right after these stone pillars (the AT parking lot sign is circled in yellow). You would continue past this point to reach the park office.

So if you have been here before, the parking lot is before where it used to be. The park ranger said the old lot is closed off with a sign directing to the new lot.
To reach the AT you take the blue trail from the parking lot.

The red dot on white Iris trail comes in from the left and is briefly joined with the blue trail. At the end of the blue trail you reach the AT. Turn right on the AT for High Point Monument, left for Lake Rutherford.

I did the Lake Rutherford AT/Iris Trail loop so coming back to the parking lot on the Iris Trail, I did not notice any blue blazes going to the right so it was kind of tricky to find where to turn. Start watching for a trail to the right after crossing this bridge and a little farther down the trail there are blue blazes. If you head straight and to the left, you will end up back where you started at the AT.

So, for the trail that we hiked, the NY/NJ Trail Conference 6.4 mile version is here and the 9.1 mile NJ Hiking version we did is here.

The scenery was lovely but because of the fog in the morning, the pictures don't do it justice. Ran into a few hikers on the AT heading out from overnighting but on the Iris trail did not see another person and had Lake Rutherford all to myself. There were a lot of flooded parts on the Iris trail but nothing impassible. In fact it felt pretty good to wade through ankle deep water towards the end when it was really getting hot out.

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Comment by njHiking.com on April 8, 2010 at 8:36pm
Thanks for the updated info! I've added a notation to the two hikes on the site that use this lot.


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