Hike 22: Turkey Mountain

I have a long list of potential hikes that I pick from each week when planning destinations for my 52 Hike Challenge. Turkey Mountain wasn’t actually on my list, but after looking back on the map it shares with Pyramid Mountain (hike 17) I decided to check it out for number 22.Turkey Mountain Hike TrackHike 22 stats:
Date: June 04, 2016
Weather: 85°F, overcast
Trail Route: Yellow, White, Yellow, Red, Green, Blue
Distance:  5.28 miles
Time: 2:30
Total Ascent: 1,138′
Highest Elevation: 863′
Highlights: Valhalla Falls, Stone Ruins, Lake Valhalla Overlook, 100 Steps
Trail Maps are available at the kiosk in the parking lot – or download one HEREDCIM119GOPROI parked near the Pyramid Mountain Visitors Center and crossed Boonton Avenue to the head of the yellow blazed trail. Within a few minutes I passed 2 of the 5 other hikers I would encounter along my journey. In less than a half mile I turned right onto the white blazed trail and followed it to the end where it met back up yellow.DCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPROThe woods were eerily quiet and I was on high alert for black bear which are common in this area – I didn’t see anything but squirrels, chipmunks, and a lone baby buck.  I followed the yellow trail across the power line cut where I briefly saw three other hikers – the last people I’d see until I got back to the parking lot. DCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPROAfter crossing the power lines, I stopped for a few minutes to check out the small waterfalls along the North Valhalla Brook.DCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPROSections of the trail around the Northeast perimeter of the park were a bit overgrown, but I never lost the well marked trail. I crossed the high point of Turkey Mountain, turned left onto the red trail, crossed the power lines again, then took the green trail passed some stone ruins and the Lake Valhalla Overlook.DCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPROI then followed the blue trail along the power line cut down the “100 Steps” section of the trail. I didn’t count the steps – but I’d say the figure was accurate.DCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPRODCIM119GOPROTurkey Mountain is definitely a cool spot that gets overshadowed by tripod rock and the other abnormalities across the street at Pyramid Mountain – both sides of Boynton Avenue are worth checking out though.