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West Milford hiking club issues 17-peak challenge
Recreation - News Center

January 03, 2008 (rt23 news) - This fall, West Milford, New Jersey’s tallest and steepest mountains were spotlighted when local author Don Weise published "The West Milford Baker’s Dozen: A Hiker’s Guide to Climbing the Heart of the Highlands 13 Greatest Peaks". The book promotes ecotourism by challenging hikers throughout the region to climb each of the township’s most memorable peaks. Last October, West Milford’s own Gavin Taylor became the first to climb all 13 peaks, at the age of 13.

The challenge is the first of its kind to be directly linked to supporting local businesses. Upon completing two of the peaks, Jeremy Glicks Overlooks and Terrace Pond, hikers are required to visit the book’s two sponsors, Harvest Moon Natural Foods and DeMarco’s Pizzeria, in order to have their tally sheets stamped. West Milford’s surprisingly rugged terrain contains numerous reservoirs which supply more than three million people with clean drinking water. But without the ability to develop its lands, the township must offset its tax burden through sustainable tourism programs like the West Milford Baker’s Dozen.

Jim Cral, Nicole Macagna, Scott Sogazzi, David Rozene and Steve Emery atop trailless Jennings Mountain in West Milford, NJ December 22, 2008

With the start of winter, several individuals have vowed to take an even greater challenge: to climb the book’s 13 "official and four unofficial" peaks, a total of 17, all in wintertime. Considering the steepness of the terrain and the fact that two peaks are trailless, the new Winter 17 Challenge is a formidable task. Regarding the winter challenge Weise said, "You don’t have to climb all your peaks in one winter, you can take as much time as you need."

To help people meet the two challenges, the West Milford 13ers hiking club leads monthly hikes up the peaks, in all four seasons. The next hike meets on Sunday, January 20 at 9:30 a.m. and the cost is $8 per person. The terrain is steep and the pace is brisk. For more information about meeting locations and gear and fitness requirements, email

To purchase a copy of the West Milford Baker’s Dozen book, visit Harvest Moon Natural Foods in West Milford, Weis Ecology Center in Ringwood, Campmor on Route 17 in Bergen County or email the author directly.

Posted by: Staff at
January 03, 2008

West Milford hiking club issues 17-peak challenge

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