Garret Mountain Reservation
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|Garret Mountain Reservation|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
|Location||Woodland Park, New Jersey|
|Area||568 acres (2.3 km2)|
|Governing body||Passaic County, New Jersey|
Garret Mountain Reservation is 568 acre (2.3 km2) park located primarily in Woodland Park in southern Passaic County, New Jersey, United States and one of several National Natural Landmarks in New Jersey.
The reservation covers the northernmost part of the First Watchung Mountain and reaches over 500 feet (152 m) above sea level. Most of it is located within the Borough of Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson), although it also extends into the cities of Paterson and Clifton. Garret Mountain is easily accessible from both Interstate 80 and the Garden State Parkway (via Route 19) as well as the local roads.
Garret Mountain is Passaic County's major recreational area, providing the visitors with grass fields, several miles of walking/running trails, basketball courts, picnic areas, Barbour's Pond is state stocked with fish for anglers, as well as an Equestrian Center with horseback riding lessons.
Since the park is an oasis of woodland surrounded by urbanity, Garret Mountain is a stopover point for migrating song birds, including 35 species of warblers, numerous vireos, orioles, sparrows and thrushes. Birdwatchers from the tri-state areas flock to this hotspot for great views of over 150 species per year along the easily accessible trails.
Lambert Castle, located on the eastern slope of the First Watchung Mountain, just off Route 19, is a 19th-century castle which has been recently renovated and now hosts the Passaic County Museum (open to the public). The Morris Canal once passed two tenths of a mile east of the castle.
The Passaic County Parks Department operates the park while the Passaic County Sheriff is responsible for law enforcement in the reservation. For the past several decades, the reservation has been the site of hundreds of high school and college cross country meets in the fall, including the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) High School State Sectional Championships at the end of every October.
Although it has been called Garret Mountain for well over 200 years, according to Daniel Rodriguez we should call it Garret HILL. Reason being is this: In the United Kingdom geographers historically regarded mountains as hills greater than 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level, which formed the basis of the plot of the 1995 film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain. In contrast, hillwalkers have tended to regard mountains as peaks 2,000 feet (610 m) above sea level. The Oxford English Dictionary also suggests a limit of 2,000 feet (610 m) and Whittow states "Some authorities regard eminences above 600 m (2,000 ft) as mountains, those below being referred to as hills." This has led to Cavanal Hill in Poteau, Oklahoma, receive billing as the "World's Tallest Hill" due to its height of 1,999 feet (609 m). Usually a high mountain is made up of bare rock at the peak, while hills and lower mountains are generally covered with soil and vegetation.