High Point State Park
On Blueberry Hill
Story by Mary Jasch
I found my thrill walking the Monument Trail
in High Point State Park recently. The path along the forested mountain
top at the top of New Jersey at 1,800 feet offered me palettes of color
and texture that only the shallow-soil ridges of High Point can. Golden
vistas of New York, Pennsylvania and Sussex County await the woodland
explorer seeking gorgeous views and an enchanting walk.
Spectacular autumn view at High Point, New Jersey's Everest, looks
over the Delaware River. Photo by Donna Traylor.
I park at the Nature Center and enter the woods
on the red/green blazed trail straight ahead. As I stride blithely
along, my glances at the ground increase until I am studying the leaf
litter adorned with brightly-colored fungi, acorns, critters, critter
prints and other memorabilia of the forest. Mushrooms everywhere! A
splash of bright red emetic Russula caps with white stalks contrast
with brilliant green moss and tiny brown kiss-shaped mushrooms. The
canopy of chestnut and other oak species, pitch pine, red maple and
American beech stretches much of the 3.7 mile distance of the trail,
as does the "Pigskin Poison Puffballs" (Scleroderna sp). They're little
beige balls with dark brown warts, but cut them open and they look
like a chocolate truffle. Beware! They'll make you sick. Sulpher-yellow
clusters adorn a boulder near a chestnut oak with its chunks of bark
you can reach out and shake hands with.
I descend on a quarter-mile stone staircase sculpted
by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s. The Corp delineated
Monument Trail along the three-mile wide Kittatinny Ridge. Blueberries
and huckleberries surround me; I eat as I go. Soon the staircase sweeps
to the right, a grand gesture.
The forest is still. Where are the birds? I hear
the gurgle of a stream ahead and a call of one bird, a long questioning
trill. I wonder, who hears me?
As I hike through the berries, trails shoot off
to the side that lead to majestic views. The undergrowth is filled
with witch hazel shrubs with fuzzy leaves askew on their stems and
small green nuts on the branches. Skinny mountain maples with green
and white striped trunks and huge leaves decorate the edges. This is
about its southernmost range.
Bear tracks! Under the footbridge! What's that crackling sound
I hear? Photo: Mary Jasch
I begin the easy climb that seems to go the entire
trail. How can a loop be all uphill? I leave the Chestnut Oak Forest
and enter the Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak Forest that exists in only the highest
elevations. Scrub oaks abut the path, living in the thin soil, and
soon give way to blueberries that fade into the forest. There are bright
orange mushrooms with sesame seed-looking scales and orange ones with
dark stripes and some that look like chocolate hand grenades with spikes.
Lots of mushrooms; lots of moss. Now tiny little orange shrooms with
orange stems. The woods love red and orange in the fall. "Taste me" the
mushrooms seem to say, the bright thick red ones and the large perfect
creamy white ones.
The trail narrows and closes in, engulfing me
in the lives of other species. Maybe there're bears here. My companion
begins to make strange noises as a defense, but we soon emerge onto
exposed bedrock and grasses, feeling safe in the open. Grasses are
always in tough plant neighborhoods--I remember them along the roadways
in Labrador and on cliffs near the sea.
Habitats quickly change along the trail as I
enter a verdant garden of tall mountain laurel, and then again break
through the trees onto a slope of grass and moss-covered rock outcroppings,
scraped flat and scarred by glaciers. Port Jervis, New York in the
blue distance is unveiled.
I check out the rotting stumps and trunks of
dead trees. I see turkey tail mushrooms on a log. It has brown concentric
circles on the top and since the growing margin is white, I know it's
fresh. And it's a white-rotter--decomposes just about everything, till
there's not much to give back to the soil.
On the downhill, I suddenly feel alone, almost
lost, but soon the trail blazes reassure me. This is truly a wild path
in New Jersey. Quiet. Close. Palpitating. Yet it's a short enough loop
where you know you can't be lost. (The park naturalist has assured
me she walks it alone frequently and has never seen a bear.) I come
upon an unusual field of bracken fern, temporarily giving way to a
regenerating understory of young chestnut oak, red maple and tall blueberry.
I'm knee-deep in bracken fern now under a tight canopy, when not far
away, the flapping of great wings stirs the woods. After what seems
like a mile of uphill through familiar species, a peek through the
trees reveals a familiar view--the unmistakable farms and valleys of
Then what to my wondering eyes do appear, but
a grove of silver-boled trees! Illuminating! A closer look reveals
thick white lichens on the chunky trunks of chestnut oak. The forest
has a magical feel. Anything can happen. Is that a person I hear in
the woods? No, it's the high-pitched whirring of bugs.
Although I feel the essence of timelessness in
these woods, they are not older than a century. All but the highest
ridges were farmed for lumber, fuel wood, crops, pasture or succumbed
to fire or disease, favoring the growth of some species over others.
Soon the ridge narrows and the Delaware River
and Sussex County both come into view. The trail flattens and begins
a descent. Noises from monument restoration sails down the trail and
I know I'm out of the woods. A short walk along the road leads to the
red/green blaze marking the trail to the right through the woods and
its final flourish--the boulder field, another testimony to the great
ice sheets that once covered the land.
Monument Trail is the perfect walk for everyone.
It's got everything in the fall. Blazing color of a mixed hardwood
forest--yellow brilliance of American beech, the flame of red maple,
and the russet shades of oaks. Mushrooms spring galore on the forest
floor. Views to make you love New Jersey and an appreciation for mountains
surround you. Let the stillness and quiet of this blueberry-clad mountain
top forest on ancient rock fire your imagination!
High Point Lakes
Lake Marcia and Sawmill Lake are sister lakes
in High Point State Park. Sawmill Lake is geared to overnight use and
Lake Marcia's pleasures are offered by the day only.
Sawmill Lake has a wild look, manmade though
it is. Once an Atlantic white cedar swamp, the lake was created by
the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in the 1930s. The campsites, stone
and timber bathhouses, stone fireplaces, and wooden tent platforms
scattered throughout the site were erected by the CCC.
Take an easy walk around the lake on a narrow
footpath that winds through campsites, crosses grassy areas made for
sunbathing, limestone outcrops, tiny streamlets and pools of water
with wetland plants and critters. On the hillside, the broken and scattered
bedrock speaks glacier, and you can imagine it retreating, leaving
rock and rubble in its wake. As you cross a built footbridge, there
is a beaver dam to ponder. There are blackberry bushes, that in summer
held fruit so ripe you could smell it in the air.
If you want to spend the night outdoors with
a feeling of the wild, but like the comfort of other people nearby,
Sawmill Lake is a good place to be. From a campsite you can hike, bike,
fish and catch the fall show of colors. Or just lay back, close your
eyes, listen to the sound of the rustling leaves and feel the wind
on your face. But a word to the wise: call for a reservation, for all
50 campsites get booked every weekend in the fall when the nights are
perfectly chilly for campfires and the days flame with color. After
campsites close October 31, the lake remains open for fishing and walking.
There's great fishing here in the fall for native
perch, sunfish, pickerel and bass, and trout stocked by the Division
of Fish and Game, NJDEP. This 20-acre lake is the headwaters of the
Big Flat Brook, one of the state's major holdover trout streams.
Glacial lake Marcia floats below High Point Monument. Photo: Mary
At an elevation of 1,570 feet, the 20-acre Lake
Marcia rests on the crest of Kittatinny Mountain. It overflows into
the Red Brook, then travels northwest to feed the Millbrook. The lake
hosts activity during all seasons- swimming and sunbathing in summer,
ice-skating and skiing in winter swimming, and nature hikes in fall
and spring. For a fun walk around the lake, start at the beach house.
Walk to the left along Kuser Road that leads to the Monument and the
Atlantic white cedar swamp, one of the state's Natural Areas. The boulder-decorated
stone wall adjacent to the road was probably built in the late 1890's
with the High Point Inn, a summer resort. One can imagine wealthy vacationers
arriving by horse and carriage on this lane, and parasoled ladies playing
croquet by the lake. The romance of the lake includes its naming in
1855, after Marcia Smith, fiancee` of a state geologist.
Conglomerate talus slope is a fun part of the walk around the lake.
The footpath winds gently through native blueberry
bushes--pick a few if there's any left, sweetfern--crush a leaf to
sniff it's lavender-like scent (you'll know this knee-high shrub by
its long scalloped edges)--and mountain laurel. Pockets of pearly-everlasting
and sweet pepperbush with dried flower panicles dot the slopes--it
looks like a garden. There are a few planted areas with tables for
The walk is easy to the monument at the top of
the lake. It's gilt in beauty and a sense of wild, even in this tamed
place. I can feel its pull to a greater force than what I see.
Circling back, the trail traverses a talus slope
with great slabs of quartz-encrusted conglomerate and some glacial
erratics. Prepare to jump the rocks, or be light of foot and take your
time, or turn around. There is no trail here, just well worn flat spots
between the boulders.
Soon the trail eases with mounds of moss spilling
like water around the rocks and blueberry. As I approach the beach,
I feel like a shipwrecked sailor emerging from an ancient sea of fossilized
and glaciated rock.
In the fall, the spring-fed, 50-foot deep Lake
Marcia also invites fishermen with native species such as pickerel,
bass and sunfish.
High Point State Park was dedicated in 1923 as
the first State Park in New Jersey. With 14,218 acres of woodland
on Kittatinny Mountain, it includes the state's first Natural Area,
the Dryden Kuser Natural Area, the highest elevation cedar swamp
of its kind in the world. Lake Marcia, a 20-acre glacial lake has
a beach with lifeguards, bathhouse and food. In winter it's converted
to a cross-country ski center. High Point
Monument was built in
1930 and is dedicated to New Jersey's wartime heroes. The park
was designed so that all land to the south of Route 23 North has
overnight facilities, such as camping, and day activities are conducted
on the north side, such as swimming and day hikes. There are over
50 miles of trails, including Monument Trail. There are cabins
at Steenykill Lake and campsites at Sawmill Lake. There's fishing,
boating, skating, picnicking, hiking, skiing, hunting, and the
A drive for the weekend or day in the fall is
a must, when the glories of High Point are at their height. As
you near the top of Kittatinny Ridge on Route 23 North, the park
office is on the left. Stop in for maps of trails and roads and
good info from the staff before continuing into the park.
For information call the park office at: 973-875-4800
First time geocacher to an expert!
20 Jul 2015, 17:03
It's been awhile since My wife, kids and I went to high point, I'd say
about 5 years. I guess I can say it has changed, some for the good some for
the bad. We planned a trip up for a hike and swimming. Our last trip up I
was looking for a short hike, nothing to strenuous since it was extremely
hot. I remember talking to 2 rangers a young male and female that looked as
though they were having a blast ridding in a golf cart with a big smile on
their faces. I guess we looked lost since the young guy drove up next to
me, introduced themselves(wish I remembered their names) and asked if I
needed anything. I told them about our idea of taking a short hike and that
we were there to see the views that everyone spoke of. They named 5 or 6
trails, gave me multiple trail guides and details on each one. I decided to
take the monument trail, and asked how long it would be. The young man
stated that he normally tells everyone about 2 hours so they can plan
accordingly. He also asked if I knew anything about geocaching. I had no
idea what he was talking about, he said to google it when I got home, but
to add a little more adventure to my hike he will give me a clue. He said
to look for a tree that looked like a totem pole that was a mile or so
from my starting point. He said under that tree you will find an ammo box
with a log and some items. He said that if I took something I had to leave
something. Now I don't want to be mean, but I really thought this kid was
crazy. As he pointed me to the water and start of the trail, we all parted
ways. As We set out on our hike I couldn't help but laugh at the whole
treasure hunt. Sure enough they didn't lie, the views were amazing, they
knew exactly where the rough patches in the trail were, and best of all We
found our first geocache. I looked for the two rangers after my hike only
to find them standing at the front gate sweating and looking miserable.
Still I slowed down as I left just to wave, I was surprised when the guy
yelled, "did you find it?" He must have spoke to hundreds of people that
day, yet he remembered my family. I yelled back "we did!, and I would
google it when I got home." A wave and off We went. Like I said it's been a
few years since I've been to high point but I was really hoping to find
those two Rangers again. My family and I drove around the park looking at
every one of the staff, yet couldn't find them. We did the long climb to
the top of the monument (dirty, hot, not worth it) and was feeling like We
could go for a walk. I met a girl at the bottom and asked if she had any
suggestions. She gave me a trail guide and a map. I read through and asked
about the cedar swamp trail. She said she had no idea how that hike was and
that she really doesn't like hiking. (You work in a park) We got back in my
car and attempted to find the start of this trail, still hoping to find
those two Rangers that actually knew the area. To my frustration We
couldn't find them or anyone else or the trail. We gave up hope and headed
to the lake. The water was cold, crowded and we decided to just just
gohome. I guess things have changed, the views still are excellent but I
don't think Were going back. If the two Rangers read this, I would like to
thank you for introducing me and my family to geocaching, We have over 500
finds and it all started with you guys. My kids now 13 and 10 still have
the stickers you guys gave them. My family wishes you both the best!
19 Aug 2014, 16:29
I LOVE HIGH POINT I LIVE RIGHT ACRSS THE BORDER IN GREENVILLE I CD SEE THE
MONUMENT FRM MY KITCHN WINDOW..IM UP THR EVRY DAY IN THE SEASON I PARK BY
THE OFFICE ON RT 23.. WHN IT ENDS ON SEPT 1 U CD DRV RGHT IN..OH ENJOY THE
BEAR AT SAWMILL LAKE BHND THE PARKING AREA WHERE IT FACES THE LAKE SAW THE
GUY CHWN ON A TROUT LAST WEEK... E AN MY DAWG ANGEL HIKE EVRY DAY..CMN UP
JOIN US..LOL PEACE..HIGH POINT rocks...
04 Feb 2012, 20:38
We used to camp at Sawmll Lake ever year for two weeks or more. I was
camping there at three years of age in 1956 with my family. We would camp
on campsite #8 and we were normally up there for the 4th of July.At that
time there was a beach and later on in years they had a lifeguard there. I
learned how to swim and fish there. We used to swim across the lake to the
beach. Dad would drive the car around and bring our towels. At the bottom
of the dam on the left hand side there was a large rock, there were many
small shiners there, but the biggest bass I ever saw lived under that rock.
I never caught her.The blue trail was a yearly thing with buckets for
blueberries. I remember the old water pumps and carrying water to the
campsite. The year that the tree near campsite 15 parking space was struck
by lightning. The none flush bathrooms and the trusties that would clean
them. There were two bears in cages at the monument and a large lodge. I
never saw the lodge till after it was closed down and the copper roof was
ripped off, but my parents would go there and spend a night - to shower
while friend of there stayed with us kids. My grandfather used to dig a
hole near the rear of the platform on campsite 8 and line it with slip
wood. We would go down the hill to the ice house and that would be his ice
chest. Many a wonderful summer vacation was spent there. Campsite 8 was
changed to a two day rental and we moved to campsite 10 or 11. Still
remember conk out mountain and an old sweet shop in Port Jervis with the
best ice cream sodas.
03 May 2011, 12:13
i am lucky to live 10 minutes away from this beautiful place and i go there
almost every weekend in the summer time to swim and relax and just enjoy
J from Ohio
18 Apr 2011, 20:42
When I was a girl scout in the early 70's, we used to camp at High Point.
I have wondered if it would still be as beautiful as I remembered. Your
many comments suggest that it still is. Appreciate and protect the beauty
of New Jersey. J
12 Mar 2011, 14:29
I use to go to High Point all the time when I was a teenager. Now I live
in Kansas. I haven't been there in almost 40 years, but I always remember
it was a nice place to go and you always seemed like you were really in
some wilderness, especially when I grew up in New Brunswick, N.J. If I'm
ever in N.J. again, I will make it a point to go there again. When I was a
teenager, you never heard of bears being in the area. Now I hear they are
all over Northwest N.J.! High Point Rocks!
18 Feb 2011, 10:26
I am most lucky to live in the shadow of the monument. This is a gorgeous
area of our state; with so many different wild creatures and plants.\r\nI
wouldnt live anywhere else-its especially nice when the "fall tourists" go
back to their building/people/highway packed part of our state!\r\nNo Bear
01 Feb 2011, 18:43
Park did not close total rumor or mix up, highpoint country club did close,
the golf course was run in to the ground by a development company looking
to build on it and they went bankrupt.
03 Nov 2010, 12:48
I accidentally moved to NC. I miss my FAVORITE PLACE OF HIGH POINT STATE
PARK NEW JERSEY!!! Place to stay - Rolling Hills Motel is ok - central to
Ringwood Manor and Skylands Park as well as the NJ Botanical Gardens. It is
also close to High Point State Park. No, it is not closed! That was
Corzine's ploy a few years back. Also - don't miss out on Swartzwood Lake
(camping & fishing), Waywayanda (yes, that is its real name), Stokes State
Forest, and several great ski areas in the area. check out visitnj.org and
state.nj.us for more info. Except for property tax, I really miss the REAL
24 Sep 2010, 17:12
I just hiked monument Trail and part of the AT on Monday, September 20. I
hadn't been there in at least 40 years (or more) and it is as beautiful as
ever. I think this time of year is its most beautiful.
11 Aug 2010, 08:18
High Point is NOT closed, it never did close. There are so many rumors on
sites just like this one. Go to the official website: njparksandforests.org
if you want real information.
27 Jul 2010, 22:11
i just want to tell everyone how beatiful high point is.you should go there
in August. when all the leaves have turned .you dont see that in fla.what a
sight to see.
03 Jul 2010, 07:30
Went there once a year with family over summer vacation to hike up to the
tower and have picnic lunches. Need to come back to NJ to go again to
relive old memories and make new ones with my family.
18 Jul 2009, 06:30
The High Point Country Inn: http://www.highpointcountryinn.com\r\nor of
course you can camp
18 Jul 2009, 05:30
If I plan to visit, would anyone recommend a place to stay so that I can
better explore what hight point has to offer?
06 Jun 2009, 10:52
I have pictures of that old resort that was torn down in the 90s. I went
to Warren County Technical school and we took a class trip there to take
pictures and draw stuff. Anyway, I got up close to that old building and,
being a teen, thought that place looked haunted or something. I do have a
couple great pictures of it.
03 Jun 2009, 14:36
i love love love high point
01 May 2009, 20:54
I have been looking for a good place to just lay and look at the stars but
most places I have found close before stars are even in sight. I was
wondering what time you close and what procedures we would have to follow
once we got there.
25 Feb 2009, 05:56
Erica Bier: I believe that the park closing chat you are referencing was
centered around the budget issues during the summer of 2008. If you visit
the wikipedia page for High Point.. or better yet the NJ High Point State
Park page, you'll see that (as of right now) High Pint is "open". - Jeff
17 Jan 2009, 13:50
They can not just close the state park. As many have said below me, it's
been a tradition of my family's to go each year as the leaves change
colors.\r\nDoes anybody know if anything has happened so far? I wanted to
go up for photography sometime soon.\r\nWe can't just let this park close!!
02 Nov 2008, 18:51
WOW, are you people serious? saying you hope its not gonna close? HELL NO
THERE NOT GONNA CLOSE A PUBLIC STATE PARK!!! Really cmon be serious, and
how did it come up saying its closing?
01 Oct 2008, 14:45
More than likely our crooked NJ politians are probably selling out our
park, with it's acres of woodland to some developers for some big time
profit$ to line their pockets.
03 Sep 2008, 19:03
Bon,take the blue dot trail just past campsite # 7. Its very rocky with
some steep inclines. Takes about 20 minutes to a half hour to get to the
top, depending on the shape your in. My family and I hiked it this weekend
and you owe it to yourself to go back, You wont be disapointed.
07 Aug 2008, 15:49
NO - WAY SHOULD THIS PARK EVER BE CLOSED.THIS IS A PARK THAT IS LOVED BY
GENERATIONS AFTER GENERATIONS.I,VE GONE HERE EVERY YEAR SENCE I WAS
BORN.OUR FAMILIES ENJOYED THE BEACH AND ALL THE TRAILS AND MONUMENT.ALONG
WITH THE SURROUNDINGS OF NATURE.NOW I HAVE GRANDCHILDREN AND PLAN ON
SHARING THE PARK EXPERIENCE WITH THEM.I'M SURE WITH THE FEE (WHICH I HAD
NEVER HEARD ANY ONE COMPLAIN)IS ENOUGH TO COVER A LOT OF THE EXPENSE TO
KEEP IT OPEN.MYBE SOME DUG IN THE FUNDS?????CATCH THEM IF THEY DID..WASN'T
THIS PARK MAINTAINED BY A GROUP OF PEOPLE (on good behavior) THAT WERE ON A
WORK PROGRAM????\r\n\r\nTHIS PARK WAS A DONATED TO THE THE PUBLIC TO ENJOY
03 Aug 2008, 18:45
Attention Everyone, I Need to know, really is High Point Really Closed????
\r\n\r\n Thank You\r\n
31 Jul 2008, 20:40
If this park closes, I don't know what to say. It's a tragedy. We've lost
billions of dollars in Iraq that is missing, unaccounted for and apparently
not important to the Bush administration while we allegedly don't have
enough money here in NJ to preserve some of the most beautiful treasures
our state has to offer? Imagine what could be done with a little boost from
federal assistance to the state, we'd actually see something worthwhile for
our tax dollars.
14 Jul 2008, 10:42
Ive never been to High Point State Park. I just recently found out about
it. It would be a real shame if it closed. How can nature be taken away
from us it belongs to us. That just ridiculous.
13 Jul 2008, 18:28
WELL , NOW THAT IT'S CLOSED I CAN RIDE THERE OM MY A T V .
08 Jul 2008, 05:24
as long as i can remember my family would join the american legions from
all over in june for there services they held at the top of the momument
for those who fought for our country, and here it takes one man (that pays
someone to drive him around, money that could go towards our parks to drive
himself first cut back)so our children can see the beauty of our land.with
the gas prices constantly rises this might be someones only vacation why
take it away?
01 Jul 2008, 08:40
I used to camp at Sawmill and take a hike that started behind a campsite,
went up rocky incline, as I recall, to mountaintop overlooking Sawmill
Pond. Is the trail still well marked? Which campsite does it start at?
How long? Thanks for any info, It's been about 20 years and on a recent
ride through Saw Mill campground doesn't seem to get the use it once did.
Used to have a nice swim beach. Last time I was there the bears were very
27 Jun 2008, 05:15
High Point is open, they lake is open, 5.00 to get in during the week,
10.00 on weekends. The concession stand is closed at the beach but the
bathrooms are open
Lois e Stickler
25 Jun 2008, 12:25
Is High Point closed???? We were hoping to go camping there again! Can you
advise please?\r\n\r\nCan we at least hike there? I'm
15 Jun 2008, 07:37
It would be such a disgrace if High Point were to be closed. More than 3
generations of my family have been going to High Point as long as they can
remember. This land was given to the state as a gift now you want to take
it away. Talk about UNGRATEFUL!! If you take away a place like this think
about where your children will end up. We all need nature and its
education. Please keep the park open :)
04 Jun 2008, 20:49
Corzine sucks. This is what we all think of the idiot NJ governor who is
going to let them close our trails.
21 May 2008, 12:52
Question, how can we reserve a picnic table in the park? My family would
like to meet for a picnic mid-june. Can we barbecue and is there a fee?
19 May 2008, 11:26
IM FROM HIGH POINT NEWJERSEY AND IT IS BEAUTIFULL
19 May 2008, 11:25
IM FROM HIGH POINT NEWJERSEY AND IT IS BEAUTIFULL
15 May 2008, 11:32
I have to say that my family is very sad that High Point is slated to
close. From the time our daughter was an infant, we have enjoyed hiking
there and have taken part in the educational hikes offered. It\r\nwill
truly be a shame if this beautiful park is closed down; so many of us will
miss the honor of being able to enjoy all that nature has in store at this
gorgeous place. I know that we will miss it and I am sure we do not stand
13 May 2008, 03:35
Why the heck would they "close" high point park? \r\n\r\nBesides that, how
can you close the woods? \r\n\r\n
13 May 2008, 03:35
Why the heck would they "close" high point park? \r\n\r\nBesides that, how
can you close the woods? \r\n\r\n
27 Apr 2008, 16:19
I love this park because of its scenery, and its look out where u can see
all over the state of new jersey and pen
10 Apr 2008, 19:40
AS you probably know the park is slated for closure. Some believe it is
only a political tactic by gov. corzine. If so the park could remain open
for 2009. What you may not know is that the Stokes forest minimum security
units sends two inmate details to the park to assist in maintaining the
beauty of the park. We paint buildings, repair tables cut the grass, clean
the bathrooms and yes we maintain the hiking trails. In the past four years
we have cleared and widend six of the hiking trails including the monument
trail. If you enjoy the park for its beauty and scenery please contact your
state assembly and urge them to reconsider the closing of the park and the
closing of the minimum security prison which all of the county's state
parks rely on for assistance.