Sunday, November 6, 2011

Montague Quartz Mine

Sussex Co.,
New Jersey

Estimated Distance:
1.6 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy until mine which requires difficult, steep, but shot hike up
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for good views and if you are interested in mining
Points Of Interest: Beautiful views of High Point and Mine

Google Maps of Parking:

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One of my other interests is exploratory mining, in which I explore old mining locations. This was more like mineral collecting but involved a beautiful area in which I was able to also hike. I had joined the North Jersey Mineral Society for this event, and we went as a group. Afterwards I went to explore the surrounding mountain and hiked along the ridge for a short while and got some excellent photos.

This hike is literally only a few short feet from the NY/NJ state border near Port Jervis in Montague. Its right off I-84 and is easily found. We parked at the shopping center parking area (Shoprite), crossed the street, went along the side to cross the bridge by the brook, and then headed down the path along a crystal-clear brook. According to our guide, this path was the original Route 23 before it was rerouted. There is an old abandoned small bridge crossing the brook which at one time carried the narrow old Route 23 across. As the brook opened up to a swamp on our right, we saw the rock outcrop along the side of the mountain, where the Quartz crystals exist.

We climbed up the rocky hill, and did some collecting from the upper part. Once I collected several nice transparent colorless Quartz crystals, I continued up the extremely steep slope to the top of the narrow ridge, and went along the side of the ridge to look for photo spots. I then snaked down, and went back to the quarry to the group, and then we all headed back with our finds.

Map of the Route
Some of the route is repeated.

Beautiful Fall Colors From the top of the Quarry.
Overlooking High Point State Park Tower.
Facing east.

View from the Mountain Top.
Looking Straight at the High Point Tower.
High Point is the highest point in New Jersey.
Facing east.

Another view from the ridge top.
Facing northeast.

The tranquil stream just before it opens into the swamp.

Club Members at the Montague Quartz Quarry.


  1. As a local resident of montague nj for 30 years a.d as a kid growing up and now with an 8 year old of my own we frequent this site still to this day. Im concerned about the internet hype and the influx of people over the past 5 years or so. Id be a hypocrit to tell people that they cant go there but at the same time i believe that the mining on state property is not leagal and the property owners of this landlocked piece of stateland will not tolerate trespassing as i know them well. Ultimately as a resident i will bite off my nose to spite my face to keep this land free of wandering city people or so called rockhounds etc. and expose this situation to the park service and the property owners. Sorry. But go back and dig in your backyard.

    1. "I'd be a hypocrite to tell people they can't go there"

      "go back and dig in your own yard"

      Shake my head.

    2. I can understand your concerns, as someone who studies geology I also like to do a little bit of collecting while learning. Sounds like I need to check this place out sooner than later :p

  2. Ed, I totally agree with your concerns. The Internet is a great resource for providing information on everything and anything, and the this has brought both an advantage and disadvantage. The problem is the riff-raff that come and dirty up the place or may use heavy equipment that destroys the landscape. Occasional collectors picking through Quartz crystals in an already quarried location shouldn't be a problem to anyone. But when people come and trash a place, that's totally wrong and just a shame. Its those people that ultimately ruin it for everyone. I went to this locality on a club-sponsored trip - the club's president actually lives in Montague and as part of the club's rules obtains permission before entering any collecting localities. The group advocates group responsibility and does not tolerate bad behavior. I assure you that every person who went on this trip was well-behaved, used only light tools, and took out all trash with them. I was there and observed this. I think alot of the influx came from a book called "Rockhounding NJ and PA" which describes the locality to the general public. I know of another locality nearby in that book that now attracts a lot of riff-raff that didn't know about the locality previously. I do hope that localities like this stay open for the serious and responsible mineral collectors and scientists, and that those troublemakers don't ruin it for everyone.

  3. Was there for first time with wife and kids. I'm one of the ones who found out about it via that book. I agree with the sentiments about the riff-raff. My wife and I are amateur collectors, and hey, you have to start somewhere to become the collector you guys are. We respect the law, and the earth. Luckily, an experienced local father-son team was nice, and respectful enough to make us feel comfortable. I would gladly come back, but will research the laws first

  4. This Quartz site is now off limits !!! It is closed and is private and state property. I do not recommend visiting this site any longer for the State Rangers informed us after handing us heavy citations that the area will be patrolled daily starting on 3/21/2016 and that it has been private and state property land all along and that mining and removal of property and disturbance of landscape on this property is illegal and that we are trespassing on private property. So thanks to who ever complained or ruined this spot for others ! over five hundred dollars in fines, is also I feel a bit excessive for collecting rocks and Walking in the woods !!!!! I wont be back that is for sure !


    Well we visited this Quartz mine after reading about it on this blog and we received multiple citations from the NJ State Park Police.Apparently this property is on state land partially and well the mad we have been using to access the site is on private property. We were advised that this has been the case forever and starting 3/21/2016 Monday that there will now be daily patrols of both the parking area as well as the dig site. We asked if this was due to an injury or a complaint and the Ranger advised us that it had to do with both complaints from the land owner of trespassers as well as the amount of trash that has been left behind by others who did not respect the site further more the are is also part of state land and we were informed that removal of the quartz is in violation of park rules and that we would be cited for that as well. so all said and done we ended up with five hundred dollars in fines stemming from trespassing to disturbance and removal of park property and a parking citation to top it off for parking on private property. so we will not be back and it will be patrolled daily as per NJSPP and the High point State park Rangers and they will hand out citations as they said to " get the message across that this area is closed and off limits" so glad I could be made an example :( not happy ...... dig site visited 3/19/16

  6. The area is a state run nature preserve open to the public for all to enjoy. Do not listen to people like Steve Majetti. Enjoy responsibly.

  7. Please be advised that the area is State Park Service property and has been posted as closed to all use as of 10/117/18. It is illegal to dig up, deface, or remove any soil, rock, historic or fossil materials or artifacts on New Jersey State Park Service property without written permission of the Director of the Division of Parks and. Forestry or the Assistant Director of the Division for the State Park Service.
    Thank you,
    Rebecca Fitzgerald
    High Point State Park

  8. I have not been back to the site since this original post, when we did it as an official and organized trip as part of the North Jersey Mineralogical Society. I can understand why the staff of the park would choose to close this area to the public for mineral collecting if it's indeed being abused by non-responsible collectors. Though I certainly hope that the park administration will grant special permission to clubs like the North Jersey Mineralogical Society who collect responsibly and follow protocol and good behavior, should they make a request and get a permit.