SOTA W2/NJ-006: Bald Hill

Google map with highlighted path to the summitThe path to the summit is less complicated than it looks. Drive along Mountain Road until you can’t drive any more, then follow the power lines. Mountain Road starts paved, but transitions to gravel and potholes after a while. I stopped driving when I saw some fairly large boulders in the road, and wasn’t sure of axle clearance. I backed off a bit, pulled the car off to the side, and walked the rest of the way.

After a while, Mountain Road leads to a wide dirt road. Again, just follow the power lines — they go only one place: to the antenna installation at the summit. After crossing the dirt road, the trail starts to wind more and climbs.

At one point, I came to a remnant of a stone house, with large firepit and a crucifix. I get the impression that this may be a local party spot. Just before reaching that site, the path turns to the right and climbs upward.

Abandoned site with remaining stone walls and stone campfire ring.

There are some other abandoned stone houses along the way as well as the rusting body of a car that ended up in an unlikely position in the woods.

Another abandoned house.

Finally, at the top, the path runs right to a commercial antenna installation. When I arrived, a few linemen were hoisting up parts of a new antenna. I said hello, but didn’t want to distract them, so I set up not far away in woods along the ridge. They had driven up in a pickup truck, and said it was a bouncy ride. I left after they did that afternoon and noted a few places where they had scraped rock on the way down.

Powerlines run towards the tall antenna with microwave dishes.
The commercial antenna at the summit

I would note that poison ivy is plentiful along the path and in the woods at the summit, so watch where you are walking.

With regard to the activation, I chucked the 20/40 end-fed in a tree and most of my contacts were on 40m. It was slow-going as a weekday activation, so special thanks to Bruce, W2SE, who tracked me down and also alerted Steve, WI2W who worked me on 20m. Bruce also emailed me a list of easily worked sites in the area, which was appreciated.

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