New Jersey

High Point
       7 ½’ quadrangle: Port Jervis South, NY-NJ-PA
       Sussex County
       Park or forrest?
       High Point State Park, Appalachian Trail
       Kittatiny Ridge

1, 803 ft (550 m)

Bedrock: Shawangunk Formation

Middle Silurian

Gray to red thin- to thick-bedded quartz and feldspathic sandstone (locally approaching an arkose), quartzite and conglomerate. Poorly to well sorted, commonly cross-bedded. Clasts are quartz, more rarely argillite or black chert. Layers dip west beneath the more erodible Devonian shales in the Delaware Valley. To the east, the Shawangunk rests unconformably on the Upper Ordovician High Point Member of the Martinsburg Formation: thick graywacke beds with dark gray shale. The Shawangunk Formation is part of the clastic delta of material eroded from mountains produced by the Taconian Orogeny.

Surficial Geology: Thin glacial till overlying bedrock. Views from the summit include Delaware Water Gap, where the Delaware River cuts through Kittatiny Ridge at nearly a right angle. The river approaches High Point from the northwest, but it turns southwest at Port Jervis and flows parallel to the bedrock ridges, defining the boundary between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At the Delaware Water Gap it turns southeast again, cutting across the strike of the rock layers. One hypothesis for the formation of such water gaps is that the drainage pattern had been established on a now-eroded plain high above the present surface, and as erosion progressed that pattern was superposed on the underlying bedrock ridges. Kittatiny Ridge continues northeast into New York state, where it becomes Shawangunk Ridge, a favorite area for rock climbers known as "The Gunks".

Soil Series: Oquaga soils: Extremely stony, less than ten inches thick, formed in glacial till and residual red sandstone.

Selected References:

  • Drake, A.A., Jr., 1991, The High Point Member of the Martinsburg Formation in Drake, A.A., Jr., Editor, Contributions to New Jersey Geology: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1952, p.B1-B9
  • Fletcher, Sylvester J., 1975, Soil Survey of Sussex County, New Jersey : U.S. Soil Conservation Service.
  • Witte, Ron W. and Don H. Monteverde, 2005, Geology of High POint State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey and Field Trip Guide, pub by NJ Geological Survey, 44p.

Other suggested sources of information:

*You are viewing pages printed from
These pages appear differently when viewed online.

If you are the owner of this site and you would like to print the page as it appears online, please refer to the file "QuickStart.html" for instructions.