Say "Pyramid Mountain" to folks in the know, and it's inevitable that Tripod Rock will come up. True to its name, this enormous boulder is perched on three much smaller rocks near the top of the mountain. Science tells us that the Wisconsin Glacier brought it to the mountain about 18,000 years ago, and that's just how it was left. It's possible that originally there was sand and other debris under the rock, and it eroded or blew away, leaving only the stones holding it up now.
Pyramid was still wearing healthy bits of snow from the inch or few that fell a few days earlier, so we ran into that and a bit of mud along our hike. That, however, was just one thing to consider when choosing where to put your feet on the trail.
Getting to Tripod, you get a full appreciation of just how much rock that glacier pulled in its path. After a leisurely walk on a fairly even dirt path, you run into a series of scrambles across and between stones of many sizes. I was beginning to regret having brought the binoculars, as I was having visions of them scraping against the rocks as the incline steepened. About two-thirds of the way up, you're finding footholds wherever you can, and perhaps even using nearby saplings as impromptu walking canes as your feet gain purchase on the next step up. In other words, it's a good workout. All told, you're about 800 feet above sea level by the time you get there, having parked the car at about 600.
The Rock is everything they say it
Once I'd had a chance to catch my breath and get some of the cosmic waves, we hiked further along the Blue trail to a huge rock formation called Lucy's Overlook, named for the woman who led the effort to save the mountain from developers. Save for the right-of-way for a 500kv electric transmission line and the towers that hold it, the landscape looked blissfully undeveloped. It's definitely a good place to sit a spell and contemplate life and the universe without interruption.
Farther along the path, there are remnants of a very old house foundation. Whoever built it made ample use of the local rocks, including a large but not enormous boulder. If you look closely enough in several areas of the park, you'll see old stone walls that may have been erected as long ago as the Dutch habitation of New Jersey. Soon enough, we were taking the stepping-stone path across a stream and walking in a clearing along the transmission right of way, gaining and losing elevation in the process.
Once back to the parking lot, we found the visitors center was open for visitation. It's a nice little place to get warm and find out about the flora, fauna and geology of the property, including the sandstone and quartz conglomerate or puddingstone unique to the area. "Gneiss rock," Ivan pointed out, gesturing to a sample stone the same color and texture as Tripod Rock.