Freak’s Peak


Freaks Peak is a local name for a section of Mills Reservation which has an incredibly picturesque view of Montclair and even NYC on a clear day. The cliffs have a sheer drop off of 100 feet to the bottom, making for quite a sense of vertigo. There are reports of something strange lurking in the woods and growling. Two issues with this: One, the reports are by teens who admit that this spot was a great “place to party” and who would frequently go there to drink and smoke dope. Second, there are similar reports at Rifle Camp Park & Garrett mountain which are just across Route 46. As a matter of fact the author of an article about Freaks Peaks reference a previous article which was in fact, about the abandoned quarry below Rifle Camp Park. I think these tales are probably all in some HS kids imagination, there is probably nothing freaky in these woods, more then likely someone’s dog who was running off leash (as about 70% of all dogs do in this park it seems).

However… this is still a fantastic place to visit. The trails are mostly flat, mostly wide, and make for easy hiking. Lots of people walk their dogs here, and there are 3 different geocaches here as well. It is incredibly large and is centrally located to several major highways making it easily accessible. The views from Freaks peak are quite good, though not as good as those at Garrett mountain, but it’s still worth a trip.


This is what is known to some as the sacrificial sundial, an incredibly laughable term, but I can see where it would get it’s name from. More then likely this is just a concrete foundation. But it is kinda creepy looking though…

4 responses to this post.

  1. factoid: the houses below the base of the sundial were harangued by local teens/young adults who’d drink on the platform, sometimes tossing beer bottles down into their yards. They installed motion sensor spotlights that would shine up the cliffs at anyone looking down at them. Cops raided the place regularly.


  2. Posted by NJUrbanForest on November 19, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Great post!

    Check out’s take on Mills Reservation!

    Plenty of pictures!


  3. Posted by mn on August 7, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    that was always called the bottle cap by everyone i new
    i was also there where the trash can is now broke


  4. Posted by Thomas on March 20, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    Thanks for this site. I hadn’t been to Freak’s Peak since I was a kid, and you reminded me about it. Not a bad linear hike there- the yellow Lenape trail leads all the way to Ridge Rd in Cedar Grove, and probably further, but I had to cut it short. I’m going to the Palisades next, thanks for all the info. I’m more interested in hiking than Weird NJ type stuff, but it’s always a good reason to hike if you’re gonna find something odd!


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