Rutan Hill in Sussex county is what remains of the only volcanic site in New Jersey.
The Beemerville volcano, reportedly active around 440 million years ago, has since collapsed, forming a caldera (a volcanic crater) on the mouth of the once-lava -spewing hill. The volcano is popular among geologists for being a rare site where one can observe a scarce type of igneous rock known as nepheline syenite.
The volcano’s long nap contributes to its appeal as popular residential real estate. Houses have popped up on the mount, right up to the summit. The peak of the volcano is private property and closed to the public however, the curious may experience this geologic artifact on the Lusscroft Farm Loop Hike.
Eight miles of strenuous trekking on the outskirts of the hill gives hikers a chance to get a full view of the extinct volcano while taking in scenic views of the distant High Lands and the Kittatinny valley. In these serene surroundings, an imaginative hiker can transport himself to a time when violent fiery explosions once filled the North Jersey atmosphere.