Some hikes balance a number of attributes, providing a razzle-dazzle of experiences. Then there is Schunemunk Mountain. After a grueling gain of 1,300 feet right at the outset, you will enjoy several miles atop a double ridge, with nothing but views to distract you. Views north to the Catskills, west to Kittatinny Ridge, east to the Hudson, and to the south, well, you get the idea: For views better than this, you would have to sprout wings. The autumn leaf peeping is heaven-sent, and for sensational highland scrambling from one puddingstone knob to another, this one is hard to top. Remember the fable about the grasshopper and the ant? Good, because the tiring, knee-buckling haul up the slope of Schunemunk Mountain is best approached with the steady pluck of a pismire, rather than the short-lived, “be happy” attention span of a leaf-eating locust. The 1,300-foot vertical gain at the outset of this hike is indeed draining, but once that is out of the way, you will have several miles of ridge tops to ramble along, with views that never stop and only a modest amount of additional exertion required. Scenery: Steep ascent leads to double ridge, separated by a brook and a swamp, yielding several 360-degree vistas on top of conglomerate bedrock, surrounded by dwarf growth of pitch pine and oak.