Summary: This has to be my favorite loop hike in NJ. The trail starts out as a steep climb to some of the best views around. You can see the Wyanokies, Greenwood Lake, Bearfort ridge N and S, as well as Sterling Forest. Once on the ridge you get to walk on top of sandstone/Quarts Conglomerate rock. The rocks have a red/Gray/white colors to them with pebbles. It is really neat to walk on because it is smooth and goes on for long distances. At times you dip down into narrow Valleys that have streams, swamps and hemlock forest. There is even a rare white Atlantic Cedar swamp and a northern Spruce bog. You also pass a beautiful secluded surprise lake. For those who are like me there are plenty of rock scrambles that involve the hands to get you up. Don’t worry they are easy ways around them.
These are the trails to take, Blue state line tr, left on orange quail tr, right on white bearfort Ridge tr, right on yellow Ernest Walter tr, left on orange quail, back to PA.
Trailhead: From town of Warwick take route 17A east to town of Greenwood Lake. Then follow signs for 210. Take rt 210 until you cross over NY/NJ state line. Parking is on right. Next to "Welcome to West Milford sign. (Lat:41.18574 Lon:-74.33132)
Trail Guides for Abram S Hewitt SF, Bearfort Ridge Loop, NJ:
North Jersey Trails map
by NY/NJ Trail Conference (NY/NJ trail conference)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Wawayanda State Park 973-853-4462
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Shawn Viggiano, who has posted 44 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Aditya Datey on 9/13/2010
Error: Reserved Word Found: update
Reviewed by Aditya Datey on 7/26/2010
Make note of T56 review below for parking lot clarification. Followed Greenwood Marina->Blue-> L on Yellow ->Surprise Lake ->White for 1 hour (about 2/3rds of the way to warwick end) and back. Great rock formations, changing terrain (bog, rocks, trees, and a glade through which I half expected Bilbo Baggins to walk out of..)
Reviewed by MTH on 7/14/2010
Hiked 7/14/10 Beautiful scenery, great work-out. Listen to forecast don't go on wet rainy day very slippery and makes hike much more challenging then it already is.
Reviewed by RobJ on 8/3/2009
Excellent hike. Came across rattlesnake(black) on a ridge of yellow trail heading south before you get to Surprise lake. I added the Prospect Rock/Grand View destination on the AT to my hike and it is well worth it...the views are spectacular. Only negative to this hike is the LOUD road noise you hear from route 511 at the southern end of the loop, where the orange trail meets the Bearfort trail. Good wilderness for being so close to the rat race.
Reviewed by T56 on 7/19/2009
I would like to clarify a few trail blaze issues. When reading reviews of the Bearfort Ridge Loop it is important to note from which parking area the reviewer is referring. From Greenwood Marina back parking lot, the State Line trail (Blue) climbs to intersect with the yellow (Y) trail - take the (Y) trail to the left. Once at Surprise lake, determine if you would like to complete the Bearfort Ridge loop in either a CW or CCW direction.If continuing from Surprise Lake in a COUNTER CLOCKWISE direction, follow the (Y) trail until it meets up with the WHITE (W)blazes of the Bearfort Ridge Trail. Stay on (W) until it turns back North near Warwick Parking area on the Orange Quail Trail - meeting up with (Y) at Surprise Lake. Follow Y back to B
Reviewed by jim on 7/19/2009
Favorite hike in nj... Geology, and views outsanding... Do it again in a heartbeat!
Reviewed by David on 7/11/2009
Second time I took this terrific hike. I had to come back on a sunny day when the WILD Rhododendrons were in bloom. Today I hit paydirt. I had never seen such a large forest of wild Rhodos before. This was so cool as the Rhodos form a tunel that you hike through. Unlike nursery Rhodos which bloom in May, these wild verieties bloom in July!
Reviewed by JJ on 11/10/2008
This hike has it all - scenic views, cool rock formations (including a few scrambles up and down those rocks), mountain streams, hidden lakes and wildlife. I hiked it on 11/10/08 north up the white (Glick) trail to the Yello loop trail to the white AT to the blue State Line trail and back home south on the yellow trail and the orange Quail trail. Be warned that we had plenty of rain before our hike and some of the Quail trail had turned into a gentle stream. To make matters worse, the trail is very poorly blazed in its northern section. Don't get lost, but this 7-mile hike took us about 5.5-6 hrs.
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