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 2 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by R H on 8/10/2008
ATT: parking for the trailhead is directly across from the boat marina it can be easy to pass by the entrance as it looks like a lot for the marina, but the parking is in the back up a small hill. Great hike!!! steep at first but the views are awesome, deffinitly pay off for the hard work on the way up. Suprise lake is nice and very seculded, its pretty easy to go off the trail and find your way back on, but pick up a map from Wawayanda State Park. The free one they give out doest have these trails so you have to buy a better map for $10 but its worth it b/c it covers a few state parks in that area
Reviewed by TS on 6/15/2008
I did this hike on Memorial Day. I picked up a trail map from the neigboring state park (Wawayanda) which was very helpful. I started on the State Line Trail (blue), then switched to the yellow for a stunning view!!!! I had to pull myself away. I ended up continuing on the yellow until it met up with the AT -white - (which btw was marked purple on the Wawayand trail map) back to the State Line Trail. The views are gorgeous, Surprise Lake is peaceful and calm, and the rhodenderon bushes, although not in bloom when I went, should be stunning too. A great workout, not to rigorous, but definitely not easy. I'd definitely do it again. Beware that things take longer than you think! Leave time so you don't get stuck in the dark.
Reviewed by Andy on 6.11.08 on 6/11/2008
Between this hike and terrace pond are easily at the top of my favorites in the Highlands section of NJ. The view from west pond is awesome. You can cut down the hike by going around west pond to the AT and then back to State Line Trail. Either way the rock scrambling makes it a great workout.
Reviewed by Chris on 6/1/2008
Just started hiking again at age 50 a few months ago and took this one today. It was a little more strenuous than I anticipated but was a gorgeous hike that offered a little of everything, views, water features, swamp, ridge walks. Highly reccommended!
Reviewed by Holly on 5/19/2008
I took the Bearfort Ridge Trail last week on a lovely spring afternoon, but I didn't leave myself enough time to enjoy each wonderful vista thoroughly. Had to do some serious hoofing to get out of the woods by dark. I live in the UGL neighborhood so I planned to just walk home via Ernest Walter and the AT. The puddingstone and pitch pines at the first peak are just gorgeous. Different shades of green everywhere you look. The breezy, isolated swamp with the broken rock ridge is about 2/3rds of the way from the Warwick Tpk. trailhead and was even more breaktaking than the views at the beginning and end.
Reviewed by Cindy on 5/5/2008
This great loop hike with fantastic views brings you through a tunnel of rhododendrons and they should be in bloom this Memorial Day weekend, a definite sight to see. My personal favorite!
Reviewed by Dave on 4/28/2008
I took this hike thirty years ago when I was ten. We took the whole day and enjoyed it thouroughly. However, we looked for Surprise Lake and did not find it-I'm sure that was the surprise. And my Dad, while lowering me off a rock accidentally dropped me into a rose bush. We still kid about both to this day. Someday, I'll get back there.
Reviewed by Ken on 3/25/2008
I haven't made this particular hike for over 35 years! I can still smell the scents of the amazing air! The views still capture my imagination. I will be hiking here this summer.
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