Summary: Take the blue blazed McEvoy Trl from parking lot. The trail climbs to Ramapo Lk where it joins a paved park road as it skirts the lake then turns north. The trail leaves the road at a sharp bend. Stay on road for about 50 yards and take the white blazed Castle Point Trl and begin a short, steep climb. At the top are some interesting ruins and outstanding views. Continue on the trail along ridge. The trail then descends, crosses a stream and turns uphill where it joins another park road and ends at Skyline Drive. Cross Skyline and take red blazed Cannonball Trl. Then a quick right onto the yellow blazed Hoeferlin Trl. Follow trail until it reaches Skyline Dr again and catch the white blazed Todd Trl by the Camp Tamarack sign. The Todd turns west into the woods and eventually joins a gravel camp road for a short distance, then turns south and reaches another outstanding overlook. Continue on Todd, across Skyline again and back to McEvoy. Left on MacEvoy to car.
Trailhead: Route 287 to Skyline Drive exit. North onto Skyline Drive and parking is on left about 1/4 mile from 287. (Lat:41.03227 Lon:-74.25216)
Trail Guides for Ramapo Mt. St. Forest Castle Pt-Todd Loop:
New Jersey Walk Book
by NY/NJ Trail Conference (NY/NJ Trail Conference)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: NJ Division of Parks and Forestry 973-962-2242
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Brian Sniatkowski, who has posted 50 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Puma-Moose on 8/6/2011
Hiked this trail today. We started late and got a bit turned around. When hiking the Blue Trail go towards the lake. You will see it through the trees as you approach. While skirting the edge of the lake (lake will be on your left hand side) you will come to a fork in the road. Go right through the fork through two stone pillars that have an old chain laying on the ground. It looks like an entrance to a private driveway. You are still on the Blue Blazed Trail while walking up the hill. As the trail turns to the right it becomes the White Blazed Trail. Not long after you will see the White Blazed Trail-head for the Castle Point Trail on your left. Here is where you will climb a short steeper section of stones to go up to the castle ruins.
Reviewed by ChrisK on 9/19/2010
I have always loved this hike. Was turned on to it as a teen by friends and came back almost every year. I like to go to the ruins in the spring, because the owners of the house years ago planted lilacs and lilies of the valley which have gone wild and spread like crazy! We always called the tower Franklin's Tower (Grateful Dead) and brought baskets of flowers home with us :) Even out of shape, if you are with people who are not in a rush, you can pull off this hike, and the views are worth it!
Reviewed by JSang on 7/4/2010
First time on this hike and many wonderful surprises. Lots of happy folks near the lake fishing and enjoying the nice day. Wife and I trekked the steeps to the castle and what a view. No other hikers followed this route. I agree that after following the whte trail from the ruins to the road, we didn't find the red trail so we ended up following the road which took us back down to the start of the steeps to the castle. Fun time overall.
Reviewed by Nancy on 6/28/2009
Wonderful - some nice wildlife too (toads, butterflies, a deer, a lizard, a turtle, fish, a chipmunk). After the ruins, we followed the white trail and came to a clearing with 3 possible directions to go. We couldn't figure out how to follow this hike's directions from there (we went down a red trail and met up with the blue trail again).
Reviewed by Erik on 5/5/2009
Use to hike this all the time when i was a kid! There is a castle and some where around there is a big torrent on a cliff! SOO COOL! Probabbly one of the only places you can't see anything but trees in NJ
Reviewed by AJ on 4/26/2009
Great hike! The trails are well marked and the views were fantastic. Will definitely come back here in the fall, as I imagine the colors would be breathtaking. We took our time and it was exactly 3 hours.
Reviewed by Mike on 10/26/2008
Awesome views from Van Slyke Castle - particularly with the turkey vultures there riding the late morning updrafts.
Reviewed by ChrisB on 9/21/2008
Nice hike on what is probably the warmest day we'll see until next spring/summer. I've never been here before, but I liked the numerous elevation changes and general hiking area. One thing to note is that I wound up at a point by the lake where you could go left or right...go right to stay on McEvoy. Also, you follow the blue-blazed McEvoy once it leaves the lake. Follow it up a hill briefly and make a left onto Castle Point. I would hike this again.
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