Approximately a 3/4 mile portion of the Hasenclever Iron Trail is temporarily closed to the public in the area of Peter's Mine. From the Ringwood Manor side it is approximately 1.5 miles in and 4 miles in from Long Pond Ironworks. There is currently no reroute, please plan accordingly. For more information call the park office.
We started out in Parking lot A at the Botanical Garden because there was only one lifeguard at Shepard's Lake and they had closed the parking lot. It was a little difficult to see where the trails started, but finally we found a white trail (crossover trail) which hooked into a red trail (Ringwood Ramapo trail) to an orange trail (shepard lake loop). Our goal was to get in a swim that day, so we hiked to the lake and back. Okay first off, insect repellent is a must. They were intense. Positives: The scenic overlooks were pretty. The trails (they're not paths, they're real trails) are well maintained, well-marked, good amount of elevation, fairly strenuous workout. The Negatives: Skeet shooting range! UGH. It was always in earshot and it really put a damper on the afternoon. We also couldn't figure out how to get down to swim in the lake (until after we'd already breaked for lunch and were on our way home). Such a bummer. The route back was via a mountain bike path off the lake to the road. We had a strenuous day and didn't feel like much of a hike back. There's also a funky man made beach on the lake. The property is a lovely botanical garden. If not for the skeet range, I would definitely do more hikes around here. Right on the NY/NJ border, just south of the more heavily trafficked Harriman.
The trail head is a little difficult you find but once you're on it, it's yellow the whole time. It was clearly marked and the summit has a beautiful view of the Wanaque Reservoir. It was a little longer than listed also. My map my hike put it closer to 8 miles.
Great woods. Very rocky trails, so wear appropriate shoes. Not too difficult although we didn't have any maps, none at the trail heads at all. You have to keep an eye out for the trail markers or you can get off the trail. We accidentally went off trail, but found our way back quickly. This time of year (late winter) the trees and brushes are obviously bare, no leaves, no greenery, so the trails are harder to determine because everything looks more open. Still very beautiful and nice workout. We ran into quite a few streams and a lake. We had two dogs with us and they had a blast.
We had a team of four much mature men, I was the youngest at 54 and the next in age was 74 to 83, wow, these guys can hike the packs off, we had a great time, the scenic view was majestic and the hike down this ridge was somewhat challenging.
Beth M. on Ringwood State Park Cupsaw Brook Lo...
Hard is definitely a relative term, when I'm used to hiking in NH. Park in the 2nd parking lot; the trail head is the one nearest to the road. The bridge at the beginning of the trail is closed, so be careful crossing the stream, as the bigger rocks are not as stable as you would expect. This is the order of the markers I followed: red&white, yellow, blue, blue/red&white, and finally red&white. If you're looking for a place to practice with packs before a longer/more intense hike, this would be a good spot. If you're looking for a challenging hike with rewarding views, look elsewhere.
I did some of these trails carrying my 30lb two year old in a back pack today. They were decent as I'm not a beginner but don't usually carry the baby. Definitely wear thick soled hiking shoes as you will come across rocky paths. The trails are marked well although there is no explanation as to where each leads. A map on the trail heads would be nice. Otherwise, my GPS served me well. Beautiful view of Ringwood lake. Will definitely do again sometime soon.
Dave P. on Shepherd Pond Trail
Remember bug spray!
Completed the Ringwood Ramapo Loop (Ringwood-Ramapo/Hoeferlin /Pierson Ridge Trails Loop from Skylands Manor). This is a complex series of trails all intertwined throughout Ringwood Start Park.
Our goal was to complete the 10'r named We had a difficult time locating the trail head and given the alternatives for parking once in Skylands Manor, I am not sure why the recommendation was made to park at Parking Lot A when B & C are much closer to the start. None the less, it was a great hike.
The Crossover Trail is actually an awesome Mtn Bike trail but the constant switchbacks, which make it interesting on a bike, grew tedious on foot.
We were on Ringwood-Ramapo Trail for quite a while and actually considered turning around because our return time was making available light a concern. This is also a Mtn Bike trail. We ultimate found the return leg, Hoeferlin Memorial Trail with little issue.. it was just a few hundred yards east of Ringwood-Ramapo Trail.
Hoeferlin Memorial Trail is a foot trail (though there was clear evidence of bicycle traffic having come through frequently. It was much more difficult to hike than the earlier sections.
The connection for Halifax Trail wasn't clearly marked and we missed it.. this cost us a few miles off track and we had to blaze to get back to a marked trail.
All in all, a great trail. Limited views. Well kept. We had some light rain and it was quite humid under the canopy of trees.
Ringwood Sate Park is located 20 minutes from my home. It offers every possible activity you can imagine including a shooting range. I love to mountain bike at Ringwood because of the vast network of trails. Check out a recent video I made which gives you a good look at the park. http://vimeo.com/24952135