Lake Sonoma and Overlook Rock Trail is a 9.3 mile loop trail located near Hewitt, NJ that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Great views, lake, seasonal waterfalls, varied terrain Take the orange blazed Lake Sonoma Trl west along ridge, then down steep slope and past Lake Sonoma. It then climbs to Overlook Rock. Just before reaching Overlook Rock the white blazed Overlook Rock Trail joins from the right. After enjoying view, continue south on Overlook Rock Trl and follow to end. Make right onto blue blazed Hewitt Butler Trail and go NW then N on a woods road. After crossing under the power lines the trail goes back into the woods for 3/4 mile. Shortly after reaching another woods road the Overlook Rock Trail joins on right. Turn onto it and follow under power lines again and onto another woods road. Stay on trail past another rocky overlook. Continue downhill, then turn right and follow a woods road, shortly after crossing a seasonal stream the trail crosses a well defined and eroded woods road. Turn left on it and follow back to to car. Alternatively stay on OLR Trail, then make left on Lake Sonoma Trail and retrace steps to car.
we modified this hike to avoid walking the 1.2 miles on the road, so we parked on lake riconda drive and did the white to pick up red, adding just a bit.
but this hike was 11.1 miles according to my fit bit. not the 7 we figured (guide says 6.5).
we are avid, fit hikers and this terrain was tough, doing it in the fall with leave covering made it real taxing. difficult rocks, really put a physical strain on us. lastly the trails are not marked well so we strayed off a few times, even paying attention.
Hint, you can drive in to the trailhead from West Milford end and road was repaired a bit. the trail shown is 3 trails; lake sonoma to overlook rock across part of hewitt butler trail and nack to overlook rock.
I did this hike on May, 18, 2012 and it had an unusual number on ticks. I stopped frequently to do tick checks.
This was a really fun short hike. We only did the hike up to Overlook Rock as we were running out of daylight, but the trail itself was still about 4 miles round-trip without the loop at the back end. If you wanted a longer day you can extend the hike by taking the loop, which I'd estimate is another 5 miles or so. The trailhead is in a bit of a weird spot, but if you follow the marker from AllTrails you'll find the trailhead. The problem with the trailhead is that it's accessed from an unpaved road that you absolutely cannot drive on unless you have 4WD (and even with 4WD it would be challenging). But you can park right near a kind of a sketchy house and then hike about 1/3 of a mile along the 4WD road to the trailhead. Follow the orange blazes all the way to the top of Overlook where you'll get an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding forest, and if it's a warm day I'd highly recommend jumping in the lake on the way up or down. There's a variety of terrain on the way up as you pass through dense forests, over small streams and rivers, on top of clear peaks. AllTrails rated the vertical as around 1400 feet from trailhead to Overlook, but it didn't really seem like that much vertical. I'd estimate it as closer to 900 feet. Challenging but definitely doable and worth the effort