Shepherd Pond Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ringwood, NJ that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until October.
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.
Nice place for a walk/hike except for the noise of the skeet shooting range on property:(
Remember bug spray!