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This trail is definitely worth the trip! Easy start with a relatively flat forest path that quickly turns into a steep climb over rocks and streams. I would recommend wearing water or durable hiking shoes as your feet are likely to get wet crossing some small streams. The waterfall is stunning!

Great trail. Lots of variety although the rock slides could be daunting for some. Fabulous falls! At the end of the access road ( which has some fun potholes) on the way back out of the “park” is a clever sign telling you there is a speed bump! Hard to tell with all the potholes...good for a chuckle.

hiking
4 days ago

Great trail, well blazed with a fantastic falls at the end.

Long hike- prepare for about 45 minutes with a real rough terrain. Well worth it once you get to the top!

One of the toughest hikes I've done in NJ. I went counter clockwise and went at a fast pace and when I got to [a little more than] the halfway point (Stonetown road crossing at Monksviille) I was pretty spent and took the road back (3 miles). Great views during the first few miles and lots of steep, but short, up and down scrambling.

The view of the falls is definitely well worth the hike.

Coming down is a lot faster.

Going up you climb over 750 ft to the falls. Awesome view at the end

The road to the trail is not paved and has very deep holes (so get in an SUV) and you will find a round about to park at. The trailhead is marked by a wooden sign that shows you where to go. You get to hear the waterfalls throughout the walk and sometimes have to walk on rocks to cross streams so wear good grip shoes for that. The trail is well maintained and there is a lookout of the river abt. 5min after the trailhead area. This is fairly flat at the beginning then it gets steeper about .5/1 mile into the hike. The only thing is that about 2 miles into the hike, the area closer to the waterfalls is not very well maintained. the bushes cover the trail so I would make sure you wear long pants and long sleeves so you don't get bugs on you. This area is also steep and you are sometimes walking close to a steep edge. Finally, the waterfalls at the end are beautiful and you actually should go down a little bit (instead of going left to go up near the falls) so that you can then go up but on the lower level of the falls. Oh and while others have claimed this is well marked, it's not really. You're on the blue trail at the start then near the waterfalls you are on the grey trail (no idea what happens in between) but you can't get lost. There is only 1 other trail that crosses path (7 miles) and the divergence in the road tells you the waterfalls is on your right so you can't get lost.

I did it counter-clockwise, which I recommend as the West side is easier, with fewer steep descents. So coming home is not too exhausting. I did it in 4.5 hours, and didn’t bring enough water. It is hard, but a great workout. I don’t recommend this with a small dog. I tried it last weekend with my dog, who sat down on the trail, so we had to backtrack. It was wet, and I agree this isn’t a trail for wet conditions. The reservoir is gorgeous. I have ridden my bike for 20 years in this area, never knowing there was such a great trail.

Great trail for a short but satisfying hike - fully alone with nature

One of my favorite hikes within 2 hrs of NYC. Beautiful, peaceful, varied terrain, at times challenging (although never daunting), good views of Greenwood Lake, and a nice visit to Surprise Lake. You will see other hikers but the trail is just difficult enough that there are unlikely to be major crowds, and most of your time on the path will be in isolation unless walking directly in front of or behind another group. The majority of people are up in the north end of the park closer to the lake, since there is another entrance up there for the shorter Surprise Lake Loop.

If doing the whole route starting from the south end, side of the road parking available near intersection of Warwick Turnpike and White Rd. Path can be done clockwise or counter-clockwise. Clockwise (walking west and then north on the white trail to start) puts the steepest part of the hike first, and you go uphill for it. Counterclockwise (keep right and go north on orange trail) leaves steepest part for the end and is downhill. I'd recommend Clockwise.

The path of the loop as currently marked on the alltrails website is a little confusing, because it appears to run north/south in between Surprise Lake and West Pond. However if you look at the maps available at the trailheads (as well the map available on alltrails for the Surprise Lake Loop) you will see that the yellow trail actually runs around outside of and around West Pond. So either the map listed here is representing some shortcut trail that I couldn't find and is not listed on the official park map, or the actual route is a much wider loop at the top and I would guess the whole trail is closer to 7.25 miles instead of the 6.6 listed. Maybe someone who is very familiar with this park can comment and clarify.

Trail is for the most part well marked and maintained. Only tricky part is if going counter clockwise and turning onto yellow path up north near the NJ/NY state line, the turn on to the yellow was only marked on the ground instead of at eye-level and can be missed if not on the lookout.

The path was fine in the summer a couple days after a storm, but I could imagine the trail being very difficult in the snow or soon after heavy rains.

Absolutely a beautiful hike!! The waterfall end was just amazing!!! One I would Definetly love to do over and over again. Peaceful. Quiet. The sound of the water on the way to and back just relaxing. Nice crisp refreshing water. Love love love this hike!

great hike in and out

Full Moon Hike with REI on the yellow/white/blue trail to Tripod Rock in downpour rain. As a beginner hiker there were moments of intensity but overall excellent terrain and vista. Would love to do it again if only to see the moon without an overcast sky and rain. :)

hiking
18 days ago

Easy hike, very little incline, well marked with beautiful views of the falls. Highly recommend for all ages

trail running
20 days ago

went to this place to trail run. the terrain is a bit tough for trail running, I couldn't get any momentum built up because of all the rocks, tree roots, and rock scrambling. definitely not for trail running if you want to run fast, but definitely a decent hike if you're in the area. wouldn't go out of my way for it though, the views are lame and there wasn't that much to see. the balancing rock was pretty cool to see

Best hike ever. Exhausted!!!

Challenging and fun! I parked in the recreation center parking lot and found the trailhead down the road to the right a little ways (it’s on your left). Some steep scrambles up and down rocks. It would not have been fun if it was wet at all! I went counterclockwise- great viewpoints at the beginning of the hike. I think I’ll try clockwise next time. Beautiful scenery, saw some hawks and a lizard with a blue tail and some butterflies and lots of tiny frogs.

The trail is pretty well marked with white rectangles with a red triangle. There were also blue diamond markers part of the way but that trail branches off at some point. There were a few times when I got off the correct trail because I wasn’t paying attention and there was a much more prominent trail that crossed the correct one that I incorrectly assumed was the correct trail. But between the GPS map and following the markers it was ok. The markers are pretty frequent so if I walked any distance without seeing one I knew I was on the wrong path! Unfortunately in one case I had walked down a big hill and then had to climb back up it...

Took me about 7h in all, including some sitting around at the viewpoints and various backtracking due to getting off the correct trail.

Nice hike. The rock backdrop on the falls is beautiful!

Definitely lives up to its name as one of the most difficult hikes in NJ, especially in the summer heat. Lots of ascents with descents and the descents along with the ascents are extremely steep, so its pretty hard on the knees. My Casio watch had elevation gain at 2850ft, pretty close to alltrails 2550ft. I would recommend you do the trail clockwise, I did it counter like everyone else but then you get done with all the views in the first half with nothing to see in the second half, so if you go clockwise you'll save the great views for the second half. Lastly its not too difficult to follow, seems like the whole trail has been reblazed so keep an eye out for the red/white blazes!

Highly recommend. Did just a portion because if time constraints. However will return and complete.

Great hike did this with the entire family
From 68 years old to 17 years old
Great fun !

hiking
1 month ago

Some narrow points along the path, as well as some very steep ones. People who have trouble with heights may not enjoy the final part actually by the falls as it's narrow and very steep at some parts.

Really enjoyed this hike....waterfall very well worth the climb getting there. Climb was steady and never too difficult. Great 2-3 hr hike.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I and 2 small kids (age 2 and 4) did this hike summer 2018. A few steep passes, kids were in carriers for a good amount of hike. We took 5 hours, but stopped at the falls to play in the pools for 30 mins (parents-advise water shoes) and as well as other very slow trekking due to small kids. Beautiful falls, a lot of fun, tree covered 95% of the way in July made for cool hike despite 90 degree weather.

Well marked. Very nice trail.

Great short day hike. Beautiful trail and waterfall, not much in the way of views of the valley but still very worth the trip

good hike overall, trail colors change so keep an eye out if not you'll end up away from the loop
if you see the cave you're either going back from where you came from or taking a detour from the straight path, either way its a nice sight
no vantage points, peaks covered by high trees

I’ve done this hike twice now, and you definitely need to come prepared with a map. To complete the loop you have to turn at a number of different forks, and we were on the blue, yellow, and orange trails at various points. There are no maps at the trail head, which is hardly marked at all.

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