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My second trail. Very nice. So many deer. Clean picnic area. Very peaceful. There’s also a red trail.

Easy/Moderate trail. Beautiful dense forest, all shadowed. But really nothing special, no destination or target and I rarely met so many annoying mosquitoes!!! If you wanna hike there be sure to bring a gallon of mosquito repellent!!!
I was with my dog: just one fresh water steam at the beginning of the trail.
1h15’ the loop (because of the mosquitoes I guess)

trail running
7 days ago

great trail for a jog. pretty even surface with a moderate climb or two. nothing too strenuous, great for an afternoon run.

mountain biking
9 days ago

Great trail for a beginner mountain biker. Some parts are tricky but short

hiking
10 days ago

Combined this trail with the Huyler's Landing and Closter Dock Trail loop which came to all together nearly 9.5 miles. Other reviews are true in so at the beginning yes you do hear the car noise at first/near ending the loop, but do not let that stop you. If combining both trails I do recommend starting with Forest trail, there are some steep steps which are pretty sketchy especially if it is damp out which you will have to go down. Though it is rated as easy I would say it was a little more than just that. The midpoint where both trails meet is a large picnic area on the water which probably does get busy as it is a very nice area, where most likely ppl go to take pictures and all. To me however it is nice to see so many ppl taking advantage of the area. The hike along the shore is just as awesome as hiking above for the views. Very worth it.

Excellent work out. The trail can become confusing as there are many trails that intersect with each other, so you need to keep your eyes on the trail markers or you could be heading down a different path. That happened to me, but it turned out ok as I was following the white trail, then I was on the pink trail that lead to the blue/white trail to lookout point. From there I followed the Blue and white trail to the Falls, a much easier access to the falls from the lookout point. From the falls you can either turn back to climb the rocks to continue towards the lake. From my perspective, climbing up would be much better than going down. Be careful climbing up as you may loss track of the trail, which I did, and had to go back down a bit to pick the trail back up. from there to the lake there are several more falls, which I'll go back later to photograph, before arriving at the lake. From their I ended up following another trail that took be back to the look out point, then following the blue/white trail, ended back at the trail head. Total miles was 2.9. I'll go back.

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

11 days ago

Brief summary: a relaxing hike with a difficult rock scramble in the middle.

We parked by the docks as suggested but FYI there is a $5 fee per car, and there are clean bathrooms to use.
It’s flat terrain alongside the shore. There is a rock scramble to go up on top of the cliff which was difficult but fun! Then you loop back at the top with a few nice scenic views. Also FYI map says to follow blue/white trail but it’s marked green. We saw two deer and a lizard and only a few people despite being a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The hike is mostly in shade too so even though it was 90degrees it was bearable!
Have fun!

Unbelievable view from the top. A rocky terrain. The trailhead is behind the Natural swimming pool.

nice view with an ok waterfall, would recommend as a quick hike with some reward, great for beginners

Loved that it wasn’t crowded. Esp for A Saturday :) Serene afternoon day hike #twothumbsup☮️

Great local hike with a pretty waterfall!

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.

We enjoyed it. Did with 2 children - 7 and 4 yrs old - and a small dog. The dog needed to be carried in a backpack for the Blue part of the trail and 4 yr old was exhausted by the end. Took us 4 hours. I recommend doing in reverse so you do the steep part up (white) in the beginning and go UP the rock scramble (blue), not down. Note when you switch to the orange trail from blue it's not well marked. We had to guess based on the map and go down a ways to see the marker.

Perfect outing with two adventurous, athletic kids. It was a long walk for the 8yo, but she didn’t get overtired until the very end. All the rock-scrambling and waterfalls kept her happily engaged. We did it clockwise and took out time, stopping to snack a few times and wander off trail a bit. It was about a 3.5 hour endeavor. Highly recommend!

Great trail and lots of shade!

Best hike ever. Exhausted!!!

Very nice walk. Ripe blueberries at the top (in July), beautiful wide vistas and one cool rock face that has to be climbed (its easy though). The loop misses the "Cascade of slid," but only by a 100 feet or so, make a left at the Red-Orange junction and check it out before continuing on the red/orange (opposite direction).

Great trail! Lots of rocks to walk up, amazing views. My 7 year old kept up with no problem, but it's not an easy trail. It took us about 3 hours to complete the loop.

Very clean and scenic hike! Moderate if you take the blue trail but pretty water fall!

choose the yellow trail. It had both flat parts & hilly parts. overall great experience. We also saw a deer on our travels. Views in some places very nice.

1 month ago

My wife and I came in late around 1pm and took us a while to find a parking place.
The trail is a bit challenging and was planning 2-3 hours while it ended up with over 4. But we had lots of fun.

Follow the red, then orange, then blue, then white trail markers for this loop. Nice views at the top, but there were definitely some parts of the trail where it was so narrow or grown over that it was hard to find. If we weren’t tracking our path against the trail on the app, I’m not sure we would have been able to find it a couple times or know that we had taken a wrong turn. There was also some pretty steep rock scaling on the way down that our dog (ok and me!) had a slightly tough time with.

rock climbing
1 month ago

I can

Very fun hike but it would have been impossible without GPS and the AllTrails app, because there are almost no markings on the trails. Even with GPS and the AllTrails app, finding our way was difficult at times. Sometimes we would just start walking where the trail was supposed to be and it would eventually materialize. That said, while South Mountain Reservation is often crowded, we were hiking alone, which was great, on much of this route — probably because no one else knows about or can find it. Interestingly, the trails themselves are mostly in pretty good condition, so someone is clearly handling the upkeep — just not the markings.

Our dog loved it!

Lots of shade.

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

Very nice trails. There is enough variety to keep you come back. Saw a lot of chipmunks and one deer. Very well maintained and clear trail markers.

Great hike. Many positives. Lots of blueberry bushes along the hike. Very rocky, lots of boulders to climb over. Not many scenic views on the red path, but it gets better on the red/yellow path. Trails are marked well, and there were plenty of other trails to try. Ample parking.

Its a nice trail. We started with red to orange which goes parallel to the river and no viewing points. By the end of red we gain elevation. It gets tricky on the hill top, the trails are marked but not evidently seen so make sure to search for trail markings. The blue stretch is the best it has around 4 viewing points a rocky and steep stretch which is fun!!

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