A section of Bearfort Ridge reaches into Hewitt State Forest, offering hikers a challenging climb with a rewarding view. The forest is isolated and untouched, accessible only on foot. Marshes and wetlands are scattered throughout the forest with several brooks and streams crisscrossing the lower areas. Hemlock and oak are the dominant species of this relatively undisturbed forest.
Could not find the parking area based on the AllTrails directions. Parked on Warwick Turnpike instead. Did hike counter clockwise. Trail was pretty rocky and challenging. Coming back on the Yellow Trail there was a rock ledge that I actually had to use hand holds to pull myself up.
We took the orange trail to the yellow trail to the white trail based on the map that was posted where we parked. The map was a bit deceiving. The orange trail was moderate and ended at surprise lake which was beautiful. We saw a few people on the orange trail and also at the lake where there was swimming. We did not see one person on the white trail on the way back. The white trail was more challenging than expected and also took at least an hour longer to complete than the orange trail. The yellow trail which lead from the lake to the white trail was a pretty trail. All trails were marked well.
It was a great challenge but the trees on the Bearfort Ridge trail blocked all of views. The Quail trail was unmaintained and I ended up following a creak thinking that it was a trail. But there were still great view points at the junction of the white and yellow trails and Surprise Lake was cool. I really enjoyed the challenge of the first climb.
Isabel F. on Bearfort Ridge: Surprise Lake Loop Trail
Beautiful hike but ran into a timber rattlesnake today just past the first big waterfall