Surprisingly nice trail located in the middle of a densely populated area. Good parking lot near William Patterson University starts the hike. Nice view of NYC to the east, and another to west looking at reservoir and I-287 and hills. A little rocky - mostly loose rocks - no hard climbs and well marked for the most part but there are many unmarked trails so one has to pay attention.

Highly Mediocre scenery and the trails aren't marked very well.
Never found the NY skyline vista point.
The trails are pretty washed out and not very friendly to my reconstructed knee (ACL)

2 months ago

II must disagree that the trails are poorly marked. In my experience, this park is considerably above average with the blazing of the official color-coded trails. Any time I had that "moment" when you worry you may have lost the trail, it seemed the next blaze was just about to come into sight. Many times I'd just turn and look behind me, and see a blaze right there that I didn't see going forward. But keep in mind there are countless un-blazed trails all over the park. Nicest part of this loop has to be the peak of High Mountain, which the trail goes right across -- no side detours necessary. Mine was a beautiful clear day, with fantastic view of NYC miles away. Trail is extremely rocky -- no climbing, mind you -- but your feet will feel it after a while. No dramatic challenges on this loop -- there are a few very very minor creek crossings, with stones always planted for your navigation across. Good for me, as other parks with official trails I've come to creek/small river crossings where a good deal of balance is needed to step from rock to rock going across (Are you listening, South Mountain?). No big deal for most, but for me those crossings can be scary. Saw few animals on this loop -- seems low density in that department. Bugs were manageable, but do bring your spray. At the loop's northern extreme, you come out on a roundabout, with some homes nearby. Assuming you're doing the overall HMS loop counterclockwise, just walk left along this traffic circle, just a handful of car-lengths, and the re-entry to the rest of the Yellow Trail is fairly obvious -- no signs, per se, but just start hiking and you'll see blazes soon enough. The beginning of the White Trail is a short distance on, clearly blazed. Do remember to look for the white blazes at this point, and not turn off your mental GPS, else the Yellow Trail will lure you west, totally out of the loop. West side of the HMSLoop (White Trail) has a weird stretch where you're walking right alongside the golf course --- you could converse with the golfers at normal speaking level, that close. Always a funny juxtaposition for me -- you sweating away on your voyage thru the woods, and there they are passing by on those little cars, in their finest golf get-up, and I'm sure carrying along a bit of fine bubbly. Makes you wonder who is the smart one? Since I do it all by foot -- no car -- side benefit was walking thru the WPU campus (preferable than Univ Dr, with no sidewalks). It's been 40 years since I saw William Paterson -- it's a lot bigger than I remember, with many new buildings.
Tip: be sure you're starting from the right place. It's the High MountainTrail Parking Lot, on University Drive ("College Road" on older maps), clearly marked on the north side of the road, a little closer to where the road begins at Hamburg Turnpike, than to where it ends on Pompton Rd. The red trail begins right there. There were plenty of takeaway maps available at the trail head on my visit, and very informative signs at the kiosk as well. (Also saw a pair of eyeglasses resting on the box holding the maps -- it'll take a miracle for those to ever be reunited with their owner!)

According to the apps directions it was easy to get to yet entrance was not easy to find. No signs and no proper entrance. Practically going through someone's back yard to start the hike. Once on the "yellow" trail, signs were hard to find. Path was rocky but no different than other hikes we've been on. Only difference is that the rocks pretty much covered any trail/path so without signs it was pretty easy to hike off the trail. No traffic at all and was pleasant enough once you found your way but nothing to write home about. Pretty average hike. Below average due to lack of signage and lack of entrance.