Great hike. Very challenging. Awesome views...really about 11miles...but worth it!!

Very challenging loop for NJ - might be the toughest NJ trail I've done when you include the amount of water still present from the rain in 2018 (and presently 2019). Was more like 11 miles as everyone says - I unfortunately added 2 more miles after mistakenly missing the last trail and bushwhacked to a local road. Made it harder than it should've been, but oh well, it happens.

Try it out and challenge yourself.

Trail markers are difficult to follow, and got off the trail multiple times. This is the most challenging and technical hike I have done in NJ. If you are not fit this hike will destroy you. The hike is more like 11 plus miles than the 9.9 states. We hiked with inch or 2 of snow. Beautiful hike and you can see the nyc skyline from a certain angle from top where American Flag is. The hike is up and down the entire way. It took us about 7hrs with stops and getting lost.

This is rough terrain, very hilly and rocky. It’s all uphill or down, with very few flat sections.

The surroundings are beautiful and you really a sense of being in the middle of a giant Forrest because the hills block views of anything man made for a good portion of it.

This late in the fall the leaves make staying on the trail tough, so keep an eye on the blazes to avoid missing turns.

A great trail, whether one does all or part of it. Very challenging, over 1000 feet elevation gain in the first two miles of the hike to awesome views of the surrounding areas. I'd suggest going counter clockwise. The end of the hike is rocky and you'll be challenged to complete. I would agree that this is one of the best hikes in New Jersey. Highly recommended.

This was a bit of a tough one on the knees and blisters galore! Totally worth it. The views aren’t bad but you really are doing this for the workout! Would definitely do it again. It was more of 11 miles from parking lot counterclockwise.

really nice, well marked, nice views, lots of animals. tough trail, as good as it gets in NJ.

4 months ago

very nice. careful of bikers

I did it counterclockwise in about 6 hours. The weather was the worst possible, hot (90) and extremely humid (after the night rain). The first part of the hike was fantastic, relentless up and down, almost no flats. The second half (after crossing the road) was disappointing. For me, an important part of the hiking is in the esthetics of wilderness. In this case, I was always reminded that I am in the back of NJ woods: three times the trail goes under the high voltage lines (that cracking above your head is hard to ignore), most of the trail goes along the dirt roads (I heard a dirt bike for a while), also there is an abandoned overturned truck by the side of the trail. There are no vistas to speak of, a couple of spots with a view and that is it. Nevertheless, if the appearances are not important to you, you can get a brutal workout out of this trail.

Great flat path for running, biking, roller-blading, etc. have to be careful during nice weather when the path can get quite crowded. also has a few short but fun "off-road" sections as well if you want a nice change from the standard pavement, which can sometimes get monotonous.

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.

road biking
5 months ago

Very nice and easy trails, but the whole site is a coyote area and usually people are there at night, so there is a little danger there.

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.

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.

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!

Great hike! I recommend if you want a bit of a challenge here and there. Closest to type of hiking found in the Catskills. Nice views for sure and sightings of various wildlife. Interesting plants as well - sassafras trees! Bushwacked across the top of the trail to save some time and one less peak, but still was 9 miles. Alltrails tracking worked great for bushwack.

trail running
8 months ago

So lucky to live so close to this park. Use this to train for my runs, currently NYC Marathon, so its perfect for long runs where you don’t get bored looping around, which you can also do if you’re looking for a short walk or run. Clean, well taken care of and good people around. Multiple lots/points of entry especially in the Rochelle Park/Saddle Brook area.

8 months ago

Parked at the Stonetown Recreation lot. Crossed the street directly for access to a connecting path. Amazing views all the way. Great birding areas. Didn’t see anyone else hiking the trail. Phantom paths and RV roads cross in and out of the trail making it easy to follow one of them instead. Recommend using the heat signature overlay in AllTrails to keep an eye on stray paths and keep on the main red triangle. No “real” shortcuts: be prepared to walk the path or choose a spot to out-and-back (1. Board Mountain is good if you just want a few views, or 2. stop at Windbeam Mt / the flag if you’re not looking for a more challenging trail). The last leg is along the road (watch traffic on the curves). 5.5 hours with stops for photos, fuel, and to enjoy the scenes. My mileage tracker says 11 miles and I didn’t get lost on the intersecting paths. Bring water for 12 miles — better to carry extra hydration than not.

mountain biking
11 months ago

Would definitely so this again, an easy ride, paved all the way with some nice scenery and a lot of fun to do with friends or family. Just keep an eye out there are some not legal mountain bike trails with some nicely made jumps and bridges, a lot of fun if you know what your doing. The best one was probably like 5 minutes from the beginning.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Great paved stretch of trail that’s relatively quiet, perfect for running long distances. Use it to train for half marathons (it’s really 12 miles from start to finish).

road biking
Saturday, October 14, 2017

Great bike trail that is smooth and paved that goes through different parks with ponds and streams. Scenic all throughout and runs along a stream that goes under and on bridges. Will be coming back.

road biking
Saturday, October 07, 2017

Nice up and back paved path for a bike ride with kid carrier in tow. Beware of amateur bikers who think they're in the Tour de France...

Saturday, September 02, 2017

This is a nice, easy nature walk on a paved path, some of which is along a peaceful stream. I really like the part by the Glen Rock Duck Pond the best. There is a "carp viewing area" along the river. If you are walking towards Fair Lawn from Glen Rock, just past the bridge to Ridgewood is a small but pretty man-made waterfall. We even saw a deer along the path today. There was also a hawk and a green heron.

mountain biking
Friday, August 11, 2017

clean park, some hidden trails

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Followed the GPS to the park parking lot where I started. When exiting the park you take a right ( or at least I did) need to walk down the road 150 yards or so and it's on your left. I followed the white red diamond for the majority of the trip. If you like spider webs this is the trail for you! Must have walked through 20+ full ones.

Got lost Lots of times. This trail is extremely difficult. The trails very very narrow and very steep at sometimes. Lots of ATV trails that make it very confusing. Pay attention to the markers or you will get lost super easily.

I posted a picture of the trail map because no one else has its very helpful.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Very good for running and bike ride.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Great hike! The only problem I had was the trail head wasn't marked very well. You need to walk on the street from the parking at the park to find the trail.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trail can be lost easily definitely start early. Ended up doing the last two miles in the dark, wasn't too bad.

Also the place is swarming with ticks. Found more than ten on my dog, 2 on me, and three on my friend. So be careful.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

This hike is considered to be one of the most challenging routes in NJ. It has a little bit of everything from road walking to steep climbs without switchbacks. After the road walk, the hike starts on what appears to be a woods rd and the first turn-off to the left is not marked so you have to watch for it on the phone/GPS. A lot of the climbs have a 20% grade. After you complete this hike, you will understand why it is “accessible from March until October.” Some areas of the trail are so rugged that when covered with snow/ice they would be impassable. The hike might be easier in the counterclockwise direction where you go up most of the rock scrambles rather than down them.

We started the hike at the Stonetown Recreation Center Parking Lot and went clockwise following the route recorded by John Watson. Our mileage and elevation gain were slightly different due to losing the trail, bushwacking to views, etc. Stats from my Garmin GPS were 11.0 miles and 3174 ft elevation gain. We completed the hike in 6 hrs with an avg pace of 1.8 mph.

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