Vista Loop Trail

MODERATE 35 reviews

Vista Loop Trail is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mahwah Township, New Jersey that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
636 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

Yellow blazes mark this trail. From the parking area, follow the dirt trail to the bridge that crosses the Ramapo River and continue straight with the Scarlet Oak Pond on the right. Immediately once past the end of the pond, take the path to the right that continues to hug the pond and further down this path on the left is a wooden footbridge that begins the ascent for this trail. The ascent will climb at moderately steep grade to start and become more level further along the trail. Towards the end, the trail will eventually lead to a large downhill rock which descends down towards the MacMillan Reservoir where it then bears left and eventually goes across the dam. Following the dam, it then continues down a partially paved and gravel portion of the trail where it then bears right. Before a small bridge, a tree with a single yellow blaze will be off to the right, continuing the trail down past a water fall and back to the starting point. Points of Interest: - Hawk Rock Overlook (At the top of the initial ascent of the trail, a nice overlook view of the Ramapo Valley area including Ramapo College campus and on a clear day, the New York City skyline in the distance). - Cactus Ledge (A bit further along the trail from and above Hawk Rock Overlook, features the only native growing cactus in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains). - Ridge Overlook (Provides a higher view than the Hawk Rock Overlook and a move visible view of the valley and New York City skyline).

19 days ago

lots of people during peak times. Dogs on leashes isn't enforced that well. However, great views, and has a water fall. There are options of easy to difficult trails. We will definitely be back.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this hike in reverse. Going past the waterfall first. It was magnificent since we have had so much rain. We climbed up after the reservoir and headed down past the viewpoints. View of NYC is amazing. Leaves were just past prime but still very enjoyable. We ended by walking around Scarlet Pond, adding just a little distance to finish up.

hiking
3 months ago

Some really nice views for an easier hike thats on the shorter end, plus Cactus Ledge was a cool anomaly. Was pretty busy in the beginning but the crowds dwindled the further we got into the trail. Great Beginner hike to take first-timers or your friends/family on.

3 months ago

Overall we had a good hike. I will explain why only 3 stars below. The entrance to the park is not clearly labeled. If not for the smoky the bear fire level we would have drove right on by. Tip: entrance is after Ramapo College and has a stone entrance way. Comes up quick if coming from Rt. 17. Parking is free.

There were lots of people walking dogs and small children, which I have nothing against just felt a little stressed at first when hiking is supposed to be the opposite.

However, once we got to the Vista Loop trail (Yellow), the crowd subsided and we finally had the trail to ourselves. Parts of the yellow trail and tough. High inclines and slippery rocks. Hawks Rock is nice. Cactus viewpoint is basically the same as Hawks Rock. Ridgeview is cool mainly due to the fact you can see NYC is the far distance.

We didnt end up completing the entire Vista Loop because of the limited day light but overall what we did wasnt anything more than 3 stars.

We did see some deer which was cool and ended up getting pretty close to them while then fed.

Happy trails!

hiking
4 months ago

The good. very well maintained with some decent views and well marked. Trails markers easily seen and signs posted where other trails meet up to give you an approximate distance back to the parking lot and to other hiking trails. The bad, they should however rename it to an all terrain hike in the mall. On a Thursday not exaggerating ive must have seen and past at least 50 people with dogs and of course dog poop. Busiest trail ive seen in 2 years of hiking.

5 months ago

Was hard in the begging but great hike

hiking
11 months ago

Great trail, there are quite a few parts that have a nice view, some steep spots but overall an easy hike.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

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