Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch Trail is a 7.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Rockaway Township, New Jersey that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,177 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Pleasant walk to excellent overlook at the Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch This hike starts where the white blazed 4 Birds Trail crosses Splitrock Rd. Take this trail south, where it begins to a series of ups and downs over sometimes rocky terrain and eventually reaches the hawk watch platform where there are excellent views (you probably won't be alone here on a nice day). Leaving the hawk watch, double back on the white trail for a short distance, then turn right onto an unmarked, but distinct woods road. Follow this to an intersection with a blue blazed trail, turning right onto it. This trail is interesting as it passes several glacial erratics along the way and eventually reaches Split Rock Rd. Turn left on Split Rock Rd and take it back to your car.

hiking
bugs
5 days ago

ticks!

hiking
muddy
rocky
15 days ago

Took the kids. Challenging but they had a good time.

hiking
rocky
20 days ago

hiking
off trail
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
4 months ago

This is a nice trail if you can find it. Once you do, it is a nice trail. The roads leading to this (both sides ) are full of pot holes so be mindful of your speed. The water views are very nice. We saw some birds. We went on January 12 2020

hiking
bugs
flooded
muddy
scramble
4 months ago

Now that we know where the trailers it was good! Nice view if the water.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

Great trail, well maintained.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

beautiful day out! and perfect day to do some trail run. some area of trail was a little over grown but overall perfect!!

hiking
10 months ago

one of my favorites. the old foundations and ruins from the old coal mine are always fun to explore and make great photo ops

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
11 months ago

Long, fun trail with a variety of different terrains. WEAR BUG SPRAY, at least in the summer. The gnats and deer flies are relentless in some areas, there were ticks as well, so long pants are recommended. If you want to follow the terrain map, follow the loop counterclockwise (go straight, not left, when you reach the loop). The first half of this trail is very easy and super quiet/isolated, which is nice. Be sure to check your GPS frequently as some of the trails are not marked well and are easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. I had to double back a couple of times, but my GPS recorded 9.6 miles when I finished, and it certainly felt like it. I would debate the description of "heavily trafficked" as I did not see a single person during my hike. The section of the Four Birds Trail that this hike follows in the later portion was overgrown when I came through. May be better in the fall or spring. The overlook near the end was worth it, regardless.

hiking
11 months ago

it was a pretty decent trail. the first half was pretty flat and easy. but after like 4 miles (and after your legs are tired of walking) it's mainly up hill. which got pretty exhausting. but its doable. my 2 main complaints is that one there are a couple of sections where the map on the app doesnt line up exactly with the trail. so I ended up getting lost for a bit. and had to go thru a bunch of mud to find the trail again. and 2 is that I thought there would have been much more to see. 2 of out of the 3 main things you can see arent even on the trail highlighted on the map. you need to take detours to find them (that being the graveyard and bat cave). while the 3rd thing you can see is this really nice overlook on a cliff. but I mean you can find better trails to see that. I honestly was thinking of giving this 3 stars. but gave it 4 because at the end of the day I did get a good work out. it says its 7.9 miles. but after the detours finding the things i actually wanted to see i did closer to 9 miles. and i took my dog with me. he always has a blast on hikes. but did come home to a handful of ticks even tho I sprayed him with bug repellent like 5 times. but that's to be expected. overall pretty decent. idk if I'd go back tho. I really liked the graveyard. but that's about it.

hiking
Sun May 12 2019

We loved the trail itself; it was almost all through beautiful, quiet forest with almost no other hikers. BUT, beware dog owners — it’s definitely tick season out there: as soon as we got home we ended up spending almost 2 hours removing upwards of 30 ticks from our dog’s fur (even though he stayed on the trail the whole time).

hiking
Mon Apr 15 2019

beautiful day for a trail run!! felt great

hiking
snow
Sat Feb 23 2019

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snow
Thu Feb 14 2019

Great afternoon run! if going around sunset make sure to bring headlamp! definitely essential since it gets dark very quickly! terrain was icy and was wearing my trail shoes and it was doable. great weather!!

hiking
Mon Feb 11 2019

Great hike this morning with my two dogs. Started out by the reservoir, walked across the dam to the yellow trail on the left and worked out way down to the overlook at wildcat ridge. We then took the white trail back. Took about 2.5 hours to hike about 5.5 miles. Did not see anyone else the entire time.

hiking
snow
Fri Jan 18 2019

hiking
Sun Sep 30 2018

It's probably a nice hike...but AVOID if it recently rained. Drove out here to do the trail and after several go-arounds to get past flooded area, I finally couldn't find a way around one 30 min in. Had to turn back, disappointed. The routes around the flooded areas wouldn't be too bad except there appears to be poison ivy.

hiking
Sat Mar 03 2018

Walked it today with my dog. We were all alone. Had to walk thru about 10 inches of fresh snow and many down limbs and trees. Because of the conditions it took me about an hour longer than usual.

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