Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch Trail

MODERATE 64 reviews

Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch Trail is a 7.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Rockaway, 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
1128 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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.

mountain biking
17 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

I've been coming to these trails after work for the past few years. There are many side trails, and it has been a pleasure exploring them all. There are many dilapidated stone buildings and walls hidden in the brush that make you think back to when the mining works were in full swing. You can link these trails to create a different hike every time you come. Great training for my 2017 AT thru hike.

hiking
1 month ago

I parked at the Split Rock boat launch, walked across the dam to find the yellow trail on the left (immediately after crossing the dam), and followed it for approximately 2.75 miles until I hit a narrow gravel road. The yellow trail is very well marked, but it can get a little tricky when it overlaps Upper Hibernia Rd and a few small parking lots. Keep a sharp eye out and you should be fine. Swung a left onto the narrow gravel road to take a more direct route to the lookout. I believe it's a maintenance road to access some kind of electrical or cell phone tower. In all, it was 3 miles from where I parked, while a very relaxed and gradual elevation increase. The lookout was awesome! I then took the white trail back-- definitely more of a workout (frequent ups and downs in elevation). Eventually it links back up with the yellow trail and takes you back to Splitrock Reservoir! I also branched off at one point off the White trail to check out Beaver Pond (red trail). All in all, it was a 6 mile hike and was very fun!

hiking
2 months ago

mountain biking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

The hike was wonderful! We lost the suggested trail 6 times. Trail markers started as yellow then orange, then blue then none at all, then white and finally yellow. Very easy to miss a turn. If we did not have a phone with a gps we would still be out there. The hike is worth it, just be prepared.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

I went with my 2 dogs and 2 teenage sons. Started at lower hibernia road, bat caves and cemetery were cool. The lookout was awesome, but wish there was a loop. There are SOOOO many extra trails here, need to pay attention.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

GPS: I went to Lower Hibernia road instead. Right when you turn on to the road the trail head is immediately to your left.

Took the white trail around, and partial parts of the Yellow to make it a full loop. Good hike, decent elevation change. Can be made a 20+ mile loop when you connect it to split rock trails around the lake.

hiking
4 months ago