Explore the most popular birding trails near Rockaway with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Started in the Splitrock Road Boat Launch parking lot. Walked Across the Dam to the find the yellow trail on the left. Crossed onto the White Trail after that. Took about an hour to reach the hawk watch. A nice shorter alternative hike to reach the hawk watch. Pretty well maintained and marked trail.

Beautiful place

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.

Great time to hike. Temp 52F. Footing fair to good.

I have hiked this trail 3 times over the past month. Great hike with my two water loving labradors.

Trail itself is alright enough. Nothing special only one really good view. The issue is getting there. Directions lead you to a small parking spot on the other side of a lake. You then have to hike around the lake for about a mile before even reaching the "start" of the hike. So no this is not a 5.4 mile hike. Expect to do an extra mile and a half to 2 miles round trip. The distance would be more justified if there was more to look at but unfortunately this trail just doesn't supply the sights.

No parking. Only 2 cars. Couldn’t do the trail.

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.

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!

I had my two year old so only did 3 miles.
It was pretty though.

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.

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
Sunday, August 06, 2017

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.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Very challenging but me and my brother did it in about 5 and a half hours. There were at least five times where we lost the blazes and walked a hundred yards or so down side trails by accident. As long as you pay close attention to the blazes its a great hike.

hiking
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The trail itself was moderately challenging, with spells of beautiful scenery, but trails are very poorly marked and sometimes nearly impossible to discern. There were frequent moments where I would only realize I had diverged from the path 100 yards after the fact, only to double back and try to find the correct course. If you can figure it out though, the trail really is pretty and the views from the mountain tops were great. I won't be going back because of the poor trail markings, but it was certainly worth hiking once.

hiking
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Awesome hike! Simple and easy. The direction here leads you to another place.. but I actually parked at the 'main' entrance (?) where the welcome sign is by Green Pond Rd, if that helps. And from there, we just kept on following the Orange trail.

Breathtaking view! Didn't think it was that high haha. You'll see a very open and beautiful view. Makes the hike worth it.

hiking
Sunday, November 06, 2016

Good easy trail to Hawk Ridge if you follow the orange trail. Good for kids.

hiking
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Beautiful hike with an absolutely breathtaking overlook. The terrain was pretty easy. Towards the end we made our own trail down the side of the mountain. Definitely something you can go down but I would not suggest trying to go up that way.

hiking
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Here is the tricky thing about this trail. If you use the GPS from this app it will take you down Split Rock Road, which has no/prohibits parking. The trail from this road does enter you on the White Dot trail. This trail is long and scenic, great woodland views and a few running creeks at the right times. Ultimately this trail from this entrance will bring you to the Hawk Watch point. However, if you are trying to find the Bat Cave or the Cemetery, this is not where you want to be. The Bat Cave and the Cemetery are off of "Lower Hibernia Road" in Rockaway. Just enter "Lower Hibernia Road" in your GPS. You can't miss the Wildcat Ridge parking lot marked by a large brown sign. Enter the trail and follow the White Dot trail. Once on the trail, the bat cave will be off to the right up a small hill. Can't miss it. The Cemetary is up a little further while on the White Dot trail. Enjoy!

hiking
Sunday, August 28, 2016

Torn on this one. Construction at the lot caused us to have a time finding the trail. Once on the trail, it was fairly easy to follow. It was a challenging loop, but the trail was routed very strangely. At one point the blazes go up and over a rock formation that is in the middle of green woods. Why not just go around it? Of course another side trail was formed by people doing just that. In another area the trail parallels a double wide gravel road/atv trail about 30 feet in the woods and over a serious talus field. Again, why would they double the impact and create a trail when they could have adjoined with atv trail? The whole time I was thinking "why aren't we just walking on that." Some decent views of the lake. Make sure to have a map and don't miss your turnoffs.

Great trail. Along the creek, but no proper trail markers makes it hard to enter the trail. Once we made it from the parking lot it was great fun for kids and adults alike.

hiking
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Really nice trail. Easy to moderate. View from the hawk watch is awesome and definitely worth the uphill climb. It really isn't marked well though and I found myself almost going on a different trail several times. It also is a very rocky trail. Saw two huge birds too, I think they were hawks. But I will do this trail again.

hiking
Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spring 2015 I choose this hike for our first hike of the season and was disappointed. The only thing challenging was driving up the 200 pothole dirt road to the parking lot. There is a lot of construction going on and you can not cross by the dam which was one of the reasons I chose this hike. There were several construction workers near the parking lot and dam that never told us, "Don't go that way it's closed." We only did 3.5 miles in and turned around. Not much scenery and even though we had a clear day the wind was brutal coming off the water. The path didn't have much to it except you had to walk up half wet creeks causing your boots to sink in mud. Kayaking or fishing might be a better choice for this area. I'm not being picky either. I'm an experienced hiker and have been doing it for years.

hiking
Monday, April 21, 2014

Started out at the south end of the Four Birds Trail (White Trail) and hiked all the way up to the Hawkwatch overlook, an approximate distance of 2.5 miles. Took a little over an hour or so. Lots of up hill climbing, big boulders to go around, and nice streams and ponds every now and then. Hawkwatch overlook was nice. Saw a few people there looking for hawks and hanging out. Continued north for about another mile on Four Birds Trail (White Trail) and turned west onto the Red Trail. Hiked it for about another mile or so and turned back down south once we got to the Orange Trail which took us back to the south end of the Four Birds Trail. Approximate total distance 6 miles total. Make sure to bring a map if you decide to follow this path as Orange Trail is not marked going south (it is, however, marked going towards the Hawkwatch.

hiking
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

There's an abandoned cemetery in the woods!!! Need I say more? This trails a 5 out of 5! Turn right at all the little dirt paths you see and look for the cemetery on the right. It's less then 3 miles in. Compass coordinates to entrance of cemetery (Lat, Long) 40.55'11"N, 74.33'44"W

hiking
Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013

Area is under construction...stay away from trail. A simple walk by the reservoir satisfied the need for beauty. Trail is poorly marked and terrain is rocky making the trail unappealing. Skip trail and just walk near reservoir. Maybe someone improve trail after construction is over. A local worker said the road would be "closed for a year" at some point soon.
Bruce B

trail running
Sunday, April 21, 2013

path difficult to find from parking lot due to construction and placing of power lines. path was not maintained as of 4/12/13 - down trees, tons of leaves covering it, etc... felt like i was the only person who had been there in some time

hiking
Saturday, April 20, 2013

this is the best hike in new jersey IF you have the nynjtc's highlands map...its a hiking playground if you can orient yourself. in spite of the attempts of kinnelon developers to ruin the sense of solitude, this is still the most remote feeling hike in the state.
if you aren't an experienced hiker I highly suggest not trying this without maps. you Will get lost or waste hours on top of what is a 7-8 hour hike trying to find the trail.

hiking
Monday, September 17, 2012

The trail was clean for the most part, the terrain was enjoyable, and the view from the Hawk Watch is incredible. Great expanse of New Jersey and the NYC skyline. Whoever blazed the trail was definitely having an off day though. Turn markers where there is no need (even if the trail were covered in leaves) and a lack of turn markers where there should be (even if the trail is clean). All in all definitely a great hike, but I wouldn't trust the maps provided there and I would make sure to bring a gps / natgeo map / somebody who has done the hike. Several unmarked trails / roads don't help. I would go again though. Bring a lunch! You'll want to stay at the top a while.

hiking
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I followed the blue trail most of the way instead of the white trail. Challenging by moment. Nice overall. WATCH OUT for the TiCKS

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