Abram S. Hewitt State Forest, Passaic County, New Jersey

I went on my first hike with the Jewish Outdoors Club. I gave a lift to three other people from Queens, driving to West Milford, NJ. The state forest borders Wawayanda State Park, where I have hiked previously.

There were around 24 hikers, and we met in a supermarket parking lot, then hiked along a road for a short while before entering the forest. We entered on a footpath called the Jeremy Glick Trail, named posthumously for a West Milford man who died a hero on September 11, 2001.

After climbing partway up a steep hill, we reached a rock that afforded a view of the countryside:

Scenic view, Jeremy Glick Trail, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Scenic view

We continued on the trail:

Hiking on the Jeremy Glick Trail, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Hiking on the Jeremy Glick Trail

Another view of the footpath:

Jeremy Glick Trail, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Jeremy Glick Trail

Another nice view:

Scenic view, Jeremy Glick Trail, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Scenic view

A narrow wedge of rock has split away from the main bedrock, with a deep crevice in between:

Split outcrop, Jeremy Glick Trail, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Split outcrop

For some reason, in this shot the party was almost all lined up single-file, even though the path was wide enough that they could have spread out a bit:

Hikers lined up on outcrop, Jeremy Glick Trail, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Hikers lined up on outcrop

A nice panorama:

Panorama, Jeremy Glick Trail, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Panorama

The group divided in half, with the slower group opting for a 6-mile hike and the faster group opting for an 8.4-mile hike. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to do the longer hike.

There were a number of spots requiring a scramble up or down. Here, it was almost like a natural staircase leading down:

Scramble, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Scramble

I soon regretted having taken the longer hike, because the leader was moving at a very fast pace and because it was 93 degrees that day. I had to fall behind and rest for several minutes to cool down and slow down my heart rate. I don’t know if the leader realized they had lost someone and didn’t care, or if they didn’t know. I had two friends in that group, and at least they phoned to check up on me. I caught up to them and told them to go ahead as I continued at a slower pace. I eventually continued on and made it to this beautiful overlook of Greenwood Lake, a 7-mile long lake on the New York/New Jersey border, which as you can see is dotted by dozens of pleasure boats. There, I met another couple of guys from our group, and also saw a few that had taken the shorter route, as we were near the common area where we planned to meet.

Greenwood Lake, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Greenwood Lake

An even wider panorama of Greenwood Lake:

Greenwood Lake, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

I then hiked a little farther to Surprise Pond, where the reassembled group of 24 enjoyed lunch.

Surprise Pond, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Surprise Pond

Some of the group has spotted a turtle near the “beach” of Surprise Pond:

Hikers look at turtle in Surprise Pond, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Hikers look at turtle in Surprise Pond

Additional views of the turtle:

Snapping turtle

Snapping turtle

Snapping turtle

Snapping turtle

After lunch, we began a hike out of the forest, passing over a few streams via stepping stones:

Hikers cross stream, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Hikers cross stream

The loop trail ended with what appeared to be an eroded woods road, though one write-up suggests that it was never a road and is just a footpath that became widened and eroded from a century of hiking. I’m not sure that I believe that.

Leaving the forest:

Woods road, Abram S. Hewitt State Park, NJ

Woods road

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