We visited Ramapo Mountain State Forest, a 4200 acre forest primarily in Bergen County, New Jersey, with a small percentage of the land in Passaic County. While this was my first visit, the forest is quite close (in distance and in character) to Ringwood State Park, where I hiked previously.
We parked on Skyline Drive, which bisects the forest, and began hiking into the northern portion on the orange-blazed Schuber trail.
There are fungus among us:
The trails we hiked were not wholly contained within the forest, but also ran through a significant tract of Bergen County land, which included Camp Glen Gray, 750 acres developed as a Boy Scout camp in 1917 and sold to Bergen County in 2002. The camp includes a small lake, Lake Vreeland, and a number of fine cabins, such as this one:
While many of the trails were blazed by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, we saw other blazes, including one I had not seen before, representing Bergen County:
We turned onto the green leaf-blazed Old Guard trail, and continued hiking north. This young deer–barely visible through the trees–did not get the word that we are harmless to her kind, and she fled from us:
The blaze of the Old Guard trail:
Slender trees with texture:
We turned onto the red-blazed Cannonball trail:
We turned west on a green-blazed crossover trail, gaining a bit in elevation.
Perhaps this concrete structure was a water settling tank:
We soon reaching the yellow-blazed Hoeferlin Memorial trail, which afforded a view from the Erskine Lookout:
We turned south on the yellow trail, then upon reaching an intersection with the green leaf-blazed Old Guard trail, turned west. This soon brought us back into the Ramapo Mountain State Forest, and to another lookout:
Batya was breaking in a new pair of boots that day:
I spotted two wrecked vehicles about 50 yards to the east of the trail, and we detoured to investigate. My map didn’t show any old woods roads in the immediate vicinity, so it’s somewhat of a mystery how the vehicles got there. Here’s a Willys Jeep Station Wagon that has seen much better days:
A front view of the Willys. Perhaps someone will email me with the model year. There are no horizontal crossbars on the grill, but there seem to be brackets behind the grill, so perhaps there had once been such bars?
Here’s the second vehicle. We have what appears to be an upside down frame and an upright body, which may or may not belong together. Was it also a Willys? The bumper looks the same:
The map indicated a short detour of about 0.1 or 0.2 miles to the west to a scenic view from Matapan Rock, and I’m glad we took the few minutes to walk over there:
We returned to the trail and continued to the end. The trail ended at Skyline Drive about 0.7 miles from where we had parked. According to the map, the trail was supposed to continue to the end, but we could not tell where it continued. Instead, there was a very large clearing filled with mounds of tree bark, manure, etc. Not having much choice, we exited the woods and carefully walked beside Skyline Drive to return to the car.