We drove to Ringwood State Park, which I had last visited over five years earlier. We parked in the northern parking lot at Ringwood Manor, and discovered that the wooden pedestrian bridge across the Ringwood River had a board across it, suggesting that it was not to be used. Nevertheless, there was no signage, and a couple carrying an infant was crossing the bridge from the other direction, so we also crossed it.
At the far side, we carefully and quickly crossed a blind curve on Sloatsburg Road, only to discover that the white blazes of the former trail had been removed. I suspect that the Trail Commission realized that it was simply too dangerous to cross Sloatsburg Road at that point, and rerouted the trail. While I had purchased a nice set of maps for the parks in my area, I had not made the point of replacing them with new versions, which is prudent. Hiking is one of the cheapest hobbies a person can pursue, and buying up-to-date maps is not a great expense. We were able to follow the route of the former white trail, still a relatively broad expanse through an otherwise crowded forest, and soon came to red blazes of the Ringwood Ramapo trail.
We passed the yellow-blazed Cooper Union trail, which was our objective for this day, as I wanted to show Batya the ancient lean-to shelter built in the days when the land had been owned by Cooper Union college. The walls looked about the same as on my previous trip (that is to say, looking as though a strong wind would blow it down). However, the roof was much worse, now featuring large holes. It seemed clear that the park had no interest in maintaining or restoring the shelter.
We backtracked to the west, and then turned south onto the yellow trail:
We found one scenic view that was not represented by a star on the map:
We crossed Morris Road, the first of two roads that the yellow trail would cross.
Even though it was the Fall, with many dead leaves on the ground, there were still many green ones remaining on the trees:
I always enjoy a tree tunnel:
It was bow hunting season, and a hunter had erected a stand:
Is there any significance to nailing a shovel to a tree? Did the trail builders just think it was an interesting artifact, and they moved it to a tree for others to appreciate? Or did they think the owner had lost it and might see it if it were prominently displayed in this way?
Leaves changing color:
We crossed the Carletondale Road, the second of two roads that we encountered on the yellow trail.
More glacial erratics:
The yellow trail is a lollipop trail. After about 2 miles on the yellow trail, we reached the loop part of the lollipop. We continued to the right, moving counterclockwise on the loop. After another 3/4 mile, we reached the southernmost point of the trail, called Governor Mountain, though the elevation wasn’t even 600 feet. A decent view was available on the Greenwood Lake Turnpike, the Wanaque Reservoir, and Board Mountain:
Loop part of yellow trail:
The loop part of the yellow trail included rock outcroppings:
There was also an area of fallen trees, though trail maintenance had used saws to make the area easy to hike:
When the yellow trail met the red trail, we turned west, following the red blazes of the rerouted trail, which crossed Sloatsburg Road in a safer location. It was almost dark by that point, and I couldn’t find blazes into Ringwood Manor, but we just walked across the short strip of land between the road and the facility, then followed the service roads to the parking lot and our car.