Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ringwood State Park - Shepherd Pond and Mount Defiance

Ringwood State Park - NJ Department of Environmental Protection

GPS Coordinates 41.131238, -74.242777

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North Jersey Trails Map 115 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Ringwood State Park, NJ - Shepherd Pond and Mount Defiance at EveryTrail

Mount Defiance -


Facing Morris Road, turn right crossing bridge over Cupsaw Brook then right on the white-blazed trail.
A new Ruffwear Web Master Harness with a handle that works great in assisting her over spots that have become too difficult for her. 
The start of the blue Cupsaw Brook Trail at the boy scout sign.
Frozen Cupsaw Brook
Different shades of brown where there is otherwise no color.
Coming up on ...
Shepherd Pond.  Amazing how many have walked out on the ice.  Not us!
The trail follows the pond on a woods road for a bit.
The precise time at which the shooting range opened.  It is the main reason I rarely hike here.  Click below to hear what it sounds like.  Incessantly.

Heading on towards Mount Defiance.
A break along the way.
Things get very confusing in the pipeline cut where there seems to be some construction.  The cairn would lead you to believe you are on the trail but I don't think it means anything.  I could not find the continuation of the red trail in the gas pipeline cut but did find blue then bushwhacked over to red.
Red should have continued on the left opposite the "no refueling" sign.
On blue, which others seem to have found.
Once on red, backtracked to the pipeline to see where it should have started and you can see the beams straight ahead where that "no refueling" sign is.  The trail markers must be missing - I did not see any from the pipeline.
Heading up Mount Defiance.
On the green-blazed Halifax Trail.
At the cairn, a short side trail to views.
Sheets of ice going down.
The end of the green trail at the white trail.
Apparently there aren't any dogs allowed in this area but you don't see that sign unless you are driving in from the opposite direction.  Don't quite know what you are supposed to do about that if you are hiking through from the other side with a dog.  I was yelled at by some historical society person (I suppose that is who she was.) for having Shawnee there.  When I told her I was just passing through on the white-blazed trail, she did not have a clue what I was talking about. 
The white trail gets confusing near the parking lot.  Continue to the "wrong way" sign.
Then head towards the eagles on wither side of the entrance (no blazes here at all).  Across this intersection to the left is the continuation of the white trail.  It is here if you turn around and look back that you see the one and only "no pets allowed" sign.
Again in the pipeline, the trail abruptly ends.  Here you have to climb the temporary wall because as you can see looking back, hay bales block the trail.
The trail veers left just before Morris Road....
... and comes out right at the parking pad.

[  0.00]  Facing Morris Road turn right, cross bridge, then right on white Crossover Trail
[  0.45]  Turn right on yellow
[  0.50]  Turn right on blue when yellow goes left at boys scout sign
[  0.85]  Red joins in from the left just before creek crossing; continue on red/blue
[  1.10]  Right on red when blue leaves to the left, cross bridge
[  1.40]  Red turns left on woods road
[  1.65]  Shepherd Pond; continue to the right around the pond to kiosk then on woods road which is combined red/orange trail
[  2.00]  Red/orange leave woods road on footpath to the right
[  2.15]  Cross woods road which is orange, red continues straight
[  2.65]  Cross bike trail
[  2.75]  At pipeline, veer right to continue on red trail or veer left to get to blue trail to bushwhack over to red - no blazes for either trail from pipeline cut
[  3.15]  Right on green
[  3.25]  Turn right at cairn on unmarked to view; retrace
[  3.30]  Continue right on green
[  3.70]  Right on white then keep right at fork, continue past parking lot the right towards booth and exit between eagles (no blazes in this area)
[  4.25]  Cross intersection then veer right towards sign for white Crossover Trail
[  4.85]  Right in gas pipeline then left just before Morris Road
[  5.00]  Back at parking


  1. Guess we should skip this one based on the no dogs allowed thing. Hate the gunfire too. My dogs don't freak out much for it, but when I hear it, I feel sure that someone is trying to shoot me!

    1. Shawnee doesn't seem to mind gunfire either but I sure do find it stressful! It shatters that peace and tranquility of hiking instantly.


  2. So glad Shawnee's new harness is working out so well for the both of you. I know Shawnee comes equipped with her own non-slip pads, but do you use any traction devices on icy/slippery winter hikes like this? It must have pretty hairy descending that sheet-of-ice trail! Then having to put up with that @#$%^&*! shooting range noise! Been on hikes near ranges before and it is so NOT enjoyable! Shame about the uninformed, persnickety Skyland's docent then having to circumnavigate that blasted pipeline construction/destruction. Glad you were able to successfully deal w/all those impediments and still have a good hike.

    1. I always carry my Kahtoolah microspikes in the winter. On this hike I had them on and off a good 3 times. Shawnee is not so stable on ice any more so I need the spikes in order to help her across or we'd both end up on our behinds, or worse!