Sunday, December 7, 2014

Abram Hewitt State Forest, NJ

Abram S. Hewitt State Forest - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

GPS Coordinates 41.156477, -74.363453

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Looking back at the parking pullout from the trail head.  There is room for 2-3 cars with two additional pullouts further up the road.

North Jersey Trails Map #116 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Abram Hewitt State Forest Map - NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Abram Hewitt State Forest, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.7 miles

Walk back along Warwick Turnpike from the parking pullout across the concrete bridge, then left where the guardrail bends to the left in front of the yellow gate.
... where the white-blazed Bearfort Ridge Trail starts.
About 1/10th of a mile in the orange Quail Trail starts on the right but I find it is best to use that as the return route.
Shawnee started out with her winter coat on because it was supposed to be in the 20's with wind chill in the teens.  It was 35 with no wind.  She soon started panting, the coat came off and I had to readjust my layers as well.
Ahhh, much better.
Cooling off.
The blue-blazed trail connects to the second parking pullout.
The trail climbs steadily....
... to views at the top
There were two scrambles that Shawnee refused to do, she just can't do the more difficult ones any more.
It was not a problem because as you can see, she found a way to bypass way to the left.
Still bypassing...
Back up on the trail.
Scramble #2 that was bypassed.
But she can still do the less vertical ones.
A few patches of snow in the lower areas.
Nice winter views.
The trail passes along a huge separation in the rock with a swamp on the other side.
She had an easy time getting through this - me with my backpack, not so much.
Everything along this hike is scenic.
Views at the end of the white trail.  Here we turned left on yellow.  I remembered that 5 or 6 years ago when we did this hike I attempted to go left but had to abort because at that time there was a steep downhill scramble Shawnee could not do so we did not even try this time.
There are a couple of water crossings on yellow.  I found easier ways to get over to the right in each case.
Going through a rhododendron tunnel.
Coming up on Surprise Lake at the intersection with the orange Quail Trail.
Surprise Lake
Continuing on yellow to the summit of Bearfort Mountain.
Views start to open up.
Greenwood Lake
Break time!  I gave her everything in the bag because she worked very hard on this hike!
Heading back on yellow.
Returning on the orange Quail Trail.
It's all very rocky woods road but a lot of it is like rock hopping down a creek.
Cooley Brook
The Cooley Brook crossing ...
... was no problem at all for her.
But for me, I had to pull out the plastic boot covers as I recalled how I slipped and fell into Cooley's Brook in the winter the last time I did this hike.
A few waterfalls towards the end of the hike.
And a few more wet crossings.  I had to put on the boot covers 3 times for fording.  At least I did not slip and fall in this time :)
When the woods road becomes drier and less rocky, it's almost the end.
Coming up on Warwick Turnpike.
The end.

[  0.00]  Walk back along Warwick Turnpike across the concrete bridge then turn left at the trail head on the white trail
[  0.10]  Left on white when yellow starts on the right
[  0.75]  Straight on white when blue comes in from the left
[  3.00]  Right on yellow when white ends
[  3.50]  Left on yellow when orange starts to the right; continue to Surprise Lake then continue on yellow
[  3.80]  Views of Greenwood Lake; retrace
[  4.10]  Continue on yellow/orange then left on orange when yellow goes right
[  6.60]  Left on white when orange ends then right on Warwick Pike
[  6.70]  Back at parking


  1. I'm so happy to see Shawnee out there with you again!
    Can you please tell me what kind of camera you have?
    And where to get boot covers?
    Thanks so much for sharing your adventures!

    1. Thanks! I am happy to have her back out there with me. Hikes just aren't the same without her.

      I have a Canon PowerShot SX40 HS that has incredible 35x zoom. I bought it back in April 2012 on the recommendation of Dan Balogh ( It takes a little getting used to having it hanging around your neck on hikes but I did get used to it and couldn't hike without it now. The only complaint I have is that the auto focus has a mind of its own and doesn't always focus on what I want it to focus on so I miss a lot of bird shots because it blurs out the bird and focuses on the branches. But when it does focus on the bird, you can see every detail.

      The boot covers are crazy cheap, fold up and slide right into a flat pocket in my backpack so I don't even know they are there but so handy when I need them! they are the 6 mil package of 10 for $7.95 so you get 5 pair and can use them over and over again. Each boot cover of the current pair actually sprouted leaks on this hike (but my feet still stayed dry) so I used them to collect litter at the end of the hike. But I had already used them many times so on to the next pair.


  2. This is a gorgeous hike! I've done this years ago with a group I used to go with. It's also pretty strenuous though right? Shawnee is doing so well. God Bless Her! I'm so happy for both of you that you can enjoy hikes together. Thanks for sharing! Joanne

    1. Yes, it is rocky and slippery and wet. There are very few smooth stretches so it makes for very slow going. The first time I did this hike, almost exactly 5 years ago, there was a huge snow melt in progress and anything off of the ridge was completely flooded. It was miserable hiking with no dry ground to step on, then slipping and falling into the creek on my behind. When I got done with that hike I never wanted to see running water again. It was everywhere. So lesson learned, don't go when there has been a lot of snow on a warmer day when it is all melting FAST! It was a much more pleasant hike this time around. It is one of the most gorgeous hikes in New Jersey so well worth the effort.


  3. Haven't done this one for quite awhile. Think we'll put this on our "to-do-again" list. After reading previous hikes where you needed the booties, I'm convinced you never travel w/o them. Good thing Shawnee doesn't mind those cooling waters. Otherwise you'd have quite a time slipping smaller covers over all four paws! Once again, truly happy to see her out there w/you again. :)


    1. It is definitely a hike worth repeating! And yes, those boot covers are in my backpack always. I have a flat pocket on my backpack that I thought was kind of useless until I realized those boot covers fold up and slide right in there, completely out of the way until needed and you just never know when you might need them. Shawnee says not to even put that thought in my mind about putting booties on her paws, LOL.