Friday, December 2, 2016

Ramapo Valley County Reservation, NJ

Ramapo Valley County Reservation - Bergen County, NJ

GPS Coordinates 41.07776, -74.18709
Huge parking lot that fills up on weekends.

At this time the best map is the temporary free map from the NY/NJ Trail Conference that shows all of the recently constructed trails which are part of this hike.
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HIKE DISTANCE:  10.65 miles

This was not a hike Shawnee could do in her wheelchair so I had to sneak out without her again.  It's not that I don't want to take her, I miss her terribly.  It's just that I have yet to find any week day no hunting options that are appropriate for her.  She'll get her turn over the weekend.  And I'll just have to burn extra calories.
All paths from the parking lot lead to the yellow trail...
... across the Ramapo River.
Just before Scarlet Oak Pond, a right on silver.
Buffleheads in Scarlet Oak Pond.
At the end of silver, right on yellow over the bridge.
I had started at 7 AM so the sunrise colors were gorgeous.
Looking back at Scarlet Oak Pond.
The deer are much more curious here since it is a huge no hunting park.
As long as they stay on this side and don't wander over to Ramapo State Forest.
Reaching a higher elevation.
Views from Hawk Rock.
Up a little higher to ...
... New York City skyline views from Cactus Ledge.
This would be why it is called Cactus Ledge.
Continuing on yellow.
Right on white.
Pink joins in for a short distance.
Looks like an old foundation along the trail.
Taking pink to the right when it leaves white.
Pink descends to green where a left on green is a creek crossing.
After two days of pouring rain, the water was raging and crossing was a little challenging.
Haven't had to use these in a long time but fortunately I always have a pair of waterproof boot covers tucked away in my backpack for just such occasions.
Vintage car ruins with crank windows that I have always missed.  Have never been a fan of power car windows.
The green trail was a creek from all of the rain.
Halifax ruins on the right.
The trail finally dries out at a higher elevation.
Leaving the woods road on a foot path to the left.
Crossing that same creek higher up where it is much more manageable.
Leaving green and turning left on white.
The trail passes by this building on the pipeline from which a loud humming noise can be heard and where I smelled gas.
Doesn't take very long to leave all of that behind and have peace and quiet again.
Back on that same stretch of white/pink I was on earlier.
Turning right to stay on pink.
At the end of pink right on blue.
From blue I had intended to turn right on red but realized within about a quarter of a mile that I was on the wrong red.  This is actually red/silver.
Back on blue, it is right after this bend over a creek...
... that I turned right on red without silver which is the trail I wanted to take.
Man-made swamp outlet.
After passing yellow I had to start watching to the right for a way to bushwhack up Matty Price Hill where there were supposed to be nice views.
I found a spot to head up but obviously I was not the first to go this way.
Almost at the summit there is a faint footpath where others have gone before.
Indeed, very nice views to the west,
Heading back down...
... where I came out back on red to continue on.
Red ends at McMillan Reservoir.
Taking the pink trail around the reservoir.
There were tons of birds at the far side of the reservoir.  This would be a male American Goldfinch in his much more subdued winter colors.
Black-capped Chickadee
This cheeky little titmouse was playing hide-and-seek with me alternating from one side of the tree to the other.
On this rock slab at the far side of the reservoir ...
... pink ends at yellow where I turned left on yellow.
A blurry White-breasted Nuthatch
New York City skyline views from the Ridge Overlook off of the yellow trail.
When yellow joins blue to the left, right on blue.
Blue becomes paved and heads towards ...
... Scarlet Oak Pond where you will run into tons of people.
Blue ends at yellow ...
Scarlet Oak Pond
... and a left on yellow leads back to the parking lot.
When I don't have to carry two large bottles of water for Shawnee, I have room to pack out more litter.


  1. Great post, as usual. Did you ever hike the Saucon Rail Trail? It should be perfect for Shawnee and just shy of 7 miles one way. The Tail head is a couple miles of the Hellertown exit of Interstate 78. Maybe a safe weekend hike during hunting season.

    1. No, haven't done that one yet. Will have to check it out. Thanks!

  2. Where do you get those waterproof boot covers? I could use a pair.



    1. Here is where I ordered from: and I got the 6 mil package of 10 (5 pairs). I ordered them 12/1/2011 and just now have to reorder since my last pair sprung a leak on this hike. They can be reused several times. They fold flat and slide into a flat pocket in my backpack so I don't even know they are there until I need them! They are cheap, too.

    2. Thank you so much. I wear Gore-Tex boots but they don't help when the water's too deep!


  3. Waterproof boot covers are a brilliant idea!

    1. Thanks! Every so often I come up with a good idea, LOL. I am not one to promote disposable items but considering I only ordered once in 5 years, I guess they weren't that disposable.