Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ramapo Mountain State Forest/Ramapo Valley County Reservation, NJ - Cannonball/Yellow/Schuber

Ramapo Mountain State Forest - NJ Division of Parks and Forestry
Ramapo Valley County Reservation - Bergen County, NJ

GPS Coordinates 41.04742, -74.25130
Parking at 7:00 AM
Parking at 12:00 PM

North Jersey Trails Map 115 - NYNJ Trail Conference
Ramapo Mountain State Forest Trail Map (free map) - NYNJ Trail Conference
My GPS went rogue on me and spontaneously lost about half of the hike so here is the route highlighted on the free map.

 HIKE DISTANCE:  8.3 miles

Shawnee hiked the previous day so I went on my own for this one to do a hike too difficult for her.
Cross Skyline drive veering left towards the mailboxes and post with blazes.
Take yellow to the left heading towards the fire danger sign.
A short distance in, an Indian shelter to the left, a scramble to the right to continue on the yellow trail.
Indian Shelter?
At the top of the scramble, sunrise to the east.
The Cannonball Trail joins in from the left and that is the one I would be staying with all the way to Camp Yaw Paw.
Up ahead...
... the trail goes right through gas pipeline stuff where there is a strong smell of gas :(
Back into the woods and away from Skyline Drive.
A left on the Matapan Rock Trail to ...
... views west a short distance ahead.
Back on the Cannonball Trail, vintage car ruins.
A felt so sorry for this squirrel.  She scrambled up a tree with her mouth stuffed full of leaves, got almost to the top and dropped them all.  She proceeded to chatter curse words, in squirrelspeak, of course.
That gas pipeline runs parallel on the right and sometimes comes into view.
The Old Guard Trail joins in briefly.
Entering Ramapo Mountain County Reservation.
Cam Yaw Paw ruins.
Shortly after this dilapidated cabin...
Yellow starts on the right,
Taking yellow.
Orange joins in for a bit.
You would think that as upcoming views draw my attention to the left...
... that I would not notice this way off to the right.
But I did.  Balloon #3 for the year.
Back to those views.
New York City skyline in the distance.
The other end of the Old Guard Trail.
Orange leaves at ...
... an area of open views.
George Washington Bridge
Continuing on yellow.
More camp ruins.
White joins in ...
... then leaves to the right.  Staying on white now.
White goes along the left side of this cabin...
... turns right along the cabin...
... crosses a bridge over...
... Fox Brook ...
... then ends at the camp road.  Turn right on the road.
Veer left towards the sign...
... to the beginning of white.
White follows a camp road along Lake Vreeland.
Lake Vreeland
Hooded Mergansers
White leaves the camp road as orange joins in from the left.
Staying with orange when white splits off.
I had seen this red trail the last time I was here and it's not on the map but looks like it goes to Lake Tamarack so I went to check it out.
Downy Woodpecker
And here it is ...
Lake Tamarack
Retraced back to orange and continued on to Skyline Drive and the parking lot.