We started the Traverse at 5:21am on Sunday March 21, 2021 from Back Beach Park. We decided to get an early start in the dark with the hopes of catching the sunrise at Wyanokie High Point which has a beautiful 360 degree summit. The timing could not have been better! We got to watch an amazing "light show" as we ascended Carris Hill and then a picture-perfect sunrise at the summit of Wyanokie High Point. From start to finish, this route was full of technical trails and beautiful views as we made our way up and down the relentless climbs. The biggest climbs of the day were very early on as we completed half of the "Stonetown Circular Trail" before splitting off to stay on the Highlands Trail up to Long Pond Ironworks State Park. Shortly after we entered Long Pond Ironworks State Park, we stopped to filter water at the Wanaque River, next to the Historic Long Pond Iron Furnace where there is a large foot bridge. The newly rerouted Hasenclever Trail that brings you across Tranquility Ridge County Park to connect Long Pond Ironworks State Park to Ringwood State Park, gave us a challenge with several miles of mud and standing water. We were disappointed to find out that the restrooms at the NJ Botanical Garden were closed, but we did enjoy running through the gardens as we made our way over to Warm Puppy Rock. We all agreed that we would need to come back in the summer to see the gardens in full bloom. The last big climb of the day was up the switchbacks on the Ringwood-Ramapo Trail to get up to the ridgeline at Ramapo Mountain State Forest. The Van Slyke Castle Ruins were beautiful and gave us a much needed boost knowing that were were approaching the home-stretch. As we made our way around Ramapo Lake, we could feel the excitement building as we approached the finish. Less than one mile from the parking lot, we met a group of high school boys (who appeared to be football players or wrestlers) who were lost. They ended up following us until they got back to the trail that they needed to be on. It was a hilarious way to end the day as it felt like we had a herd of elephants running behind us, laughing and blaming each other for getting lost! We made it back to Back Beach Park in 12 hours and 50 minutes and experienced pure joy and a deep sense of accomplishment. The Wanaque Traverse was an incredible experience and left us with tired feet and full souls. We completed the Traverse unsupported by supplying all of our own fuel and filtering water from the natural sources along the route.
12h 50m 0s