Route: Wanaque Traverse (NJ)

Submitted by Kim Levinsky on Tue, 03/23/2021 - 04:12pm
Location
New Jersey, US
Distance
36.7 mi
Vertical Gain
8,228 ft
Description

This rugged, technical traverse is sure to be an unforgettable experience on the trails! This 36.7 mile loop boasts over 8,200 feet of gain and is an "scenic tour" of Norvin Green State Forest, Long Pond Ironworks State Park, Ringwood State Park and Ramapo Mountain State Forest! There are a lot of directions to follow to complete this loop, so the gpx file and paper/digital copy of the NYNJTC North Jersey #115 Map are highly recommended. Start/finish at Back Beach Park on 4th Ave in Haskell, NJ. The other State Park locations technically close at dark, so parking here will allow you to start/finish when it's dark! This crazy Traverse starts with a few miles of road running because it’s the only way to make it a complete loop. From the Back Beach Park lot, follow 4th Ave a few blocks and then turn right on 2nd Ave. Cross over Ringwood Ave (there are stores/restaurants along Ringwood Ave if you need to make a pitstop!) and continue on Doty Road. Follow Doty Road for about a mile until you spot the White Trailhead on your right. Hop on the White Trail - Posts Brooks Trail. Follow the White Trail to the junction where the Yellow Trail begins and the White Trail continues to the right and left. Take the Yellow Trail up to Carris Hill. Along the way, you'll have some gorgeous views. The Yellow Trail ends at Carris Hill and turns into the blue blazed Highlands Trail. Bear right to hop on the Blue Blazed Highlands Trail. Soon you will reach "Yoo Hoo Point". Take a minute to look across the mountain and see if you can spot anyone on Wyanokie High Point. If you see anyone - shout "YOO HOO" and you'll likely get a response back. Wyanokie High Point is your next stop; the Blue Trail will take you up to Wyanokie High Point for an incredible 360 degree summit. When you're ready to continue on, bear right to continue following the Blue Highlands Trail which is now coaligned with the Red Trail. (You will stay on the Blue Highlands Trail for a long while, following it all the way up to Long Pond Ironworks.) After you leave Wyanokie High Point, the Blue Highlands Trail will take you out to West Brook Road. Cross over West Brook Road and onto Stonetown Road on the right. Pay close attention - the Blue Highlands Trail/Red Trail will have a small wood post indicating when you should leave the road and head back into the woods. It is less than 1/10th of a mile down Stonetown Road and is easy to miss. Once you hop back on the trail, you will follow the Blue Highlands Trail/Red Stonetown Circular Trail all the way up to Long Pond Ironworks. The first 5 or so miles of this section is the Stonetown Circular Trail and will be perhaps the toughest miles of the day. Get ready to climb. With you get to the top of the Stonetown Circular Trail, next to the Wanaque Reservoir, the trail will cross over powerlines and climb to the summit of Harrison Mountain. **The Red Trail will continue to the left to complete the Stonetown Circular Loop-- you will turn right to stay on the Blue Highlands Trail. The view from Horse Pond Mountain gives you a sweeping view of the Monksvill Reservoir. Continue following the Blue Highlands Trail to cross over Greenwood Lake Turnpike. Continue following the Highlands Trail and check out the history Long Pond Iron Furnaces and other historical sites along the way. After the Furnace, the Blue Highlands Trail will continue to the left heading up to Sterling Forest in NY and the Yellow Hasenclever Trail will begin on the right shortly after crossing over the foot bridge. Hop on the Yellow Trail and follow it across Tranquility Ridge County Park all the way to the Ringwood Manor. This new reroute was recently completed by the New York New Jersey Trail Conference to avoid the once closed trail. Once you reach the Ringwood Manor, take a minute to explore the grounds (there is a seasonally operated café and restrooms here - check ahead of time for operating hours). When you're ready to leave, hop on the Red/White Trail and cross over Sloatsburg Road. You'll follow the Red/White Trail until it splits and then stay right on the White Trail. Stay on the White Trail, crossing over Morris Road and then reaching the gate for the NJ State Botanical Garden. If you need to use the restrooms, bear right at the Pump House to run through the Gardens. The restrooms will be on your left and the Skylands Manor on your right (the Manor is a sight to see, along with the grounds of the Gardens). When you're ready to leave the Gardens, get back on the White Trail and follow it along until you spot the the junction with the Red Trail on your right. Turn right on the Red Trail - Ringwood-Ramapo Trail. Shortly after getting on the Red Trail, you will cross over "Warm Puppy Rock" which provides a great view. You will follow the Red Trail all the way down to Skyline Drive. Shortly after the big climb up the switchbacks, there will be a beautiful overlook on your right. The Red Trail will soon end after this and the Yellow Trail will begin. Stay on the Yellow Trail until it joins the Red Cannonball Trail which has a red "C" blaze. Stay on the Cannonball Trail until you reach Skyline Drive. When you cross over Skyline Drive, turn right at the first split to get on the White Trail to the Castle Ruins and be sure to explore and snap a few pictures of this awesome piece of history. When you're ready to continue, follow the White Trail to the end where it will hit the Red Trail again. Turn right on the Red Trail and follow it to the opposite end of Ramapo Lake. When you reach the opposite end of Ramapo Lake, turn right to stay onto the Red Indian Rock Trail. Follow this trail to the end where the trail ends at the Back Beach Park lot .

GPS Track