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Ramapo Mountain State Forest protects 4,269 acres in the mountainous region of Northern New Jersey. It is in both Passaic and Bergen Counties and is a separate park from the adjacent Ramapo Reservation.
There is a well-marked network of trails here. Lily and I set out to explore the easier blue (MacEvoy, named for the man who originally purchased this land to form a hunting club) trail to Ramapo Lake. There are also ruins of a ‘castle’ up a much more difficult trail and other sights to see in the park, but our time was limited as we arrived only an hour or so before sunset.
We parked in the lower lot on Skyline Drive, just off Route 287. MacEvoy Trail begins at the end of this lot, just past the stone wall ruins. This is a popular trail and we saw several other hikers with dogs.
The path then leads up a rocky slope, alongside a stream that flows from Ramapo Lake. There are a few scrambles over boulders here and there.
We’d had a lot of rain, so the water was really ripping, with small waterfalls everywhere. (Scroll down for a video clip)
We’d only gotten about a half mile up when we came to what is described in trail guides as a ‘short rock hop’ across the stream. With the higher water volume, it was no hop, especially for a small cockapoo ( or a person trying to balance a cockapoo and camera while fording a raging river.)
Just ahead of us, a much larger Weimeraner was spooked and refused to cross the stream. So we turned back, content with the lovely, but short, walk through the woods.
Location: Skyline Drive, Wanaque, NJ 07465
Designation: NJ State Forest
Date designated or established: 1976
Date of my visit: 12/30/2018