Sunday, December 13, 2015

Bear Swamp Lake

Ramapo Valley County Reservation /
Ringwood State Park
Bergen Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Schuber Trail: Orange blaze
Macmillan Reservoir Loop Trail: Pink blaze
Red-Silver Trail: Red & Silver blaze
Shore Trail: Blue blaze
Hoeferline Memorial Trail: Yellow blaze
Halifax Trail: Green blaze
White Trail: White blaze
Ridge Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:55 Hours
Estimated Distance: 7.0 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult
Level of Recommendation: Recommended

Points of Interest: Scenic lakes, lots of trails
Cons: Lots of people in the beginning, too many human structures

This was a very Warm day for mid-December, reaching a high in the 60's. I had left in the morning with a light jacket, but as the hike progressed and the day warmed up, I took off the coat and hiked the rest in short sleeves. Overall the entire November and December had been exceptionally warm.

This area is very busy on weekends, especially nice weekends like this one. In fact, it was so busy that when I finished my hike and left, the large parking lot was entirely full! Though once you get past Macmillan Reservoir, the crowds entirely disappear and there is hardly a person in site!

I started off at the main parking area, crossed the bridge going across the Ramapo River, and veered left to the beginning of the Schuber Trail. This trail starts off going alongside the Ramapo River, and then juts westerly towards the mountain. It cuts through the mountain by the stream, where there is a well-known waterfall. I veered off slightly to take some pictures of the waterfall (which did not come out too well), and then headed back on the trail. I continued along towards the reservoir, and then veered off slightly on the Macmillan Reservoir Loop Trail, and crossed over the dam.

I continued back on the Schuber Trail past the reservoir to the Red-Silver Trail, which continued climbing and eventually took me to Bear Swamp Lake. This is a scenic lake far off the beaten path. At this point, I went south along the Shore Trail, which goes around the lake, went over the bridge by the dam at the southern outlet of the lake, and then went north along the western rim of the lake. I took this to the Hoeferline Memorial Trail, and then to the Halifax Trail. I took this trail to the White trail and then the Ridge Trail, where I veered off towards the view, and then continued along the trail back to Scarlet Oak Pond and back to the parking area.

Map of the Route
North Jersey Trails Eastern Map

Pair of Swans in Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond with Hawk Rock in the Background

Piece of River Foam Floating Down the Ramapo River

Old Structure on the Schuber Trail on the Foot of the Mountain
Was Recently Destroyed

Waterfall Along the Schuber Trail

MacMillan Reservoir

Me at the Macmillan Reservoir

Sign Posted About Brook Trout in Bear Swamp Brook

Incredible Picture Reflection in Bear Swamp Lake

Bear Swamp Lake Near the Outlet Bridge

Bear Swamp Lake Outlet

Another Reflection Picture in Bear Swamp Lake

Communications Tower Disturbing the Nature
Off the White Trail

Beech Trees with their Dried Brown Leaves Remaining

At the View of the Ridge Trail

Another Picture of the View by the Ridge Trail

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