Sunday, March 18, 2018

Ramapo Lake and Castle Point Winter Hike

Ramapo Mountain State Forest
Bergen and Passaic Counties,
New Jersey

Hiking Trail:
Skyline Connector Trail: White/Red blaze
Cannonball Trail: Red blaze
Macevoy Trail: Blue blaze
Castle Point Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.6 Miles

Pros: Scenic area, nice views, and pretty lake
Cons: Homes take away from wilderness feel at first part of trail

There was still plenty of snow here from the big storm a week and a half prior. I had hike this area in 2012, and remembered it being very scenic. I was never along these trails in the winter, and I did a reverse hike than the one I did in 2012. I parked I parked on the upper parking area on Skyline Drive, and took the short Skyline Connector Trail to the Cannonball Trail. I took the Cannonball Trail down towards Ramapo Lake as it descended the ridge, and then too a short bushwack near Ramapo Lake to the Macevoy Trail.

I took some pictures at the lake, and then continued on the Macevoy Trail along the northern shore of Ramapo Lake for a very short distance to the Castle Point Trail. I took the Castle Point Trail up the steep hill to the castle ruins, a large home built by stockbroker William Porter in 1910, and abandoned in the 1940's, and then ruined in the 1950's. At this area there is also a nice view of the Wanaque Reservoir and Wyanokies. I continued along the Castle Point Trail to the Cannonball Trail, and then back to the Skyline Connector Trail, and then back to my car.

Map of the Route

Skyline Connector Trail, Full of Snow

Ramapo Lake, Northern Part

Another View at Ramapo Lake

Me at Ramapo Lake

Ramapo Lake Islands

Ramapo Lake Facing South

Another View of Ramapo Lake

Castle Point Trail Sign

View Southwest from Castle Point

View West from Castle Point Overlooking Wanaque Reservoir

View of Rockland Lake from Castle Point

Another View of Ramapo Lake

Overlooking Castle from Across the Mountain

View from Castle Point Facing East to High Point and NYC Skyline

Zoomed in to NYC Skyline

Wanaque Reservoir from Castle Point

Selfie at Castle Point

Another NYC Skyline View

The Abandoned Castle

Another View of the Abandoned Castle

Inside the Castle

The Trail in the Castle

The Next View at Castle Point, Further Up

Another View of the Wanauqe Reservoir

And Another

And One More

Another Structure North of the Castle

A Closer View

View Right Before Descending

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