Sunday, May 5, 2019

Ramapo Reservation Rainy Spring Hike

Ramapo Valley County Reservation
Bergen Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
River Trail: Orange/Green blaze
Vista Loop Trail: Yellow blaze
Reservoir Loop: Pink blaze
Brookside Trail: Blue/Pink blaze
Ridge Loop Trail: Blue blaze
Marsh Loop Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 1:45 Hours
Estimated Distance: 3.6 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Points of Interest: Scenic lakes, waterfall, and nice scenery
Cons: Area is often busy, especially on weekends, though quiet today due to heavy rains

Hiking Partner:
Rayzi Friedman

The last several Sundays had lousy weather, and this week was no exception. The rain was steady but not strong, so we decided to don my rain gear and head out for the hills.

We parked in the Ramapo Reservation parking area, (which was quite empty for a Sunday) and took the River Trail alongside the Ramapo River, which was overflowing. The trail was very wet with many puddles. We then took the Vista Loop Trail up the waterfalls, which were exceptional, and continued to the Reservoir Loop to the dam. After the dam, we continued on this trail along the northern side of MacMillan Reservoir, and then took the newly blazed Brookside Trail for a short distance to its terminus at the Ridge Loop.

This trail is new and goes alongside the brook until it reaches the Brookside Trail. Also new is the Marsh Loop Extension, which I'll mention shortly. We took the new trail to the Ridge Loop Trail, and then took the newly extended Marsh Loop Trail back to the Reservoir Trail, though on the south side of the reservoir.  We then took the Ridge Loop Trail down the mountain, to Scarlet Oak Pond at the Vista Loop Trail and then back to the car.

Map of the Route

Kiosk at the Beginning of the Trail, all Wet and Muddy

Ramapo River from the Bridge, Flowing Very Strongly

Overflowing Scarlet Oak Pond

Me in my Raingear at Scarlet Oak Pond

Beginning of the River Trail

Me at the Trailhead of the River Trail

Flooded River Trail

River Trail and the Ramapo River

Crossing the Flooded Stream on the River Trail

Me at the Ramapo Reservation Waterfall

Another View Similar to the Above

Me at the Above Waterfall

Another View of the Waterfalls, Closer In

Intense Green Color on the Vista Loop Trail

Me at the MacMillan Reservoir Dam

MacMillan Reservoir from the Dam

View of MacMillan Reservoir on the Rock on the North Shore

MacMillan Reservoir from the Northern End

The Trailhead Marker of the New Brookside Trail

Small Waterfall along the Brookside Trail

NJSAR (New Jersey Search & Rescue) Members Setting up a Training

The new Extension of the Marsh Loop Trail


  1. Just discovered the intense deep spiritual pleasure of hiking this season about a month ago

  2. Now I'm also committed to hiking at least once a week