Sunday, November 15, 2020

Cascade Lake Park and Prospect Rock

Cascade Lake Park /
Abraham Hewitt State Forest /
Appalachian Trail National Scenic Trail Area
Passaic Co., New Jersey & Orange Co., New York

Hiking Trails:
Red Trail: Red blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Blue Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.6 Miles
Hike Type: Loop

Pros: Great Scenery and Good Climb
Cons: Cascade Lake Park trails are not well marked

Google Map of Parking:

This trail was a continuation of my completion of all the segments of the Appalachian Trail in my area. My furthest contiguous point to the west was at the State Line Trail at Prospect Park. This hike continued a further segment from the Cascade Lake Park area and picking up the trail from that vantage point. I was in the area in the late spring, where I went to the top from the other side from the State Line Trail at Greenwood Lake.

I had seen the Blue Trail coming out from Prospect Rock and intended to come back here and explore the area. This was that opportunity. The weather was cold and windy, and my first real taste of wintry-like weather. I parked at the Cascade Lake Park parking area, and took the Red Trail going along the side of the lake and heading south.

Cascade Lake Park is a local park adjacent to Bellvale/Bearfort Mountain with many wide trails. It is generally not a very scenic area, except for the lake and dam and last stretch of the Blue Trail up Bellvale Mountain. 

I continued on the Red Trail until its hard bend, but went ahead straight on the unmarked woods road that connected directly to the Appalachian Trail. I took the Appalachian Trail east up the mountain all the way up to the Surprise Lake Trail, and then continued to the intersection of the State Line Trail. I then crossed the state line from New Jersey to New York, where the marker indicates the state line crossing. I then continued to Prospect Rock, a large rocky outcrop on Bellvale Mountain with sweeping views of the Greenwood Lake area.

I then took the Blue Trail to the west from near the top down descending on the path to where it widens and continues its descent down the mountain. I then went past the dam of Cascade Lake taking some pictures of the dam, and then walking along the side of the lake back to my car.

Map of the Route

Cascade Lake and Dock

Another View of Cascade Lake

Small Cascade South of Cascade Lake Near the Bend in the Red Trail

Trail Connecting to the Appalachian Trail with Evergreen Trees Along the Sides

Intersection of the Appalachian Trail

View from the Top of the Ridge, with the Manhattan Skyscrapers in the Distance

Another View Near the Summit

Surprise Lake in the Distance and Wyanokie High in the Distance

Large Rock Face and Pitch Pines

Appalachian Trail at the State Line Trail Intersection

New York / New Jersey State Line Marker on the Appalachian Trail

First View at Prospect Rock, with Greenwood Lake and Fox Island in the Distance

View of Greenwood Lake, Looking South

Worn Out Flag at Prospect Rock on Bellvale Mountain

View from Prospect Rock at Bellvale Mountain Looking Northeast

Bare Rockface at Prospect Rock, Facing North

More Exposed Rock Face on Bellvale Mountain

Me at Prospect Rock at Bellvale Mountain 

Greenwood Lake Looking East

Another View of the Worn Out Flag

Purple Conglomerate Rock on Bellvale Mountain

Waterfalls over the Cascade Lake Dam

Zoomed Into the Cascade Lake Dam Waterfalls

Looking over the Cascade Lake Dam

View of Cascade Lake from the Blue Trail

Another View of Cascade Lake

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