Sunday, January 15, 2023

Manaticut Point Loop

Norvin Green State Forest
Passaic Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
West Brook Connector Trail: Pink blaze
Hewitt Butler Trail: Blue blaze
Manaticut Point Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.25 Miles

Pros: Steep climb, great view, quiet area
Cons: Steep terrain difficult, limited parking
Hike Type: Lollipop loop
Level of Difficulty: Difficult

Hiking Partner:
Yehudah Koblick

Google Maps of Parking:

This was my first time on this trail. We had trouble finding it because there was a map reroute which wasn't reflected on my 2014 edition map, so we had to bushwhack and explore a bit first before hitting the trail. 

It was a cold but sunny day. We parked on side of the road at West Brook Road, near the the driveway to Hill Top Airport. We saw a blue trail marker on the road guardrail, but noticed the trail had wooden branches intentionally blocking it. Nevertheless we descended on the trail towards the brook, hoping to cross the brook and ascend the mountain, but the trail just fizzled out and the brook was impassible. My guess is that there was a bridge or a brook crossing here that got washed out and they just closed the trail. 

After turning around unsuccessfully, we drove down the road a bit more, and parked at the Camp Wyanokie/West Brook Connector trailhead parking. There is only enough space for one or two cars here, and lucky for us no one else was here. In fact, we didn't meet a single other person on the trail, despite it being a sunny Sunday!

We took the pink-blazed West Brook Connector Trail along the brook, and then started the very steep and slippery ascent up to Manaticut Point. We noticed the pink blazes were painted over the original blue blazes, which lead me to think my theory about the trail reroute was correct. At the end of this trail is the intersection with the combined Hewitt Butler and Manaticut Point Trail, and there is an incredible view to the east and to the south on an open slab of rock. This is the famous Manaticut Point. We continued along the Manaticut Point Trail, around the trail loop, and back to Manaticut Point. We took the same route back down. The climb down was particularly difficult being very steep and slippery from leaves.

Map of the Route

Approaching the Manaticut Point View

Manaticut Point View

Cascade at West Brook

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