Ramapo Mountain State Forest

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General Information

This hilly forest is a sanctuary for wildlife. Hikers and mountain bikers enjoy miles of challenging trails. Many trails offer a view of the New York City skyline. Birdwatchers are attracted to the forest for its ponds, streams and marshes that provide the perfect habitat for bird and other wildlife species. The forest borders the Ramapo Mountain Reservation, which is part of the Bergen County Park System.
Ramapo Lake Natural Area (1,417 acres): This natural area offers spectacular views from numerous rock outcroppings and ledges and rewards those who accept the challenge of the winding hiking trails and rocky terrain that comprise most of the site. A 120-acre clearwater mountain lake provides an excellent spot for fishing and birdwatching. There is no swimming permitted in this lake. The area is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm.

Google Map

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41.012639, -74.278583 Zoller's Soccer Field The Super Secret Zoller Soccer Parking. This lot is reserved for the truly special. Directions

41.031889, -74.25186 Skyline Lower Lot Many hikers park here, so many people going to the lake. Rocky hike-a-bike leads to trail. Directions

41.047523, -74.251516 Skyline Upper Lot Most people park here and it gives you access to both sides of Skyline Drive. Directions

41.018579, -74.266617 Pool Hollow Ave Theres no parking here. Just a trailhead for Hoeferlin (Yellow) trail. Directions

41.053305, -74.264917 McAtee Lane Small space for few cars near residences. Street Parking. MacEvoy (Blue) trailhead. Directions

41.03424, -74.28616 Back Beach Park Lots of parking at this park. Indian Rock trailhead. Directions

Details and Info

Miles: 8-12
Difficulty: Intermediate, Some Advanced
Trails: Singletrack, Doubletrack, Fire Road
Surface Dirt, Gravel, Mixed
Obstacles: Trail Obstacles, Rock Garden, Water Crossing
Detailed Overview: The trails here will challenge bike handling skills because of the rocky terrain and they will also work your cardio. The more advanced riders will find some drops and fast descents.
Park Website: Department of Environmental Protection Page.

Trails

Trail Name Blaze Distance Description
Cannonball Red w/ “C” 3.6 Miles The upper section of this trail contains a very technical and tight rocky switchback with a small stream crossing. The lower section by the i287 overpass consists of mostly rocky Doubletrack.
Orange Orange 2.6 Miles The best direction to ride this trail would be to start from the north off the blue trail. This trail presents a challenging mix of rocky Singletrack and Doubletrack that takes you to the top of the Wanque ridge. The ridge offers a great view and a fun ride along its edge.
Yellow Yellow 2 miles From the top of Skyline Dr down to the lake you will find a mix of Fire Road and rocky Singletrack. The short section by i287 overpass starts out with a short Singletrack and ends with a long Fire Road descent
Indian Trail Red/White 0.9 Miles This trail offers a fast rocky descent to the Wanaque River.
Blue Blue 2.2 Miles The northern section of this trail is all Doubletrack which leads to the lake. The lower section which takes you to the main parking lot is for hikers only.

Routes

Description: 8 Mile Loop
Park on top of Skyline Drive: This is a counter-clockwise loop so start by taking the Red/White to the north of the lot which will lead you to the Cannonball trail marked by a red dot with a “c” in the center. Make a left onto Cannonball and in half a mile you will reach the Cannonball Switchback section. (IMO the most fun and technical switchback trail in NJ.) At the end of the switchback section you will be spit onto the fire road at which point you make a right and climb it to the Castle ruins (totally worth the climb to those who love rocks). Once you reach the ruins make a right onto the White trail which will take you past the Water Tower ruins. (You have reached your first peak) Descend the rocky peak to the flat section and go straight across the pipeline. This is the unmarked trail and a bit hard to find. You will know you found it when you reach a steep descend which will take you to the Blue trail. Make a left onto the Blue trail and ride it until right before you reach the pipeline and make a right turn onto the Orange trail. Ride Orange to the top of Wanaque ridge. (You have reached your second peak) Ride orange off the ridge to the Indian Rock trail (red/white) and Indian to Cannonball. Cannonball will take you back to the Lake. Ride the lake counter-clockwise until you reach the fire road right past the dam. At this point if you still have a lust for more rocks take the Yellow trail back up to the parking lot or if you had enough rocks you can take the fire road for a good leg burn on the 12%-16% grade climb. If you push the pace you can ride this loop in 1 ½ hours otherwise it should take around 2 hours. Enjoy!
Rider: MannyL358
GPS Link: EveryTrail

Reviews

Discussion, Events, and JORBA

Forum: MTBNJ discussion on Ramapo Mountain State Forest
JORBA Contact: pixychick

Bike Shop(s) and Good Eats

Timbers Restaurant
110 West Oakland Ave.
Oakland, NJ 07436-1933
From top of Skyline, head down the Oakland side. At the bottom, make left immediately after passing beneath Rt. 287. Timbers will be two blocks on the left. Semi-upscale eats but friendly to dirty mountain bikers. Ommegang Abbey Ale in bottles. VB
Thatcher McGhee's
6 Wanaque Avenue
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
Phone: 973-839-3377
http://thatchermcghees.com/pompton/
Pedal Sports
20 D. Elm Street
Oakland, NJ 07436
http://www.pedalsports.net/

Maps

Link: High Resolution Image
Link: High Resolution PDF

Videos

Video Trail Review

Videos by: MannyL358

Pictures