New Jersey

Hike the Halifax Trail and Ruins in the Ramapo Valley Reservation

8.25 Miles Total - 500 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Gab Zarcs

Underappreciated waterfalls and creeks that you can climb around with just about ANYONE, topped off with a view from the top. This route totaled about 8.25 miles, and covered many different trails within the park, crossing the length of the park (yellow, green, white, and pink trails).

To start, I recommend coming in the early morning or afternoon, as the parking lot fills up with people hiking, fishing or going for a walk with their family. I usually get my luckiest before 9. This park is as relaxing or exciting as you want to make it. Here is a good map to use/ print out.

We made it our goal to follow the Green Trail to the Ruins in order to give us a challenge to explore the full park.

We began the hike, taking the Yellow Trail straight back from the parking lot, and turning right past the lake. A little ways down, on your left there is a small wooden bridge about 6-7 feet long. Crossing that, you’ve got a straight shot up to Hawk Rock. This was our first view. The markers on the Yellow Trail are always easy to find, but just make sure you’re looking up as you’re climbing.

Staying on the Yellow Trail, west of hawks rock is Cactus Ledge, you’ll see them around your feet as you get closer. Another amazing view.

Northeast of Cactus Ledge (a few meters down on the Y trail past Cactus Ledge, turn around and face into the woods and a little to your right) you can start seeing tags for the Green Trail - this is the Halifax Trail. Form here on, (Green/ White Trails) everything I would consider would be easy to intermediate. I went out of my way to find rocks, creeks, and tails of the river to make our hike more interesting. The fact I am 4' 9" doesn’t help while trying to take long strides over water, however calculating where/ how to step saves most if not ALL troubles. 

We followed the Green Trail down all the way until we hit running water. Before going back down hill, you will cross a service road to the park, with signs on the trees saying the park is in the other direction. Just follow the green tags, and you’ll be fine.

Along your way to the ruins, you will see from what I counted, three distinct and weather worn cars. The ruins themselves are remains of a farm from the Ramapough Natives that lived in that area. I recommend doing a little research on your own as they are not often in the news. This is an amazing group of people, whose work to conserve the reservation saved much of this area, and you wouldn’t know unless you asked.

I continued on the Green Trail until it met with the White Trail, HOWEVER length was not a concern for me. Our route in total was a little over 8 miles long, so feel free to keep an eye to your left for the purple tags, which will allow you to shave some time off and connect with the white trail sooner.. 

The Green Trail goes over marsh, water, dirt and straight up rocks. So be careful and mind your footing. If you're bringing a dog or small children, carefully calculate how you will cross the rocks/marsh so no one falls, gets stuck, or gets hurt.

If you decide you want to do what we did, and continue on the Green Trail until meeting the White Trail, I recommending printing out a larger more detailed park map here. In the event you miss the connection, you’re straying off the map you see posted in the parking lot.

The White Trail was a mix of highs, flats and rocks, but it was worth the fun and the climb. Once you make it to the top, you’re walking flat until you meet back up with the Yellow Trail. Here, we sat at Ridge Overlook and took well deserved break.

From here we followed the Yellow Trail to the reservoir and followed the Pink Trail further west, and around the water. If you keep going you’ll see and older waterfall, which I do not believe is marked on the map. Past the falls, we made a LEFT, following the Pink Trail, to keep us from going back up the hill. The Pink Trail turns into the Blue Trail, and will eventually lead you back out to the Yellow Trail, and thus the parking lot. If you take your time, you’ll be able to find the second falls between the damn and you’re car.

Assume that by following this path, you’ll come in around 8/ 8.25 miles - we made some brief stops that account for the distance variance. 

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Tags

Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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