Hiking Ramapo State Forest
Ramapo State Forest (Bergen and Passaic County)
Right before my husband left, we went on a trip to Ramapo State Forest. It just so happened that we got snow the day before. Luckily I had my Gortex Brooks Cascadia trail shoes which kept my feet warm and dry. If I didn’t have them, I probably would have been miserable. Since the trails at Ramapo State Forest was covered with snow, we got a little bit lost but still had a good time.
We were out for a long time (from 11:30-4:30), so when we got back to the car, I was exhausted. If you don’t want to hike Ramapo State Forst, there is also a parking area and Skyline Drive. Since the Ramapo Mountain State Forest is a sanctuary for wildlife and many animals are attracted to the forest for its ponds, I recommend hiking.
Ramapo State Forest is located in part of the Bergen and Passaic Counties. (I think Ramapo State Forest is technically part of the Bergen County Park System).
In Ramapo State Forest, it is possible to see NYC. However, it was just a little too cloudy at Ramapo State Forest when we went. We plan to go back in the Spring when it’s warmer (and hopefully not frozen). Ramapo State Forest has plenty to do, including hiking, mountain biking, and a beautiful view of the New York City Skyline. Hikers and mountain bikers enjoy miles of challenging trails which is what attracted us to Ramapo Mountain Reservation. Birdwatchers are attracted to Ramapo Mountain Reservation marshes that provide the perfect habitat for bird and other wildlife species.
When we got to Ramapo State Forest, it was fairly empty. I imagine in the spring and summer, the small parking lot is full. The parking lot is at the base of the Ramapo State Forest trailhead, so it is easy to get too. It started with a few small but slippery climbs. The reservation forest borders the Ramapo Mountain.
As I mentioned, I was happy to have my Brooks Cascadia Trail shoes because with the ice and snow, my feet stayed completely dry and I didn’t fall, which seems to be the theme here. I would have been miserable hiking Ramapo State Forest without them.
Because the trails were covered at Ramapo State Forest, we got lost a couple of times. You are never too far from main roads so for the most part; you can hear traffic off in the distance. Which is good, because if we got too lost it would have been dark. Guess who didn’t want to hike Ramapo State Forest in the ice and the dark while lost? During our hike at Ramapo State Forest, we also crossed between Bergen and Passaic Counties, which was cool enough to merit a photo.
Finally, we made it to the Lookout Point at Ramapo State Forest. Since it was so cloudy, we just took a selfie and turned out. I was disappointed we couldn’t see the New York City skyline, but after viewing it from private flying, not a lot will compare. We decided to take photos in our ugly sweaters. We wore them all along, but as you can tell it was too cold to just hike Ramapo State forest in them. In fact, I was freezing taking that photo alone. The things you do for the internet…hiking Ramapo State Forest and taking photos while freezing.
As it got later and later on our hike at Ramapo State Forest, we realized how close it would be to dark when we got back. We started hiking at Ramapo State Forest at 11:30 but hadn’t planned to be out until around 4:30. Getting lost and being slower in the snow, caught up to us. The moment I saw the car with five minutes of daylight to spare was one of the best moments of the trip to Ramapo State Forest. HA!
I liked Ramapo State Forest, and I would go back in the Spring or Summer when the trails were more clear. It was an adventure when we went. Ramapo State Forest reminded me of backpacking in Upstate NY when we went to college there.
You can see more hikes we’ve done here.
Questions for you:
Have you ever hiked through the snow? Have you been to Ramapo State Forest?
Do you have an ugly sweater you love?