Assiniwikam Mountain Loop from Camp Wyanokie

Overview

This loop hike climbs Assiniwikam Mountain, with a series of panoramic views in all directions.

Details
Time:
1.5 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate
Length:
2.2 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Passaic
State:
NJ
Publication
First Published:
04/06/2004

Updated/Verified:
01/29/2013
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

View from Assiniwikam Mountain. Photo by Daniel Chazin.

Parking


View Assiniwikam Loop in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.074846,-74.3479
Driving Directions

Take Skyline Drive to its northwestern end at Greenwood Lake Turnpike (County Route 511). Turn left and proceed south for 1.7 miles to West Brook Road. Turn right onto West Brook Road and cross the Wanaque Reservoir on a narrow causeway. At the next T-junction, turn left. In 0.5 mile, Snake Den Road begins on the left (at a sign for the Weis Ecology Center). Continue ahead on West Brook Road. In another 2.5 miles, you’ll reach a second intersection with Snake Den Road, marked by a large sign on the right side of the road. Turn left onto Snake Den Road and continue for 0.8 mile to Camp Wyanokie. Park in a small parking area on the right side of the road, between the camp dumpster and a water pump.

Description

From the parking area, continue ahead on Snake Den Road, passing Boy Scout Lake to the left. You'll be following the red-on-white blazes of the Wyanokie Circular Trail (although the blazes are very sparse along the road). Beyond the end of the lake, follow the road as it continues through a residential area. A side road leaves to the left, but you should proceed straight ahead, soon re-entering the woods.

Just beyond the end of the residential area, follow the red-on-white blazes as they bear left, leaving Snake Den Road, and continue ahead on a footpath. After briefly paralleling a stream, the trail turns left, crosses the stream, and begins a gentle climb. In another 0.2 mile, the trail turns left and climbs more steeply. Near the top, it passes rock ledges to the right of the trail and a huge boulder to the left.

About 200 feet beyond the huge boulder, you'll come to a trail junction. To the right, three yellow blazes mark the start of the Wyanokie Crest Trail; to the left, three pink blazes mark the start of the Will Monroe Loop. Turn left and follow the pink blazes.

Snow at the top. Photo by Daniel Chazin.The one-mile-long Will Monroe Loop, blazed by Trail Conference volunteers in 2003-04, is named after Professor Will S. Monroe of the Montclair State Normal School (now Montclair State University), who laid out most of the trails in the Wyanokies in the 1920s. After a short climb to an open area where many trees have been killed by drought and gypsy moth infestation, the trail turns right, descends into a shallow valley, and then climbs to open rock ledges. Although the climbing is not particularly difficult, you will need to use your hands in a few places. The rock ledges offer limited views to the west and north. The trail continues along the ledges, reaching another viewpoint - this one to the south - at a balanced boulder. In the spring, this area is frequented by migratory birds, including the indigo bunting.

After a short stretch in which the trail leaves the ledges, it turns left and climbs over rocks to the summit of Assiniwikam Mountain (1,200 feet), where there is an east-facing view over the Wanaque Reservoir, with the Ramapo Mountains in the background. The trail Tree growing through rock. Photo by Daniel Chazin.reenters the woods and descends slightly, soon coming out at another east-facing ledge with an interesting balanced rock. This ledge offers an even better view. The Wanaque Reservoir is to the east, with Wyanokie High Point to its right, and Windbeam, Bear, Board and Horse Pond Mountains to the northeast.

A short distance beyond, the trail leaves the rock ledges and begins to descend through the woods. Soon, it passes huge boulders to the left. Of particular interest is a split boulder with a tree growing out of a crack in the rock. After a short, rather steep descent, the Will Monroe Loop continues to descend steadily until it ends at an intersection with the red-on-white blazed Wyanokie Circular Trail. Turn right and follow the Wyanokie Circular Trail for half a mile to its end at the parking area at Camp Wyanokie.