Schuber/Millstone/Yellow/Todd Trails Loop from Skyline Drive

Overview

This loop hike traverses the historic and scenic Millstone Trail and runs along the shore of Todd Lake.

Details
Time:
3 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate
Length:
4.5 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Historic feature
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Bergen
State:
NJ
Publication
First Published:
01/15/2009
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Parking


View Millstone Trail parking in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.047479, -74.251313

Driving Directions

Take Interstate Route 287 to Exit 57 (Skyline Drive) and proceed north on Skyline Drive for about one mile to the upper parking area for Ramapo Mountain State Forest, on the left, at milepost 1.4, opposite the entrance to Camp Tamarack.

Description

From the parking area, cross Skyline Drive. You will see a triple orange blaze on a tree, marking the start of the Schuber Trail (along with the yellow blazes of the Hoeferlin Memorial Trail, and the white blazes of the Todd Trail). The Todd Trail will be your return route, but for now, follow the orange blazes of the Schuber Trail, which turn right onto the gravel road that leads into Camp Tamarack, then immediately turn left and proceed downhill on a winding footpath.

At the base of the descent, turn right at a T-intersection, then immediately bear left, skirting the ruins of the former camp rifle range. The Schuber Trail now crosses a stream on cinder blocks, climbs over a knoll and descends to cross another stream on rocks.

About half an hour into the hike, you'll reach a junction with the white-blazed Millstone Trail. Turn right onto the Millstone Trail, which climbs to a narrow valley known as Rocky Slide Gulch. Here, it turns right, then curves left and continues to climb. After a relatively level section, it passes to the left of a huge boulder designated as "Sitting Hen Rock," then bears right and resumes its ascent. Just beyond the crest of the hill, the trail reaches the Southwest Lookout.

From the lookout, the Millstone Trail bears left, descends slightly, then climbs to reach a balanced rock in an open area. Again, the trail bears left and descends. Soon, the Yellow Trail joins from the right, and both trails pass several abandoned millstones in various stages of completion. This area was once the site of a millstone quarry, and the stones that you see were damaged during quarrying or abandoned when the quarry operation shut down. The yellow and white trails continue to descend on a winding footpath. After crossing an old woods road, you'll notice a millstone in nearly perfect condition to the right of the trail.

After examining this millstone, retrace your steps back to the junction of the Millstone and Yellow Trails, and bear left to continue on the Yellow Trail. The trail soon crosses several stone walls and begins a steady descent. On the way down, you can see the eastern ridge of the Ramapo Mountains through the trees, and the New York City skyscrapers may be visible on the horizon on a clear day.

Towards the base of the descent, the trail bears right, leaving a woods road that it briefly joined, and continues on a footpath. It crosses a stream on rocks (with an attractive cascade to the right), parallels another stream, then bears left to cross it.

The trail now climbs rather steeply. At the top of the rise, a municipal water tower may be seen just ahead. After passing a viewpoint over Todd Lake from a rock ledge to the left, the trail descends to the lake. It passes another ledge at water level, with a view over the lake, and continues to parallel the lake. Near the lake's south end, the Yellow Trail turns right and soon ends at a woods road, the route of the white-blazed Todd Trail.

Turn right, now following the white blazes. After another woods road joins from the left, the Todd Trail turns left and follows a footpath into the woods. It climbs gradually, descends to a shallow ravine, then ascends on a winding, rocky footpath, with several switchbacks. When it reaches Skyline Drive, the trail turns right and continues for about 200 feet to the triple white blaze, opposite the parking area where the hike began.

Comments

Ticks, Ticks and More Ticks

My fiance and took this hike on Saturday.  We saw the sign that advised checking your loved one for ticks, which should have been a huge clue.  Before we got in the car we did the obligatory tick check and found five ticks between the two of us.  Then in the car three more showed up.  We stopped and bought new clothes at the Target in Paramas where I found four more ticks on me.  Once home, two more ticks were found in my hair...I did wear a hat on the hike.  We are now putting off a tick de-fogger in our SUV as we speak because we got in the car this morning to go back out and a tick was crawling on the seat.  I have never seen anything like the situation we have now found ourselves.  Be forewarened.