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Manaticut Point Short Loop from Crescent Drive
This loop hike follows an attractive stream and climbs to Manaticut Point, a panoramic viewpoint.
Allowed on leash
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Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Take Skyline Drive to its northwestern terminus at Greenwood Lake Turnpike (County Route 511). Turn left and proceed south for 1.6 miles to West Brook Road. Turn right onto West Brook Road and cross the Wanaque Reservoir on a narrow causeway. At the next T-intersection, turn left and proceed for 0.8 mile to Magee Road. Turn right onto Magee Road and take the first left onto Burnt Meadow Road. Proceed on Burnt Meadow Road for 0.9 mile and turn left at the second intersection with Crescent Drive. Continue for 0.2 mile until you reach a huge boulder on the right side of the road, just beyond a curve (this location is also marked by a sign placed by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders). Park along the side of the road.
To the left of the boulder, you'll notice a triple yellow blaze that marks the start of the Manaticut Point Trail. Head into the woods on this trail. Soon, you'll cross two branches of a stream on rocks, with several abandoned sections of concrete pipe adjacent to the stream, and pass by a huge fractured rock. A short distance beyond, you'll cross another stream below an interesting V-shaped rock formation and continue uphill, parallel to the stream. You'll soon reach a junction where the yellow blazes head both to the left and to the right. The left branch of the trail will be your return route, but for now bear right and continue uphill.
About a mile from the start, the orange-blazed Lake Sonoma Trail joins from the right. The two trails run jointly for a short distance, but when they diverge, turn left, following the yellow blazes. The Manaticut Point Trail now climbs rather steeply, then more gradually. It switchbacks to the crest of the ridge, with limited views through the trees on the left, then climbs to a rock ledge that overlooks a wetland below.
Just beyond, the Manaticut Point Trail reaches a junction with the blue-blazed Hewitt-Butler Trail. Turn left, now following both blue and yellow blazes. The trail descends a little and then climbs steadily to Manaticut Point - an open rock ledge (the best view is from the rock ledge just below the one traversed by the trail). Windbeam Mountain is directly ahead (east). To the south, you can see a quarry, with the New York City skyline visible on the horizon.
The trail now descends very steeply. Watch carefully for a double blaze painted on a rock, and follow the yellow and blue trails as they turn left and continue to descend more gradually. Just beyond, when the blue trail leaves to the right, proceed ahead on the yellow-blazed Manaticut Point Trail, which descends on a footpath. The trail soon bears left and climbs a little, goes through an interestng passage between rocks, then resumes a steady descent. After passing several rock formations on the left and crossing a stream, it reaches the junction where the loop of the Manaticut Point Trail begins. Bear right and follow the yellow blazes back to the trailhead on Crescent Drive, where the hike began.