Long Pond Ironworks State Park

Park Overview:

Long Pond Ironworks State Park contains the remnants of ironworks operating from 1766 to 1886, two other pre-Civil War furnaces and two waterwheels surviving to this day.  A visitors’ center and museum are on site.

Trail Uses:Hiking
Dogs:
Trail Miles:10.7 miles
Park Acreage:6911 acres
City/County/
State:
West Millford (Hewitt
area), Ringwood/Passaic/NJ
Buy Trail Map:North Jersey Trails Map
Buy Book:Hiking the Jersey Highlands - Illustrated Guide

Park Description:

The Monksville Reservoir dominates Long Pond Ironworks State Park.  Historically, Long Pond, later called Greenwood Lake, gained prominence when Peter Hasenclever directed the construction of a dam across the southern end of Long Pond to provide water power for his ironworks downstream in the Hewitt area.  Long Pond Ironworks was built in 1766 on Long Pond River, now known as the Wanaque.  Just before the Civil War, two more furnaces were built with two waterwheels, and were in operation until 1882.  The ruins of these structures survive in the park today, including several relocated historic frame buildings.

Members of the Friends of Long Pond Ironworks offer tours of the furnace area and village on the second Saturday of the month, noon and 2 pm, April through November. The Long Pond Visitors Center and its museum is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays between 1 and 4 pm, with an earlier opening on tour dates during the April through November tour season.  It is open by arrangement throughout the year.  For more information, call (973) 657-1688.

In 2009 the former Wanaque Wildlife Management Area was incorporated into this state park.  Its 2,320 acres are located adjacent to and just east of Greenwood Lake, and are currently used primarily for hunting and fishing.  

Trails Overview:

Three trails in the State Park lead to remnants of the historic mines and ironworks: The Sterling Ridge Trail [blue on white blaze] - co-aligned with the Highlands Trail [teal] --the Monks Trail [white blaze] and the Whritenour Mine Trail [yellow blaze, marked "unmaintained" on Trail Conference Map 115].   Trails range from 0.4 to 8.6 miles. 

A section of The Highlands Trail runs through the park.  Visit The Highlands Trail website for complete, accurate and up-to-date information about New Jersey's Millennium Trail, including trail descriptions, current trail conditions and maps.

The former Wildlife Management Area of the park includes portions of the Highlands, Sterling Ridge and Hasenclever Iron trails, plus a network of unmarked woods roads with access from adjoining paved roads. The Jennings Hollow Trail [3.0 miles; yellow] starts from the Sterling Ridge Trail [blue on white] 1.1 miles from its southern trailhead at the intersection of East Shore Drive and Greenwood Lake Turnpike. One highlight is a view across an extensive wetland along the return segment of the loop.  Jennings Creek is impressive in flood, especially when looking for underwater stepping stones.

  • Note:  From East Shore Drive a trail/woods road identified as Jennings Hollow Fire Road, which is a little steep and rugged in places, leads 0.3 mile to the loop portion of the Jennings Hollow Trail.  Roadside dirt parking for a few cars is directly across East Shore Road.

Alert [as of March, 2014]: The footbridge over the Wanaque River at Long Pond Ironworks was washed away by Hurricane Irene in August 2011. The missing Highlands Trail Bridge cuts off three trails--Highlands, Sterling Ridge, and Hasenclever Iron.  In the absence of this footbridge, the Sterling Ridge Trail cannot be accessed from Long Pond Ironworks. Detours are circuitous and a rough crossing of the river is strongly discouraged. The bridge will remain missing until funding, siting, and bridge design are all in place.  Use Contact Information below for updated park advisories.

Click to find detailed descriptions of several hikes in the park.

 

Directions:
  • Long Pond Visitors Center is located on the right side of Greenwood Lake Turnpike [County 511] after it crosses the Monksville Reservoir causeway going west.  Park at Long Pond Visitors Center to hike.  [Google Maps:  "1300 Greenwood Lake Tpke, West Milford, NJ"  This is an approximate street address, not a mailing address.]
  • For the Monks Trail use the access road from Greenwood Lake Turnpike to the North Boat Launch area along the Monksville Reservoir. Trailhead is at the far end of parking. [Google Maps: Greenwood Lake Tpke, & Beech, West Milford, NJ.  [Use Satellite view to see boat launch]
  • For the Wanaque area, take I-287 Exit 57 to Skyline Drive.  At end of Skyline Drive turn right on Greenwood Lake Turnpike [County 511] to East Shore Road.  [Google Maps:  Greenwood Lake Tpke. & East Shore RD., Hewitt, NJ]
  • Public Transportation: NJ Transit Bus#197
Contact Information:NJ DEP, Division of Parks and Forestry
973-962-7031
Region:Wyanokies
Fees:None