Norvin Green State Forest

Park Overview:

Norvin Green State Forest has one of the largest concentrations of trails in NJ. Nearly all are “difficult.” There are 27 scenic views, with names like “Wyanokie High Point” and “Yoo-Hoo Point.” Take rugged shoes.

Trail Uses:Hiking
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:49.4 miles
Park Acreage:5416 acres
City/County/
State:
Ringwood/Passaic/NJ
Buy Trail Map:North Jersey Trails Map
Web Map:Trail map (supplied by the Trail Conference)
Buy Book:Hiking the Jersey Highlands - Illustrated Guide

Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Park Description:

With more than 5,000 acres, Norvin Green State Forest has one of the largest concentrations of trails in the state.  Norvin Hewitt Green, nephew of Ringwood Manor owner Abram S. Hewitt, donated much of this land to the State of New Jersey in 1946.  There are two geographically distinct sections.

  • South of West Brook Road: The section of the state forest south of West Brook Road is often accessed from the Weis Ecology  Center. Although the buildings are closed to the public, the parking area remains open to hikers. The trails in this area can also be accessed from the Otter Hole parking area on Glenwild Road at the West Milford/Bloomingdale border.
  • North of West Brook Road: This geographically separate part of the Norvin Green Forest extends north of West Brook Road into the Monksville/Stonetown area.  The North Jersey District Water Supply Commission also has watershed lands in this area to the west.  Although the trail network in this area is not as extensive as in the area south of West Brook Road, several trails traverse the area, offering rugged climbs and expansive views. 
Trails Overview:

South of West Brook Road

  • This section has the largest concentration of trails in the park, fifteen in all (if the co-aligned Highlands Trail is included).  As a result, portions of many trails may be combined for loop hikes.  There are at least sixteen "scenic views" identified on NY-NJ Trail Conference's North Jersey Trail Map #115, with names like "Wyanokie High Point," "Yoo-Hoo Point," and "Carris Hill." 
    • Alert: The trailhead for the Mine Trail/Wyanokie Circular Trail [yellow & red] is permanently closed by the landowner. This former trailhead is on Snake Den Road, near the Weis Ecology Center parking lot.  Signs have been posted and access blocked at both ends of the private property. Please plan your hikes to enter and exit the forest trails at other locations. Use the Hewitt-Butler/Mine Trail [blue and yellow] via the Otter Hole Trail [green] from the Weis parking lot, or the Highlands Trail from West Brook Road/Townsend Road to the Roomy Mine Trail extension to access other trails Map of revised trail system.
  • Trails range in length from 0.4 to 6.4 miles.  The NJ Park & Forestry Service identifies ten trails, of which one is "easy," three "medium" and the rest "difficult."  The "easy" Macopin trail [1.0 mile; white] requires walking in 1.5 miles on the "medium" Otter Hole Trail [green] to reach it.   NY-NJ Trail Conference maps are located at kiosks and three trailheads.  Total miles of trails:  29.5.

North of West Brook Road

  • The northern section of the Hewitt-Butler Trail extends from the intersection of Greenwood Lake Turnpike & East Shore Drive in Hewitt southward to West Brook Road near the Ringwood/West Milford boundary [7.2 miles; blue].  Together with portions the Hewitt-Butler and Horse Pond Mountain [white] trails, the Burnt Meadow Trail [yellow] can be used to make a 5.8-mile "lollipop"-loop hike.
    • Two new trails opened in summer of 2008. The two-mile Lake Sonoma Trail [orange] and the 1.6-mile Overlook Rock Trail [white] allow even more loop hikes and gorgeous views of the area. The Lake Sonoma Trail connects the Stonetown Circular Trail to the Overlook Rock Trail. The Overlook Rock Trail connects the Lake Sonoma Trail to two points along the Hewitt-Butler Trail
  • The Stonetown Circular Trail's 9.4-mile loop is so strenuous that many hikers choose to cover only half of the trail at a time [red triangle on white]  At least half the trail is within the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission watershed [see advisory below].  
    • There are four trails, ranging from 1.2 to 9.4 miles.  Total miles of trails: 23.5

The Highlands Trail: Click here to go directly to information about the Highlands Trail in Norvin Green State Forest. 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.

Want to plan a specific hike in this park? See the "Find a Hike" page, scroll down the Parks column for "Norvin Green State Forest" where several appear.

Advisory:  Hikers are asked to respect the property owners and stay on the trails.  Failure to do so could jeopardize the generosity of the owners allowing the public to hike, exemplified by the trailhead closing described above.  Also, dogs MUST be leashed.

  • Saddle Mountain to the west of Weis Ecology Center is private property and closed to hiking - but may reopen, watch this space.
  • The state forest borders watershed lands adjoining the Wanaque Reservoir, which is patrolled by uniformed guards of the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission. Hikers who enter the watershed are advised to remain on the marked hiking trails.

MAPS: Detailed trail maps are available for purchase from the Trail Conference (click link for North Jersey Trails at top). A simplified trail map can be downloaded by clicking here.

 

Directions:

South of West Brook Road

  • To reach the Weis Ecology Center, take I-287, Exit 57, to Skyline Drive.  At end of Skyline Drive turn left on Greenwood Lake Turnpike, right on West Brook Road to Snake Den Road [east].  [Google Maps: 150 Snake Den Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456]
  • Otter Hole parking area [at southern end of this section] is on Glenwild Avenue, where the Hewitt-Butler Trail crosses.  To reach this parking area, take I-287 to Exit 53.  At the bottom of the ramp, turn onto Hamburg Turnpike toward Bloomingdale.  Upon entering Bloomingdale, the name of the road changes to Main Street.  After 1.3 miles [from I-287], bear right at a fork in the road [following the sign to West Milford], and in another 0.1 mile, turn right [uphill] onto Glenwild Avenue.  Continue ahead for 3.2 miles to the parking area on the right side of the road. There is also parking for the Wyanokie Crest Trail [yellow] along here at a fire gate lower down the hill.  [Google Maps:  Glenwild Avenue & Otterhole Road, Bloomingdale, NJ  will show approximate location of parking area]

North of West Brook Road

  • 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]
  • A large parking area is at the Stonetown Recreation Complex on Mary Roth Drive.  The trailhead for the Stonetown Circular Trail [red triangle on white] has been moved to directly across Stonetown Road from the Mary Roth Drive entrance and the trail has been relocated into the woods from the road. The Highlands Trail [teal] now parts from the Stonetown Circular Ttrail at a junction up along Windbeam Mountain, and follows its own trail south to Weis Ecology and beyond.  On West Brook Road take first right to Stonetown Road.  [Google Map:  Pinewood Dr. & Stonetown Rd., Ringwood, NJ.  Select "Satellite" to see the athletic field; Mary Roth Drive will not be named]
  • Public transportation: NJ Transit bus #197 for northern trailhead of Hewitt-Butler Trail/Highlands Trail [Greenwood Lake Turnpike & East Shore Drive].
Contact Information:NJ Parks & Forest Service
973-962-7031
Region:Wyanokies
Fees:None

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Virtual Hike of Torne Mountain!

Check out a virtual hike of Torne Mountain on NJUrbanForest.com!

 

http://njurbanforest.com/2012/10/06/hiking-torne-mountain-norvin-green-s...

 

Plenty of Pictures!

Weis Ecology Center is permanently closed- Trails still open

See the follow link for details: http://www.njaudubon.org/sectioncenters/sectionweis/introduction.aspx. This only refers to the building, not to the trails or the parking.

Be sure to carry a map with you, since maps may or may not be available at the Trailhead Kiosk maintained by the NYNJTC. Links to free on line maps are available to download here:  "Map of revised trail system" and a Simplified map and brochure may be download at this link". You can also order the NYNJTC North Jersey Trails map from the Trail Conference office through the link provided and if you can't wait for delivery, and have an iPhone or iPad, you can download the complete NYNJTC North Jersey Trails map set for your iPhone or iPad by continuing to follow links to the instructions for PDF maps


New loop hike

New Loop Hike in Norvin Green. Trail Conference volunteers have blazed the new Manaticut Point Trail and hike writer Daniel Chazin features it in his Hike of the Week. Check it out.

From the "Forums/Hike Recommendations" page

 

Trails with spring wildflowers

On March 19th, 2009 arnabbanerjee asked:

Which are the trails to view best spring wildflowers? Can anyone let me know the best ones and timings where one should go? I am expecting the flowers to be coming out from mid-april or so. Any recommendations will be very useful Thanks

 

wildflower hikes

On March 23rd, 2009 gpettypoet replied:

I can answer for the New Jersey Highlands wildflower walks. If you want a prepared short wildflower walk with examples of most wildflowers in each season, try the one at Morris County Tourne Park in Mountain Lakes NJ., tended with great care by the Rockaway Valley Garden Club. The Land Conservancy also has a tended wildflower plot in back of their headquarters in Montville. If you want a hike with some wildflowers along the way, the answer is more complicated. For good early spring flowers (April 15 to May 3) try a hike from Weis Ecology Center [Editor's note: located in Norvin Green State Forest] out the W trail along Blue Mine Brook up to the old farm foundations, then back on the Green Trail to the Red Dot Trail out to the Blue Mine. Come back to Weis with a detour up the yellow Dot Trail in back of the Roomy Mine to catch a fine patch of columbine. In all seasons, the Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area in Montville white trail has very good flowers. The Ryker Lake trails are also good in early spring, but the loop around the lake is blocked by a beaver dam at the north end. Better still, sign up for one of my wildflower hikes from Weis Ecology Center. Even better, get a copy of my Hiking The Jersey Highlands; it pays special attention to wildflowers along Highlands Trails. You can order it on this website. GPetty.