Ramapo Valley County Reservation




View Ramapo Valley County Reservation in a larger map

Park Overview:

Stroll around Scarlet Oak Pond or to MacMillan Reservoir – a popular walk with dogs on leashes. Plenty of challenging trails on the eastern side of the Ramapo Mountains.

Trail Uses:Hiking, Handicapped
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:19.7 miles
Park Acreage:3313 acres
Buy Trail Map:North Jersey Trails Map
Web Map:Trail map (prepared by the Trail Conference)
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Park Description:

Trail Alert: Several trail improvements, which aim to make the trails easier to follow, are in progress throughout Ramapo Valley County Reservation. The improvements will include changing blaze colors and creating new trails.

"The Ramapo Reservation," located in Mahwah, is a 3,313-acre Bergen County Park.  Challenging hiking is possible, but areas closest to the parking lot are primarily used for strolling, especially with one or more dogs.  Most visitors walk around Scarlet Oak Pond, a former gravel quarry, or climb on a wide, smooth-surface road to MacMillan Reservoir (which once supplied the Crocker Mansion on the far side of Ramapo Valley Road).  In 2015 a picturesque loop trail (pink blaze) was completed around the reservoir. 

Fishing is permitted with a valid NJ fishing license.  Tent camping is allowed by permit only (201-327-3500).

Trails Overview:

The Reservation offers more than a dozen marked trails, which range from 0.3 to 3.5 miles within park boundaries. A short but strenuous hike to Hawk Rock via the Halifax Trail (green blaze) leads to a picture-book panorama of suburban New Jersey, including Ramapo College and Lake Henry.

Several of the Reservation's trails connect with those in Ringwood State Park to the west, Ramapo Mountain State Forest to the southwest, and Camp Glen Gray to the south, making possible a wide variety of rugged day-long hikes. One example is the Schuber Trail (6.5 miles; Orange) which passes through Camp Glen Gray to its southern terminus at Skyline Drive.  

Outside of the commonly used strolling areas, the Reservation has been left in its natural wild state, and is mostly hilly, forming part of the eastern tier of the Ramapos. 

Use the Web Map link above for a trail map, which includes an insert locating the new NYNJTC headquarters.

Click here for detailed descriptions of hikes in the Reservation.



The park entrance is on Ramapo Valley Road (US 202) in Mahwah, just south of its intersection with Darlington Avenue and about two miles south of NJ 17. Parking is rarely a problem during the week. By mid-day on weekends with good weather waiting may be required for a parking spot to open.  Parking at a near-by church lot on Darlington Avenue is prohibited for hikers, as well as the small lot at the Trail Conference Darlington Schoolhouse Headquarters.

Short Line offers bus service from Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City to Ramapo College, which is located about a half-mile north of the park entrance on Route 202. For schedule information, go to www.shortlinebus.com (use "Mahwah" for destination, click, then select "Ramapo College" ). Only limited service is available on weekends.

Contact Information:Bergen County Department of Parks
Region:Ramapo Mountains

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

Oil Pipeline Planned Through Ramapo Reservation

Please be informed that Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC, is planning to build an oil pipeline through a portion of the Ramapo Valley County Reservation. In order to understand the impact that this will have on the county park and surrounding areas, I encourage readers to visit the top website produced by entering these search terms with Google:
  • stoppilgrimpipeline
  • pilgrim pipeline full steam ahead
  • pilgrim pipeline holdings llc project description
(Links posted directly within posts tend to be flagged as spam by this website’s content-quality monitor, Mollom.)                     Sincerely,   Paul Neralich   Bergen County Resident 

Pilgrim Pipeline

Councils for many towns affected by the pipeline have passed resolutions opposing it, including Mahwah Township.  Copy/paste:  http://www.northjersey.com/news/mahwah-adopts-pipeline-ban-as-interstate-pilgrim-pipeline-project-looms-1.1501401

Old Stone Cabin Reduced to Rubble

Those hiking to MacMillan Reservoir, using the Schuber Trail (orange) to hike up along MacMillan Brook, will have noticed that the old stone cabin just over the bridge has been reduced to rubble.  The reason, according to County officials: This structure was deemed unsafe. It was a haven for drinking and drug use. It was littered with broken glass, cigarette butts, drug paraphernalia, and had very obscene graffiti. People were also lighting fires which was very dangerous with the very high fire danger we were having.    Too bad about the about the landmark, but the decision seems warranted.

Park closed due to unusual bear activity -- Oct 15, 2015

See article in NorthJersey.com (Bergen Record).  

Park reopened -- Oct 20

Bridge completes Reservoir Loop Trail

Bridge over stream at MacMillan Res

A newly constructed bridge over MacMillan Brook now completes the recently blazed Reservoir Loop Trail (pink).  This was a project of Eagle Scout Peter Brain, with the help of Scouts and adult leaders of Troop 309 (Wyckoff, NJ).

Ramapo Valley County Park Virtual Tour on NJUrbanForest.com!

Check out a virtual hike of Ramapo Valley County Park on NJUrbanForest.com!http://njurbanforest.com/2014/07/01/hiking-ramapo-valley-county-reservat...Plenty of Pictures!

Yellow-Silver Trailhead Relo

The trailhead for the Yellow-Silver Trail in Ramapo County Valley Reservation has been relocated to the beginning of MacMillan Reservoir, and still can be found by following either the Silver or Schuber trail to the reservoir.