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Ringwood State Park
|Park Overview:|| |
Ringwood State Park features both wild lands and landscaped gardens. It consists of four distinct areas separated by several miles [but all are encompassed within the park boundary]: Ringwood Manor, Skylands Manor/NJ State Botanical Garden, Shepherd Lake, and Bear Swamp Lake.
|Trail Uses:||Hiking, Mountain biking, Bridle path, Handicapped|
|Dogs:||See park description|
|Trail Miles:||50 miles|
|Park Acreage:||4444 acres|
|Buy Trail Map:||North Jersey Trails Map|
|Web Map:||NJ DEP trail map|
|Park Description:|| |
Ringwood State Park features both wild lands and landscaped gardens. It consists of four distinct areas separated by several miles: Ringwood Manor, Skylands Manor/NJ State Botanical Garden, Shepherd Lake, and Bear Swamp Lake.
The park is named after Ringwood Manor, a large mansion containing a priceless collection of relics from the iron-making days, as well as furnishings of the Ryerson, Cooper and Hewitt families from about 1810 to 1930. Click for a schedule of tours of the manor house.
Skylands Manor, located a few miles away, is home of the New Jersey Botanical Garden. Samuel Parsons, Jr., founder of the American Society of Landscape Architects and protégé of Frederick Law Olmstead, the one time NYC Parks commissioner, designed the grounds. The Manor itself was built in the 1920s based on English Jacobean architecture common in the English countryside 400 years ago. Tours are offered one Sunday per month March through November.
Shepherd Lake is principally for seasonal activities: swimming, boating, and picnicking. Oddly, on a nearby hill are trapshooting facilities, making it possible to swim to the sound of muffled guns. It may also be possible to have Shotgun Weddings since down the hill from Thunder Mountain Shooting Range is St. Luke's Chapel which is tied in to weddings at Skylands.
Parking Fees are charged Memorial Day to Labor Day [click on park "Contact Information" below]
|Trails Overview:|| |
There are seven trails, most beginning around Ringwood Manor going on either side of Sloatsburg Road. Individual trails range from 1.0 to 7.3 miles.
Ringwood Manor: Aside from enjoying the grounds and buildings, the Manor Trail is a relatively easy loop through the woods west of Ringwood Manor [3.0 miles; blue blaze]. The Crossover Trail [white blaze] connects Ringwood Manor to Skylands Manor and then proceeds to Bear Swamp Lake thus gaining access to Ramapo Valley County Reservation in Mahwah further east [5.6 miles to the lake].
Skylands Manor: With perennials, annual plantings, and unusual plant species the Skylands is a place of beauty in any season. One can stroll amid the elegance of formal gardens, or along gentle paths winding through the woods. Only the Crossover Trail passes through Skylands. The Halifax Trail [green blaze] begins on the far side of the big lawn of the gardens.
Shepherd Lake: An informal trail goes around part of the lake, and the Ringwood-Ramapo Trail [red blaze] passes by the parking lot. A new orange-blazed trail starts at the dock and stays in the area.
|Contact Information:||NJ DEP, Division of Parks and Forestry |
|Fees:||Some times and places; check with park|