Know the New Hiking How-tos
September 03, 2018
Ramapo Mtn State Forest Skyline Dr-Yellow-Red-White (09/02/2018)
Beautiful lake, impressive mansion ruins, fortress-like stone water tower and majestic valley views. A little something for everyone this Labor Day weekend. Lots of hikers, kiddos, puppies and fishermen. From the parking lot there are a variety of trails to choose from so both hard core hikers and leisurely walkers can find their bliss.
May 10, 2017
Great hike and views of NYC, but blazes missing
Just did this hike today. The blazes for the Todd trail (white) have been scratched off or removed from the trail. The trail can be sort of followed but I wouldn't recommend following it for those who are easily lost. On the right and left side of skyline drive the blazes are missing. This hike can be done in sort of reverse, though. You can follow the red/white trail from the parking lot until it hits the red c trail. Take a right at the red c and follow it until it joins with the white blazed castle trail. Turn left onto the white trail and follow it until that trail meets the blue trail at the edge of the lake. Follow the blue trails until they meet with the yellow near a stone bridge. Then, take the yellow back to the parking lot. A trail map of the area can be found here: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/maps/RamapoAreaMapFinal... Also, as a side note, the castle monument is full of litter and trash. There is a house along the blue trail that has cans for trash and recyclables. Please do your part to help clean up the park. I picked up water bottles until my backpack was full. Even if you can take just one bottle, it helps in the long run. Always remember, carry in carry out.
August 09, 2016
Missing blazes have been replaced
Unfortunately, during the past year, vandals have removed blazes from portions of the Todd Trail. Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated volunteers, the missing blazes have been replaced. As of today (August 9, 2016), it is possible to follow the entire route of this hike without any difficulty.
July 05, 2016
Hiked this trail for the first time 7/3. As you near the end of the first 1 1/2 miles, the white blazes are gone. There are several well-worn paths that all lead to Skyline Drive, but not sure which was the intended route. Also, there is no white blazing at the start of the other side of Skyline Drive. Enter by the Hiker signpost , go by the yellow gate and take the trail to the LEFT. Soon you will come upon the footbridge and the white blazes resume. All in all, a great hike.
June 14, 2016
White Blazes Missing from Todd Trail
Hey all! Took this trail yesterday with a friend and had a lovely time- until we hit the point where the blazes were removed/blacked out. We ended up at a 5 way star shape with trails in all directions and no markers except for a blacked out one indicating "straight" (there were none after that we could see). There were also none on the opposite side of the trees. We turned back at that point. Also, dirt bikers riding all over the trail. Kicked up a lot of rocks and made a mess. Ugh :( Going to attempt again today hopefully with more time on my hands.
May 25, 2015
Blacked out blazes?!
What is with the blacked out white blazes on the Castle Hike Long Trail? My husband and I have done this hike many, many times and love it and have always easily followed the blazes. Yesterday we started off on the white blazed Todd Lake trail and after a short distance the white blazes were blacked out with paint and couldn't be seen and it seemed a previous hiker had tried to scratch off a little of the paint to show that it's a white blaze so that people could attempt to follow the trail. We thank that hiker. Still, we got very lost and ended up climbing up Sky Line drive on the road (very dangerous) back to the beginning so we could do the Castle Hike Short Loop instead. Why are the white blazes blacked out on the long trail?!
November 10, 2013
November 10, 2013
We really enjoyed this hike. It was a nice mix of woodland, lovely lakeside (although there were a lot of people there for a Sunday stroll) and a good climb up to some very interesting ruins.
May 12, 2013
Visited Castle Point today. Hundreds of Wild Columbine flowers (Aquilegia canadensis) are in bloom around the ruins of the water cistern. Quite a nice site to see.
January 14, 2012
Did this hike today, and was very impressed. Its a perfect afternoon, moderate hike with great rewards of the castle ruins at the end. I highly recommend.