Millstone Trail/Twin Hill Loop from Skyline Drive
Directions to trailhead
Take I-287 to Exit 57 (Skyline Drive) and proceed north on Skyline Drive for about 1.2 miles to the upper parking area for Ramapo Mountain State Forest, on the left side of the road at milepost 1.4.
From the parking area, cross Skyline Drive. You will see a sign and a triple purple-on-white blaze on a telephone pole, marking the start of the Tamarack Loop. Follow the purple-on-white blazes, which turn right onto the paved road that leads into the former Camp Tamarack, then immediately turn left at a kiosk and proceed downhill on a winding footpath.
At the base of the descent, the trail turns right (the ruins of the former camp rifle range are visible on the left). Just ahead, a triple-orange blaze marks the start of the Schuber Trail, but you should turn right, continuing to follow the purple-on-white-blazed Tamarack Loop along a level footpath. The trail soon reaches the shore of Lake Tamarack. A rock ledge on the left affords a view over the lake, with a stone chimney visible across the lake on the left and remnants of the former waterfront docks on the right.
The trail continues along the lakeshore, soon passing the concrete-and-stone foundations of the former camp waterfront buildings. Here, on the left, another rock ledge offers views over the lake (note the plaque for the “Jack Brady Memorial Pier”). After passing a balanced boulder (note the plaque in memory of Walter Bever, Jr., on the lake side of the boulder), you’ll come to a third viewpoint over the lake. The trail now moves away from the lake, joining a woods road. (To the left, the road leads to the stone dam of the lake, with an attractive waterfall when the water is high.) The trail follows the road for 100 feet, then bears left, leaving the road.
Just ahead, you'll pass on the left a stone chimney and concrete foundation -- remnants of a structure that once was part of Camp Tamarack. A short distance beyond, you'll reach a T-intersection. Here, you should turn left onto the Yellow Trail (blazed with yellow diamonds).
After climbing steeply to a rock outcrop near the north end of the lake (from which a municipal water tower is visible to the right, when there are no leaves on the trees), the Yellow Trail begins a steady, rather steep descent to a valley, where it crosses two streams (with attractive cascades on the second stream, when the water is high).
Soon, the Yellow Trail begins a steady climb of Millstone Hill, passing a stone wall on the right. The trail eventually levels off on a shoulder of the ridge, with views through the trees of Campgaw Mountain to the east.
About two miles from the start of the hike, the white-blazed Millstone Trail joins from the left. Continue ahead, now following both yellow diamond and white blazes. Just beyond the junction, several abandoned millstones in various stages of completion may be seen to the right of the trail. This area was once the site of a millstone quarry, and the stones that you see were either damaged during quarrying or abandoned when the quarry operation shut down. In another 500 feet, you'll pass a millstone in nearly perfect condition about 15 feet to the right of the trail.
Continuing to descend, the trails cross a woods road, passing an old stone wall (which marked the boundary of Camp Glen Gray), and cross paved Midvale Mountain Road. They bear left into the woods and head west, parallel to Fox Brook, then turn right to cross two branches of the brook on footbridges. The trails now begin to climb, reaching a junction in a level area. Here, the Millstone Trail leaves to the left, but you should turn right, staying on the Yellow Trail. The trail briefly follows an old woods road, then turns left at a huge, flat-sided boulder and heads north, climbing steadily through a wooded valley.
After reaching the crest of the rise, the trail descends briefly and continues along a level woods road. It crosses a stream on a wooden footbridge and, just beyond, passes the ruins of some old Scout buildings. Just ahead, it turns right onto a wide woods road (briefly joining the route of the Yellow-Silver Trail). In 100 feet, it turns left and begins to ascend Twin Hill, soon passing a stone foundation on a rock ledge.
At the high point of the ridge (995 feet), reached a little over three miles from the start, you'll come to an expansive viewpoint over northern Bergen County from a rock outcrop a short distance to the right of the trail. On a clear day, you can see the Manhattan skyline on the horizon to the right. You've now gone a little more than halfway, and this is a good place to stop and take a break.
After enjoying the panoramic view, return to the trail and find a wooden post at a large cairn. Continue straight ahead (heading west), now following the orange blazes of the Schuber Trail. (Do not turn right onto the joint Schuber/Yellow Trail, which descends to the north.) Soon, the trail joins a grassy woods road. About a third of a mile from the viewpoint, the Yellow-Silver Trail begins on the left, but you should continue along the Schuber Trail as it turns right onto another woods road and crosses a wooden bridge over the outlet of Sanders Pond, to the right of the trail. After climbing over a knoll, the Schuber Trail descends to cross the historic Cannonball Road. It continues straight ahead on a footpath, descending to North Brook, where it turns left and joins the Old Guard Trail, blazed with a green tulip leaf on a white background.
After climbing to a rock outcrop overlooking the brook, the trails skirt a wet area and reach the Tindall Cabin. The trails skirt the cabin and reach a footbridge over North Brook. Here, the Old Guard Trail proceeds ahead, but you should turn right to follow the Schuber Trail, which crosses the footbridge and bears left, passing stone foundations of the former Sanders Farm.
After skirting a campsite (the former camp archery range) to the left, the Schuber Trail joins Mary Post Road. It passes McMullen Field (formerly the camp's rifle range) on the right and gradually curves to the left, going past more cabins and campsites at Camp Glen Gray (for more information about the camp, consult www.glengray.org).
Soon, the trail reaches the shore of Lake Vreeland. After crossing a culvert over South Brook, with the lake on the left and a wet area on the right, the Schuber Trail turns right, leaving the lake shore. Here, the white-blazed Millstone Trail joins. Just ahead, at a fork by the Explorer Cabin, the two trails diverge. The Millstone Trail takes the right fork, but you should continue to follow the orange blazes of Schuber Trail, which bears left and climbs on a rocky trailway.
In another quarter of a mile, you'll cross the white-blazed Millstone Trail. Soon, the Schuber Trail crosses a stream on rocks and continues over rolling terrain. After crossing Tamarack Brook on a wooden footbridge, the Schuber Trail ends at a junction with the purple-on-white-blazed Tamarack Loop. Continue ahead (uphill), now retracing your steps. Follow the purple-on-white blazes of the Tamarack Loop as it climbs to the southwest on a winding footpath and ends at Skyline Drive, opposite the large upper parking area where the hike began.