Manaticut Point Short Loop from Crescent Drive
Directions to trailhead
Take Skyline Drive to its northwestern terminus at Greenwood Lake Turnpike (County Route 511). Turn left and proceed south for 1.6 miles to West Brook Road. Turn right onto West Brook Road and cross the Wanaque Reservoir on a causeway. At the next T-junction, turn left and proceed for 0.8 mile to Magee Road. Turn right onto Magee Road and take the first left onto Burnt Meadow Road. Continue for 0.9 mile and turn left at the second intersection with Crescent Drive. Continue for 0.2 mile until you reach a huge boulder and a kiosk on the right side of the road, just beyond a curve. Park along the side of the road. GPS address: 1 Crescent Drive, Ringwood, NJ 07456.
Between the boulder and the kiosk, a triple black-square-on-yellow blaze marks the start of the Manaticut Point Spur Trail. Head into the woods on this trail. Soon, you'll cross two branches of a stream on rocks, with several abandoned sections of concrete pipe adjacent to the stream, and pass by a huge fractured rock. A short distance beyond, you’ll cross another stream.
After crossing a third stream below an interesting inverted-V-shaped rock formation and proceeding through an area with an understory of ferns, the Manaticut Point Spur Trail ends at a junction with the yellow-blazed Manaticut Point Loop. Here, the yellow blazes head both to the left and straight ahead. You should continue straight ahead, uphill (towards Lake Sonoma).
About a mile from the start, you’ll pass the trailhead of the orange-blazed Lake Sonoma Trail on the right. A short distance ahead, you’ll notice a triple yellow/orange blaze on the left. Turn left, leaving the Manaticut Point Loop, and continue on the yellow/orange trail. The trail climbs rather steeply, then more gradually. It switchbacks to the crest of the ridge, with limited views through the trees on the left, then climbs to a rock ledge that overlooks a wetland below.
Just beyond, the yellow/orange trail ends at a junction with the yellow-blazed Manaticut Point Loop. Turn left, now following yellow blazes. The trail descends a little and then climbs steadily to Manaticut Point, marked by several cedar trees. Here, the trail turns left and descends an open rock ledge, with panoramic views. Windbeam Mountain is directly ahead (east), with Bear and Board Mountains to its left. To the south, you can see a quarry, with the New York City skyline visible on the horizon on a clear day (the best views of the skyline are from the rock ledge below and to the right of the one traversed by the trail).
The trail now descends very steeply. Watch carefully for a double blaze painted on a rock. Here, the pink-blazed West Brook Connector Trail begins on the right, but you should continue to follow the yellow-blazed Manaticut Point Loop, which turns left and continues to descend more gradually. The trail soon bears left and climbs a little, goes through an interesting passage between rocks, then resumes a steady descent. After passing several rock formations on the left and crossing a stream, it climbs to the junction where the Manaticut Point Loop ends. Bear right and follow the black-square-on-yellow blazes of the Manaticut Point Spur Trail, retracing your steps to the trailhead on Crescent Drive, where the hike began.