Know the New Hiking How-tos
Old Cedar/Silver/Rocky Ridge Trails Loop in Campgaw Mountain County Reservation
Directions to trailhead
Take N.J. Route 208 North to the Summit Avenue exit in Franklin Lakes. Turn left at the end of the ramp, following the sign for Franklin Lakes. At the next traffic light, turn left onto Franklin Avenue, and at the following traffic light, turn right onto Pulis Avenue. Follow Pulis Avenue for 1.5 miles and turn left onto Campgaw Road. In 1.6 miles, turn left onto the entrance road leading into Campgaw Mountain Reservation. At a fork in the road after 0.4 mile, bear left and continue for another 0.2 mile, then turn left and park at the southern end of the main parking area, near a portable restroom.
From the southern entrance to the parking area, proceed west, crossing the park entrance road. You’ll notice three blue blazes, which mark the start of the blue-blazed Rocky Ridge Trail, on a utility pole to the right of a chained-off gravel road. Continue ahead, but in 50 feet (where the trail splits into two branches) turn left, leaving the gravel road, and follow a blue-blazed footpath through a wooded area. The trail goes to the right of a park building and crosses a grassy area, passing under high-voltage power lines. At a yellow gate, follow the blue blazes as the Rocky Ridge Trail descends to reach a junction with the red-on-white-blazed Old Cedar Trail. Turn left onto the Old Cedar Trail, which soon recrosses under the power lines.
After crossing the park entrance road diagonally to the right, the Old Cedar Trail proceeds between the park entrance road on the right and I-287 on the left. It crosses several wet areas on wooden bridges and goes over a low stone wall, then loops back to the park entrance road. Here, on the left, you’ll notice three silver-on-white blazes on a tree, marking the start of the Silver Trail.
Turn left and follow the Silver Trail past the fenced-in MEVO Farm, then continue ahead along a woods road. Soon, the trail narrows to a footpath and begins to climb. In a quarter mile, a connecting trail with black-on-silver blazes goes off to the right, but you should continue ahead on the Silver Trail. As the trail approaches the park boundary, it loops around to the right, climbing steadily.
Just before reaching a power line clearing, you’ll come to a T-intersection. Here, the other end of the black-on-silver connecting trail is on the right, but you should bear left to continue on the Silver Trail. The trail immediately crosses under the power lines, reenters the woods, and turns right onto a dirt road. Soon, the road – which is shared with equestrian users – begins a gradual descent.
After passing a small wetland on the right, the Silver Trail turns right, leaving the road. A short distance ahead, the Silver Trail ends at a junction with the red-on-white-blazed Old Cedar Trail (marked by a large cairn). Bear left and continue ahead on the Old Cedar Trail, which climbs gradually on a rocky footpath.
In 500 feet, the blue-blazed Rocky Ridge Trail briefly joins from the right. When the two trails diverge, proceed straight ahead on the blue-blazed Rocky Ridge Trail, which follows a rocky footpath along the ridgeline, soon beginning a steady, gentle descent. The trail passes several tees and yellow-rimmed metal baskets for disc golf, one of the activities offered in the park.
After passing through an area with many cedar trees, you’ll come to a T-intersection where the Rocky Ridge Trail turns right and descends. This will be your return route, but for now, turn left onto a blue/red-on-white-blazed connector trail. In 250 feet, the blue/red trail turns sharply left. Turn right here, leaving the blue/red trail, and cross the open area to reach an expansive east-facing viewpoint at the top of the ski slope. To the left are the hills of Harriman State Park, and in the center is northern Bergen County, with Mahwah in the foreground. The Palisades can be seen on the horizon. This is a good place to take a break.
When you’re ready to continue, return to the trail on the southwest side of the clearing. Turn left and continue along the red/blue trail, retracing your steps for 250 feet, then proceed straight ahead on the blue-blazed Rocky Ridge Trail, which descends gradually – first on a woods road, then on a footpath. After moving away from the ski slopes, the trail goes by a disc golf tee and joins a wide woods road. It passes the northern terminus of the green-blazed Beeches Trail, then descends through the woods on a footpath.
At the base of the descent, the blue-blazed Rocky Ridge Trail turns right onto a gravel road, joining the orange-blazed Hemlock Trail. The red-on-white-blazed Old Cedar Trail soon crosses, and the Hemlock Trail leaves to the left, but you should continue ahead on the Rocky Ridge Trail to its terminus at the park entrance road. The parking area where the hike began is just ahead.