Skyline Preserve Loop

Skyline Preserve

View in Skyline Preserve - Photo credit: Daniela Wagstaff View in Skyline Preserve - Photo credit: Daniela Wagstaff

A trail over rugged, mountainous terrain leads to a scenic lake and views of the New York City skyline.

41.04609, -74.368631

From the parking pull out, walk west on Weaver Road over the stone bridge and continue for .2 mile.  Just before a black mailbox with number 139 turn left at the “Trail Access” sign beyond which are the three yellow markers indicating the beginning of the yellow-blazed trail through Skyline Preserve.  Proceed through a ditch then past a wrecked car.  Cross over a small stream on logs.

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Trip Reports

rate experience
August 12, 2014
Unmaintained Trail at Skyline Preserve
Thank you for your thorough report about this trail's condition.  As the cartographer here at the Trail Conference, I have made a note to consider making adjustments to our maps that cover this area so that this trail is changed to an unmaintained trail rather than as a maintained trail like the other thick red lines on the map.While it is true that the majority of the trails shown on our trail maps are maintained by the Trail Conference, especially in some of the larger parks, there are also several trails that are shown on the maps that are not maintained by our volunteers.  This particular trail is in Skyline Preserve, which is managed by the NJ Conservation Foundation (NJCF), and I believe it was put in place a few years ago.  I'm not aware of any Trail Conference involvement for this particular trail or preserve, and it unfortunately sounds like the trail has quickly fallen into a difficult-to-follow trail.If improvements to the trail are not made before the next edition of either of these maps, we will definitely consider showing this as an unmaintained trail to reflect its condition on the ground.  Many thanks for your report and suggestion, as we appreciate reports like this that allow us to either resolve trail issues or make corrections or adjustments to our maps.~Jeremy ApgarTC Cartographer
Jeremy Apgar
August 10, 2014
Should be termed an 'Unmaintained' Trail
This is no doubt a beautiful area, but it's only for folks with a sense of adventure & more time on their hands than the writer of the hike description recommends. For starters, while the description has the trail starting at the "Trail Access" sign 0.2 miles west of the parking pullout (which in fact it does), both the 2011 Jersey Highlands T.C. trail map and the 2014 North Jersey T.C. trail map indicate that the yellow trail begins immediately across the street from the parking area. At the same time, both maps indicate that an unblazed woods road with a gate -- which leads to the yellow trail -- starts about 0.2 miles west of the parking area.  So there's that confusion at the very beginning. While much of the hike is a wade through lowbush blueberry bushes, with little indication that a trail runs through them, the real fun begins, as the writer indicates, at about 1.7 miles, where 1) the treadway is faint to nonexistent, 2) multiple blowdowns in many locations obscure whatever trail there once was, 3) trees bearing blazes are among the fallen, and 4) many blazes are scattered on the ground. My small group had to double back to the last visible blaze, as well as walk a broad circle around the last blaze, numerous times; and at such times, as the trail doesn't seem to get much traffic, we had neither blazes nor an obvious treadway to follow. A bunch of times we were thrilled to find a blaze on the forest floor.  At 1.85 miles, the trail approaches the creek on the right, but at this point there are no plastic yellow blazes but there are some yellow paint markings on the trees heading in the opposite direction; i.e. the trail does not reach the creek and sort of loops around on itself. And coming back up the lollipop loop, once you're on the open rock slab (2.5 miles) it is difficult, due to lack of blazing, to find where the trail descends from the ridge. Altogether a beautiful, tranquil area with varied terrain and nice wildlife (a bear, wild turkeys, toads, birds), but until the Trail Conference can get someone in there to re-blaze the blown down areas and also just add a lot more blazes, the next map sets should mark the Skyline Preserve trails as 'Unmaintained', because they're not. Thanks to the Trail Conference for all you do for wild spaces & those who enjoy them!
February 17, 2013
Beautiful today but
Beautiful today in the virgin snow but a multitude of blowdowns and many missing trail markers. Had to consult with my Maker several times to divine the way.
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