Rehabilitating the Trails of the Ramapo Mountains

August 27, 2017
Don Weise
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Rehabilitating the Trails of the Ramapo Mountains
MacMillian Reservoir at Ramapo Valley County Reservation. Photo by Heather Darley.


The Trail Conference has a long history of building, maintaining,and protecting hundreds of miles of trails throughout the Ramapo Mountains.

These mountains—a forested chain of the Appalachians in northeastern New Jersey and southeastern New York—serve the millions of outdoor enthusiasts throughout the greater New York metropolitan region. Local residents and visitors alike come to experience the distinctive features and vistas that the Ramapo trail systems make accessible. But after years of wear from an increasing volume of users, many of the trails need repairs—and in some cases, sustainable redesign and construction. In places like Ramapo Valley County Reservation in Bergen County, N.J., and the many parks that adjoin it, trails are actually being loved a little too much. Trail erosion and widening from trampling feet, unofficial “shortcut” trails, and even hazardous overflow parking are taking a toll on the user experience and nature.

Thanks to generous support from the William Froelich Foundation, the Trail Conference, in partnership with Bergen County Department of Parks, has developed a long-term plan to improve the heavily used trail systems of the Ramapo Mountains.

And if we can raise $150,000 in private donations from the community, our two major supporters will match every donation. That means every dollar you and I donate to the newly created Ramapo Trails Fund will be tripled— and that $450,000 will allow us to complete this ambitious project.

Creating a more sustainable trail system in the Ramapo Mountains will take time, money, and plenty of hard work to finish. But all contributions— gifts of time and money—will allow the Trail Conference to significantly increase the public value of these hiking destinations. Together, we can enhance the overall outdoor experience they provide.

Find out how to do your part in contributing to the restoration of the trails in the Ramapo Mountains by supporting the Ramapo Trails Fund.


Trail Rehab Has Begun

The Ramapo Trails Fund supported the inaugural season of the Trail Conference Conservation Corps’ Sweet Water Trail Crew. The crew’s four Corps members worked hard this summer improving a steep and heavily eroded social trail used to access a popular waterfall site in Ramapo Valley County Reservation— but they need your support! Learn more by exploring the Sweet Water Trail Crew page.