Monday, September 17, 2012

Bearfort Ridge hike

Along the ridge by TheTurducken
Along the ridge, a photo by TheTurducken on Flickr.
I was particularly excited about this hike with the NY Ramblers because part of it was on the Appalachian Trail, even if only a very small part. If I just kept going, eventually I'd end up back in Tennessee …

The hike was in New Jersey's Abram S. Hewitt State Forest, which is within a hair's breadth of New York. In fact, the trail we started out on was the State Line trail. From there we did a counterclockwise loop comprised principally of the Ernest Walter, Bearfort Ridge, and Quail trails.

After a gentle climb up to the ridge, we spent a hot minute on the AT, then turned onto the Ernest Walter trail. This afforded us a nice view of West Pond. From there we headed south down Bearfort Ridge. It's an interesting ridge of rock bedded vertically in many places. It's pretty, although there are only a few spots with views. While the trail is overall flat, there are many small scrambles.

At the end of the ridge, we climbed down, then back up to follow the eastern ridge. This part of the hike was rather tedious, frankly. The ridge seemed to go on forever. I was quite appropriately surprised to reach Surprise Lake, which meant we were nearing the end. It's an attractive lake that doesn't allow swimming; the weather wasn't hot enough to call us into the water in any case.

The hike got quite spectacular for a bit here, up high on a ridge with views to the east of Greenwood Lake, which is where the photo above was taken. We finished by heading back on the State Line trail to catch the bus to New York.

We had gorgeous weather - sunny and the perfect temperature. The leaves are going to be changing soon. Get outside and enjoy it!

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