Bearfort Ridge Surprise Lake Loop Trail

Moe, New Jersey

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4 Reviews
4 out of 5
This fresh, verdant trail in fall and winter brings you and your canine pal the gift of woodland detail and sights to see without the distraction of leaves. Bold rocks, streams, and shallow soil become the substrate for lush growth of bright green moss, lichen, fern, rhododendron, mountain laurel, hemlock, and pine. It’s a green hike with great views, adventure in unusual habitats, waterfalls, lunch on a sunny ridge top, speckled rock, and trees growing out of boulders. The Bearfort Ridge Natural Area is home to the endangered red-shouldered hawk and the timid Eastern timber rattler. Your experienced dog will love the streams, varied habitats with distinctive aromas, and path like an agility course. This hike is among the cream!
Best Hikes with Dogs: New Jersey

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Dogs: New Jersey

by Mary Jasch (The Mountaineers Books)

This fresh, verdant trail in fall and winter brings you and your canine pal the gift of woodland detail and sights to see without the distraction of leaves. Bold rocks, streams, and shallow soil become the substrate for lush growth of bright green moss, lichen, fern, rhododendron, mountain laurel, hemlock, and pine.

It’s a green hike with great views, adventure in unusual habitats, waterfalls, lunch on a sunny ridge top, speckled rock, and trees growing out of boulders. The Bearfort Ridge Natural Area is home to the endangered red-shouldered hawk and the timid Eastern timber rattler. Your experienced dog will love the streams, varied habitats with distinctive aromas, and path like an agility course. This hike is among the cream!

©  Mary Jasch/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Moe
Length: 5
Elevation Gain: 480 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 3.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 850 feet
Top Elevation: 1,300 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Wawayanda State Park
Local Maps: USGS Greenwood Lake, NY
Topo Map: Bearfort Ridge: Surprise Lake Loop Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Best Hikes with Dogs: New Jersey Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

7/15/2011

This is a brutal yet beautiful trail - I lost count on the number of rock scrambles. When you view my photos ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/sph001/sets/72157627082919637/show/ ) you will see some of the scrambles. BUT don't let this stop you from trying this trail... I recommend taking the yellow trail past Surprise Lake to the blue State Line Trail - magnificent views of Greenwood Lake. I was going to complete the yellow circle from there (touching the Appalachian) - but it was too warm and I was bested by all the scrambles... I doubled back and then walked the Orange trail to the car. That is an easy route back. My trip (see last photo) was 7 miles. Great hike! Also - there appears to be a parking area just before you reach the trail after leaving 511 and entering Warwick TP - and then another right over the bridge just past the trail.

8/28/2010

I tackled this trail with my 40lb mid sized active dog. I agree that this is moderate hike. Dog and I did the trail in about 2.5hrs but we were moving along quite well. The trail head was difficult to find from the road. At the end of the summer it is quite overgrown. I knew where to go as I could see a wooden bridge over the creek and just had to figure out how to get to the bridge. There are lots of fun rocks which we had no difficulty with. There was only one area as you move from the white trail to the yellow and go downhill that was about a 4ft drop for the dog, there was a small foothold for me but I carried the dog down that bit. I followed from the yellow to orange trail. It was quite muddy in places, I could see it being very wet in the spring. Easy wide path the last mile. I took the white trail and ended up at the road much further east than the car. I would do the hike again and would expect with my kids stopping for water breaks every 5s to take more like 4-4.5hrs.

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