Abram Hewitt’s Bearfort Ridge

Awosting, New Jersey 07421

Abram Hewitt’s Bearfort Ridge

Abram Hewitt’s Bearfort Ridge Professional Review and Guide

"After a few hours of rolling along the rocky ridges of Hewitt, you’ll swear you’ve been magically airlifted to the middle of Maine. A big reason for that is the stark, natural beauty of your surroundings, which range from bubbly puddingstone plateaus to an abundance of pitch pines, laurels, and scrub oaks, to the extended views of lakes in several directions, to near-total solitude. The only things missing for a truly authentic Down East experience are incessant swarms of mosquitoes.

In spring-time, fuchsia-yellow penstemon and rare moccasin flowers add a touch of magic to this jagged, antediluvian environment. From there, the sharp descent grows more earnest, with the path snaking by one sentinel stone after another, part of a valley of boulders that rolled off the high bluffs eons ago."

Abram Hewitt’s Bearfort Ridge Reviews

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A ridiculously beautiful and challenging trail. There were a few spots where my adrenaline rushed as I had to delicately negotiate steep drops and a few were done on stooped over almost crawling but it just added to the fun. This is a more challenging hike than its distance or elevation gain might imply. It just never stops going up and down over rocks and boulders and all manner of geology The trail guide mentioned an unmarked spur trail where you can see NYC on a clear day. There were a few umarked trails and we tried one promising one for half a mile but couldn't figure out if it was going anywhere good. And we got our NYC view directly on the trail at one point anyway. West Pond is definitely worth the very short side trip just past the bluff where we could see NYC from. The only thing on this entire trail that had the slightest twinge of unpleasantness was the starting point. This is not a trail head or a parking lot or a remotely accommodating starting point. It is one of several close together tiny spots on the busy road where the guard rail swerves out 10 feet wider for a hundred feet where you can make a harrowing attempt to pull over if it is empty or even worse, as I encountered, stop on the road and quickly back into the last guard rail gap spot with lovely patient New Jersey people trying to run you over and honk at you. Sigh.
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Great hike. There are outstanding views from Buck Mtn, Osio Rock, Wyanokie High Point and Carris Hill. The trails are rugged, but nothing too difficult. There are some interesting mines, including Roomy Mine (which can be entered during the summer months) and at least two waterfalls. It has everything one could ask for in a hike. Best of all, no crowds. You may see a handful of other hikers on the trails, but nothing like nearby Ringwood State Park or Ramapo Mountain State Forest, which draw hordes.
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The start of the trail seemed really great, great views, small abandoned mine u can check out, a nice hike up and a fun yet rocky hike down the first elevation...then the trail gets really sketchy and near impossible to locate the correct blazes...we gave ourselves 8 hours of sunlight to get the 5 hour hike done...eventually we decided its getting late and it makes more sense to backtrack and head out the way we came in...of course as i mentioned the way down was very rocky so the way up is going to be the same...then the thunder clouds came and we had to make a choice not to go back up due to safety and the lack of sunlight...we headed down to the road we found while looking for the turn off by the falls (about 1-1.5 miles past the falls and were lucky enough to get directions back to the main town to get a taxi back to the weiss ecology center...supposedly they are re-painting the blazes this summer...will give an update when we attempt this hike again towards the end of the summer
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This trail was a nice steady hike. I went in early september and it was beautiful. There was no wading, just rock hopping and nothing terribly strenuous.
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Fantastic trail. One of the best places I've hiked in the state. There's so much to see and there's no crowding at all (in fact, hardly anyone on a beautiful June afternoon). Not nearly as rough as the trail guide would have you believe. The streams are inconsequential and I can't imagine them posing a problem to anyone unless it's been raining for weeks or something. Rock-hopping is plentiful. The trail gets a bit sketchy around the first waterfall and I lost the yellow blazes for a little while. Otherwise, it's the most fun dayhike I've been on in a very long time. Not much wildlife, just deer, rodents, a snake, and frogs. Common birds, mostly, though hawks are common in the higher areas of the trail. If you're too winded to continue after High Point, the trail's first peak, you can cut your hike short and head downhill on the blue blazed trail, which cuts your total trip to about 2/5 of of the 9.3 total miles. If you decide to continue, the trail gets much easier after high point. Definitely worth doing in its entirety, but if you're not very fit or hiking with children you'll still have taken in most of the really-cool scenery by High Point (such as the mines, a waterfall, and the good views). It's also best to start early. Another point I should mention is that the driving directions are preposterous and routing you through Ringwood via Skyline Drive is absurd. Proceed to exit 54 (not 57 like it says) off 287 and take Route 511 North to Westbrook Road, then left at the fork and Snake Den Road will be on your left.

Abram Hewitt’s Bearfort Ridge Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,651 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
4.5 hours
Abram S. Hewitt State Forest
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Nov 2018