Bearfort Ridge, an illegal hike

Bearfort Ridge - NJ Travel Blog

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More snow at higher elevations

With short days Hiking in New Jersey is still a great way to squeeze in a hike in a short day. Today, Presidents' Day was an excellent hiking day. Sunny and light freezing weather. Beautiful!

I left a bit late, took some wrong turns, and even ended up in a traffic jam. But I still decided to make a 5.5-hour hike. Since I started walking at 12:50 pm this was a bit of a gamble since the sun sets at 5:45 pm.

The location of choice became the Bearfort Ridge in the Abram S. Hewitt State Forest. This 810 ha (2001 acres) wide forest is only accessible by foot and consists of puddingstone, a very hard type of stone which does not erode easily. The landscape is therefore rugged and continuously going up-and-down.

View over Greenwood Lake

The snow of the most recent blizzard had disappeared a long time ago in the city, but here at an altitude of approximately 400 meters (1312 ft) the snow was still plenty. But in a convenient way. It had disappeared at the steepest rocks but was plentiful on the more horizontal parts.

The hike was beautiful and the snow added a lot of character to the hike. It made me walk a bit slower than usual so, I decided to not make the whole loop I had in mind. I did not want to run the risk to be stuck on the ridge in the dark and cold. The remaining tracks gave me plenty to enjoy. Especially the view down on the huge Greenwood Lake gave an almost Norwegian impression.

When I returned at the trailhead (way in time by the way) I discovered that my hike had been illegal. There was a sign at the beginning of the trail stating that the trail was closed. For some reason I had missed it when I started hiking. Given the many foot prints in the snow I was not the only trespasser.

More pictures below.

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More snow at higher elevations
More snow at higher elevations
View over Greenwood Lake
View over Greenwood Lake
At the start of the hike not too m…
At the start of the hike not too …
It is pretty challenging to follow…
It is pretty challenging to follo…
More snow at higher elevations
More snow at higher elevations
More snow at higher elevations
More snow at higher elevations
West Pond
West Pond
More snow at higher elevations
More snow at higher elevations
A smiling face in the ice
A smiling face in the ice
Surprise Lake
Surprise Lake
Surprise Lake
Surprise Lake
It is still freezing!
It is still freezing!
View over Greenwood Lake
View over Greenwood Lake
View over Greenwood Lake
View over Greenwood Lake
More snow at higher elevations
More snow at higher elevations
GPS profile (rendered by GPS Visua…
GPS profile (rendered by GPS Visu…
GPS Height Profile
GPS Height Profile
Bearfort Ridge - NJ
photo by: mdalamers