Mount Defiance

Mount Defiance, Ringwood State Park (3/19/2011)

We've hiked in Ringwood several times in the past, and nearly every time we visit this beautiful park we hike at least some portion of Mount Defiance. This is because the mountain runs north to south through the entire park, with nice views mostly west. Today we decided to hit some of the vistas that we hadn't visited since 2006. So we parked in Parking Lot Pc, at the northern end of a beautiful tree-lined road (which you can see in the first photo) either Skylands Road or Honeysuckle Lane (it's not clear on the maps).

We took a woods road east to the Crossover trail which we took north to the Halifax. We climbed to the ridge of Defiance on this trail and then continued north along the ride on the Ringwood-Ramapo trail. At a powerline cut we headed east a hundred yards and made a right on the blue-blazed Skylands Trail. I don't remember this trail being there any of the previous times we visited. It seems new, with its shiny new wands and painted blue triangle blazes. And it winds and winds and meanders and then winds more. In other words, it seems to have been created by JORBA for mountain biking. When you're on foot it's very easy to get confused as to which way to go, because you can see blazes from several twists of the trail no matter where you're standing. We took this south back to the Halifax, turning right on that trail and then going south on the Ringwood-Ramapo, and alternating with some woods roads, to the vista over the Wanaque Reservoir from "Warm Puppy Rock". We then headed north on the Crossover back to lot Pc.

Spring is in the air, tomorrow being the first official day. Total distance hiked today was 5.3 miles in nearly 3.5 hours.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Beautiful tree-lined entrance road

"The Farm Relics Field"

Woods road

North on Crossover

Ruins on Crossover

Runoff from Swan Pond

Pussy willows!


Laura and Swan Pond

Crossing rocks

Bicyclists on Crossover


Gorgeous pines

Continuing north on Crossover

Halifax trailhead

Climbing Defiance

Wanaque Reservoir

Skylands Manor from Defiance ridge


Zoom in of Skylands Manor

View west

Climbing on R-R

Small pond on ridge

Partial view west

Side view of Ringwood Manor

Poor dead vole

Apparently Rutgers is studying this tree

The winding Skylands Trail

Water break




View west through firs

Wanaque Reservoir

[Photo by Laura]

Zoom of Wanaque Reservoir

Skyland Manor

Powerline cut through hills

Curious glacial erratic

Abandoned nest [photo by Laura]

View NW

Limited view west

View of Wanaque Reservoir ...

... from graffiti-ridden ...

... "Warm Puppy Rock"

Crossover trail

Dilapidated building

Looking in

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