Camp Vacamas

Camp Vacamas, Norvin Green State Forest (12/11/2011)

Since I first hiked Torne Mountain (in Norvin Green) many years ago, I have been intrigued by the continuation of the blue-blazed Hewitt-Butler trail south from Osio Rock to something labeled "Camp Vacamas". The NYNJTC map that covers Norvin Green ends just south of Osio Rock and gave no indication of the path south. But the new Jersey Highlands Trails Map 125 does show the rest of the trail down to its southern terminus at the camp office building. I wanted to check out this 2-mile stretch so we headed there on this crisp chilly Sunday morning with temperatures hovering in the mid to upper 20s F for much of the hike. But there was no wind, and much climbing, so we were never cold.

We parked opposite the camp office (which was closed, so we couldn't check in, as the camp sign requested), headed north along the trail all the way to Osio Rock. After enjoying the magnificent views, we headed back the same way we came. Had we had more time, we would have done an elongated lollipop by adding in a loop of Torne Mountain. But since we did this loop at least twice in the past, it wasn't a priority. But those wanting to venture further should do the extra loop which would result in a wonderful 5.7-mile lollipop with lots of climbing and many breathtaking views.

Total distance hiked today was a rugged 4.1 miles (with lots of elevation change) in about 3 hours.

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Parking at camp office

Trail head is opposite camp office

And it climbs right away!

Camp office

[Photo by Laura]

Cedar trunk

Remaining fall color


Beeches are late bloomers

More climbing



Creek crossing

Trail goes through camp

Vacamas sign

And more climbing

Look at that leaf blanket!

Nice rock formation

Frozen water


Late fall color


Well blazed trail


Another small stream

Final ascent [photo by Laura]

Tree hugger [photo by Laura]

Mountain opposite


Climbing on all fours


View of Star Lake


Zoom into Star Lake

View east

[Photo by Laura]

View south

Osio Rock


View to Wanaque Reservoir

Group of hikers


At Osio Rock

Wanaque Reservoir

Lake Kampfe


Now descending


Manhattan skyline on horizon


And descending

Creek crossing


Submerged leaves

Back to camp

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