NJ Hiking: Connect

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Hiked the Ringwood-Ramapo/Hoeferlin/Pierson Ridge Trails Loop from Skylands M.... When I arrived at 8:15 am it was a hopping place with several hikers and mountain bikers already there. I had hiked a different section of Ringwood State Park a couple of years ago (by Shepherd Lake) and don't remember hearing the shooting range but this time it was constant gunfire for about the first 2 and last 2 miles of the hike. It was about 28 degrees when I got there which was really hard to adjust to after the previous weekend of 70 degree hiking weather but the mud was frozen early on so that was helpful. Did have to deal with some mud later in the day as it warmed up. The trail starts out flat so there was no uphill climb for warming up early on. Hopefully these are the last icicles of the season.

The trail does eventually go up and views along the first ridge are of Lake Eskine with the Wanaque Reservoir and Monksville Dam.

Wanaque Reservoir:

After descending that ridge and hiking up the parallel ridge, Erskine Lookout offers views of the Wanaque Reservoir from a little farther away:

At Ilgenstein Rock there is a view to the left of Bear Swamp Lake with the Ramapo Valley County Reservation beyond that:

And the Manhattan skyline to the right:

After descending the second ridge, it's up Mount Definance for another view before heading back to the parking lot:

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