April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Take a Hike on Chol Hamoed Sukkot

By Daniel Chazin

For Chol Hamoed Sukkot, we have prepared an array of six hikes, ranging from easy to strenuous. In each case, the printed article contains only a summary of the hike, and a link is provided to the full hike description that appears online.

1. Celery Farm in Allendale. If you’re looking for a short, easy hike near home, this is perfect for you. It covers only one mile, and the route is completely flat. Yet the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale is a magnificent oasis that allows one to experience the beauty of nature while looping around a scenic pond. The dense vegetation surrounding the pond largely obscures the view of the surrounding homes, and it is indeed hard to believe that you are in the midst of a developed community! Because of its short length and easy terrain, this is an ideal hike for families with young children. Dogs and other pets are not allowed, however. (Running and jogging are also prohibited.) The hike is about 14 miles from Teaneck, and it should take about 20 minutes to get there. For a complete description of the hike, go to https://jewishlink.news/features/53946-hike-the-celery-farm-in-allendale-nj

2. Loop Hike Along the Palisades South of State Line Lookout. This three-mile easy-to-moderate hike along the Palisades, beginning at the State Line Lookout in Alpine, features many panoramic views over the Hudson River and Westchester County across the river. It also passes by the Women’s Federation Monument—a small stone “castle” that commemorates the efforts of the New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs to preserve the Palisades in the early 20th century. The hike is nearly flat for most of the way, but it includes a descent and then a climb of stone steps towards its end. It can be completed in two hours, but it might take you a little longer if you spend some time at the viewpoints along the way. The hike is about 14 miles from Teaneck, and it should take about 20 minutes to get there. For a complete description of the hike, go to https://jewishlink.news/features/53948-loop-hike-south-of-the-state-line-lookout-in-the-palisades-interstate-park

3. Castle Loop in Ramapo Mountain State Forest. This three-mile moderate hike from the upper parking area on Skyline Drive in Oakland is one of the most interesting hikes in Ramapo Mountain State Forest. Not only does it run along the scenic Ramapo Lake and climb to several panoramic viewpoints, but it also passes the interesting stone ruins of an old mansion. Known as Foxcroft, it was built around 1910 by William Porter, a stockbroker. His widow occupied it until her death in 1940, and it fell into ruin in the late 1950s. There are several rather steep climbs, but most of the hike follows well-graded trails and woods roads. Allow about two-and-a-half hours for the hike. The trailhead is about 18 miles from Teaneck, and it should take about 30 minutes to get there. For a complete description of the hike, go to https://jewishlink.news/features/53945-hike-the-castle-loop-in-ramapo-mountain-state-forest

4. Bearfort Ridge Loop in Abram S. Hewitt State Forest. This six-mile moderate-to-strenuous hike traverses a spectacular but little-used area in Abram S. Hewitt State Forest near Greenwood Lake. The hike traverses outcrops of puddingstone conglomerate rocks, passing through stands of rhododendrons and pitch pines, and comes out on the shore of the scenic Surprise Lake—a pristine, spring-fed pond. It also reaches several viewpoints, and from one, the New York City skyline can be seen on a clear day. Perhaps the most interesting feature along the route of the hike is a rock ledge overlooking a wetland, where a narrow wedge of the bedrock has split away from the main ledge, forming a deep crevice. The hike should take about four-and-a-half hours. The trailhead is about 30 miles from Teaneck, and it should take about 45 minutes to get there. For a complete description of the hike, go to https://jewishlink.news/features/53944-hike-the-bearfort-ridge-loop-in-abram-s-hewitt-state-forest

5. Rocks Trail in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. This 7.5-mile moderate-to-strenuous hike loops around Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in the northeastern corner of Westchester County. The reservation, opened in 1938, is the largest park in Westchester County, and most of the trails in the reservation follow old woods roads. This hike, however, follows the Rocks Trail, so named because it links six historic and scenic features, each of which has “Rock” as part of its name. The features include Spy Rock, used by the Americans in the Revolutionary War to observe the movements of British troops, and the Indian Rock Shelter, an overhanging rock that the Native Americans used for shelter. The Rocks Trail was constructed by volunteers in 2010 and, for much of its way, follows a footpath. The hike should take about five hours. The reservation is about 50 miles from Teaneck, and it should take about one hour and 15 minutes to get there. For a complete description of the hike, go to https://jewishlink.news/features/53947-hike-the-rocks-trail-at-ward-pound-ridge-reservation

6. Mt. Tammany in Worthington State Forest. This strenuous hike is only about four miles long, but it involves an elevation gain of nearly 1,200 feet in only 1.4 miles. The hike climbs Mt. Tammany in the Delaware Water Gap and affords spectacular views over the Delaware River and Mount Minsi, with the rolling hills of Pennsylvania in the background. On the way down, you’ll pass through the narrow gorge of Dunnfield Creek, studded with rhododendrons, with the waters of the cascading creek below, and go by an attractive waterfall. The hike should take about three-and-a-half hours. The trailhead is about 70 miles from Teaneck, and it should take about one hour and 10 minutes to get there. For a complete description of the hike, go to https://jewishlink.news/features/53943-daniel-chazin

This hiking article is provided by Daniel Chazin of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. The Trail Conference is a volunteer organization that builds and maintains over 2,000 miles of hiking trails and publishes a library of hiking maps and books. The Trail Conference’s office is at 600 Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202), Mahwah; (201) 512-9348; www.nynjtc.org. Daniel Chazin can be reached at [email protected].

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