This hike is considered to be one of the most challenging routes in NJ. It has a little bit of everything from road walking to steep climbs without switchbacks. Going clockwise, after the road walk the hike starts on a woods road and the first turn-off to the left is not marked so you have to watch for it on the phone/GPS. A lot of the climbs have a 20% grade. Not recommended as a winter hike. Some areas of the trail are so rugged that when covered with snow/ice they would be impassable. The hike might be easier in the counterclockwise direction where you go up most of the rock scrambles rather than down them.
Start the hike at the Stonetown Recreation Center Parking Lot on Mary Roth Dr in Ringwood, NJ. To go clockwise, make a left out of the parking lot onto Stonetown Rd and bear left onto Magee Rd. The trail markers, a red diamond on a white background will be on your right. This direction gets the road walking done first and saves the views for the tail end of the hike. Our mileage and elevation gain were slightly different than what's posted due to losing the trail, bushwacking to views, etc. Stats from my Garmin GPS were 11.0 miles and 3174 ft elevation gain. We completed the hike in 6 hrs with an avg pace of 1.8 mph.
I would not bring children on this hike as they would not possess the stamina to complete it.
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