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Hike of the Week

Courtesy of the NY-NJ Trail Conference

WHERE: Norvin Green State Forest
MAP:  North Jersey Trails, Map #21. , Published by the NY-NJ Trail Conference.
FEATURES: This loop climbs to the summit of Torne Mountain, with excellent views along the way
LENGTH: 1.7 miles.
TIME: About one and a half hours.
HOW TO GET THERE: Take Interstate Route 287 to Exit 53 (Bloomingdale) and turn left onto Hamburg Turnpike. Upon entering Bloomingdale, the name of the road changes to Main Street. In 1.3 miles (from Route 287), you will reach a fork in the road. Bear right (following the sign to West Milford), and in another 0.1 mile, turn right (uphill) onto Glenwild Avenue. Continue ahead for 3.2 miles to a parking area on the right side of the road just past the "Welcome to West Milford" sign.

DESCRIPTION: At the eastern end of parking area, at the sign “Welcome to Bloomingdale,” cross Glenwild Avenue. On the south side of the road, you will notice a blue-blazed post, marked “HB.” Follow this blue-blazed Hewitt-Butler Trail, which climbs the hill and then turns right, heading west and parallel to the road, for about 0.25 mile. Here, with the road visible to the right, you will come to an intersection with the red-blazed Torne Trail. Turn left on this red trail, proceeding south. The trail climbs briefly, levels off, and then descends through a valley, which soon becomes a very rocky and boulder-filled gully.

In about 0.5 mile, the red trail ends at a second junction with the blue trail, which crosses the gully amidst large boulders. Turn right and head west and uphill, following the blue markers. For the next half mile, as you climb Torne Mountain, first steeply and then more gradually, there are a series of bedrock outcrops that offer constantly changing views to the south and west. Many large rounded boulders in the vicinity reveal the extensive glaciation this area once experienced.

After passing a viewpoint to the west, the trail continues through a wooded section and reaches a final viewpoint, this one looking to the north and west. Buck Mountain is visible to the north, with the Pequannock Watershed to the west. From here, the blue trail descends rather steeply and, in about a quarter mile, reaches the first junction with the red trail. Continue ahead on the blue trail, now retracing your steps, until the trail crosses Glenwild Avenue at the parking area where you left your car.

Hike of the Week is provided by Daniel Chazin of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (NYNJTC). The trail conference is a volunteer organization that builds and maintains 1,600 miles of hiking trails and publishes a library of hiking maps and books, including a two-map set for North Jersey Trails ($8.95) and the New Jersey Walk Book ($19.95).

The office is at 156 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah. Phone: (201) 512-9348, Website: nynjtc.org.

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