The Campgaw Mountain County Reservation is a 1,300 acre preserve in northern New Jersey, best known for Campgaw Mountain Ski Area in the winter (the closest ski area to New York City). It is also home to two disc golf (also known as frisbee golf) courses. And, my purpose for visiting: a network of hiking trails. It is easily accessed from NJ routes 17, 202 or 208, or Interstate 287, and is only about a half hour from the George Washington Bridge.

There are a handful of trails, making for a bunch of possible hiking routes and loops, most of which ascend to the top of Campgaw Mountain (less than 300 vertical feet, so not a tough climb), and none of which wander too far astray or get too technical. Despite its relatively low peak, the views to the east from the top of the ski lifts are far and impressive. There are also flatter trails past the lake and wetlands at the base of mountain.
PictureClick image to view NY-NJ Trail Conference's full Campgaw trail map.
I took a simple 2.5 mile loop up and around the ski area--YELLOW TRAIL to the top, RED TRAIL back down to the ski area parking lot, then past the base lodge and taking the GREEN TRAIL connector back to the YELLOW TRAIL to the lower parking lot. This, coincidentally, mirrored the path of much of the disc golf course (watch out for errant flying frisbees, and follow colored trail blazes so you don't accidentally wander off onto a disc golf trail instead).


The complete PDF trail map of Campgaw Mountain County Reservation is available here, courtesy of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. The trail conference also publishes a set of foldable, waterproof hiking maps covering the entire North Jersey region, including Campgaw, available for less than $10 at local outdoor stores (Campmor in Paramus, Ramsey Outdoor in Paramus and Ramsey) or from Amazon.

The NYNJTC offers several other suggested Campgaw Mountain routes on their website: herehere, and here.

Without further ado, here are some photos I took on a hike through the reservation today:
Click the play button to begin slideshow. Click the expand button at the bottom right to view full screen.


Leave a Reply