Meet Mahwah's Parks: Ramapo Reservation

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Approximately 3313 acres long, the Ramapo Reservation is one of Bergen County’s biggest parks. The reservation borders both Ringwood State Park and the Ramapo Mountain State Forest. Despite urbanization, most of the reservation has been left in its natural state. Visitors can enjoy hiking amongst the reservations hills and valleys as well as canoeing and fishing on the Ramapo River and other ponds in the area.

The reservation is located on Ramapo Valley Road (right before Ramapo College), and two miles south of NJ 17 in Mahwah.

Visitors also may be lucky to catch the Giants football players jogging up the reservoir during training season.


The reservation is great for hiking, as it offers ten marked trails, according to the New York New Jersey Trail Conference Website. Hikers seeking a challenge can try hiking near Scarlet Oak Pond and The Macmillan Reservoir.

Scarlet Oak Pond is a very popular area in the reservation, as it is frequented by dog walkers and hikers alike. The pond once served as a former gravel quarry. Not too far away is the Macmillan Reservoir, which once supplied the Crocker Mansion. 

Individual trails range from 0.3 to 6.5 miles, and some of the reservation’s trails connect with those in Ringwood State park, Ramapo Mountain State Forest, and Camp Glen Gray.

The areas towards the parking lot are usually used for those with strollers. Dogs are welcome on the trails; however, they must be leashed.


For parties interested in camping, tent camping is only allowed by permit. For more information please call Darlington (201-327-3500) for camping rules and regulations.


The reservation is a hotspot for birdwatchers as it contains more than 200 species of birds, according to Ramapo College’s website of Community Resources. Plant lovers will enjoy the sights of flowering dogwood, mountain laurel, and pink azalea.

Permit pass

Fishing is permitted with a valid NJ fishing license.


There are no fees.

More info

For more information, individuals can contact the Bergen County Department of Parks at 201-336-7275, or visit its website.

Trail Volunteer July 18, 2011 at 02:40 PM
More: Ramapo Valley on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ramapo-Valley-County-Reservation/180959758610856
Renate Rena Nuss July 18, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Wouldn't a dog park be a great addition to the Reservation? But big, with access to water, not just a small dog run. Space is there.
jh June 19, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Nah....... there are too many inconsiderate and clueless dog owners there now. Imagine if you opened it up to more ???
Andy Schmidt June 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM
The volunteers of the NYNJTC (the trail council) in Mahwah (the organization that is restoring the old school house a few hundred yards from the park entrance) are maintaining the trails, putting up the color blazes -- and have the maps so you know where you're going: http://www.nynjtc.org/product/north-jersey-trails (a simplified version can be downlaoded: http://www.nynjtc.org/files/RamapoReservation-TrailMap_BW_2012.pdf) The carriageway to Macmillan reservois is crowded on weekends. Taking the steep climb up the green trail past Hawk Rock will reward you with a more peaceful and quiet hike. You can come back on the white trail if you are just looking for a quick, but intense 3 mail walk, or extend your loop by a fairly easy 2 miles by picking up the blue Ridge Trail around Macmillan Reservoir and below it following the orange Schuber Trail along the creek, past the waterfall and the old camp ruin.


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