Long Pond Ironwork’s Monk’s Trail!

Long Pond Ironwork’s Monk’s Trail is a 2.5 mile loop trail located near scenic Monksville Reservoir.

Monk’s Mountain

Monk’s Trail

The 1.7 white blazed Monk’s trail loops around Monk’s Mountain (part of Long Pond Ironworks State Park) and passes near the Winston Iron Mine. The mine was in operation for a short time after the Civil War and was inactive by the 1880’s.

Winston Iron Mine

There is an interesting short side trail (blue on white blaze) which leads to some amazing views of Monksville Reservoir.

Beautiful Monksville Reservoir

One of the unique finds on this hike was Prickly Pear Cactus which is the only native cactus known to New Jersey. It’s interesting finding a plant you might associate with a desert environment having a home in a mountain in New Jersey!

Prickly Pear Cactus

The trail is a great scenic way to view some of the iron mining history of the NJ Highlands while taking in some great views. For directions and a full description of this great hike click here.

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About NJUrbanForest

Love to explore, photograph and learn about NJ (and NY) urban forests

5 responses to “Long Pond Ironwork’s Monk’s Trail!”

  1. David says :

    Just took a hike here at monk’s trail. Although a little cold in the winter (we hiked on Dec 5th), it was still a great hike. The uphill climb, almost 300 ft, is a little tough for out of shape hikers.

    Exploring the old open iron mines pits was fun. Definitely great hike.

  2. Lynn says :

    (looking down at the map) hiking the trail in a clockwise direction is harder and steeper than going counter clockwise. There are entrances to the trail from either boat launch parking lot. Tennessee Gas is laying a new pipeline right now so check the NYNJTC website to see if it’s open and passable.
    The blue side trail with the view is closer to the south boat launch, go to your left but it’s a steep climb. The Winston (Winton?) mine is easier to get to from the north boat launch. At the woods road a little past the yellow gate take the trail to the left that goes uphill, not the one that goes down towards the water. After passing under the electric wires and passing the gas line, look carefully for a path that goes to the left. Be careful you don’t fall in!

  3. Jim Gerofsky says :

    I walked the loop over the weekend and also went up the green connector path to the Hasenclever, went up a mile or so on it. A nice little 3 hour walk. No snakes, no bears, no pipeline activity, but did hear two gunshots at an uncomfortable range near where the connector meets the Hasenclever. (I do wear an orange hat.) Didn’t see anyone else on the trail for the whole time. Couldn’t spot any cactus either. The parking is easy around here, you have your choice of the two boat launches and a pull-over on the north side of Beech Road right off the Turnpike. Also seems to be another County system parking area a bit off the Beech Road near the Hasenclever, if you want to stay north of the reservoir. Not sure about the bear situation up here, but didn’t see the usual warning signs at any of the trailheads. Overall seems worth the extra 10 or 15 minutes drive time if you want to avoid the “crowds” (relatively speaking) at Ramapo or Norvin Green.

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