Hiking Torne Mountain! (Norvin Green State Forest)

Norvin Green State Forest

Welcome to Norvin Green State Forest’s Torne Mountain!

Torne Mountain

Torne Mountain, standing at 1,120 feet and located in Passaic County NJ, is situated in the southern section of the estimated 4,982 acre Norvin Green State Forest. The land comprising the forest was donated to the State of New Jersey by the nephew of Ringwood Manor’s Abram S. Hewitt in 1946.

Torne Mountain Norvin Green State Forest

Norvin Green State Forest has the largest concentrations of trails in the state of NJ. Most of the trails date back to the 1920’s when members of a local organization known as the Green Mountain Club constructed them.

Geology

NJ Highlands Geology

Many of the rocks that are encountered during this hike have a rounded appearance due to the Wisconsin Glacier which came through the area around 10,000 years ago. This event is relatively recent as the Highlands rocks were formed over four billion years ago.

The rocks  are  “basement rocks” as the younger rocks which originally had covered them eroded away over time. Most of the rocks are thought to be comprised of ancient granite-gneiss.

Trails

Below is a brief virtual tour of a section of the 0.4 of a mile Torne Trail and a portion of the 6.4 mile Blue Blazed Hewitt-Butler Trail. Stops include outstanding views and an interesting man-made Stone Living Room. Ready? Let’s do it!

The hike is an estimated 1.5 miles from Otter Hole Road.

Entrance to Torne Trail

Starting from near the Otter Hole Road Parking area, head south to the trailhead of the red blazed Torne Mountain Trail.

To the Blue Trail (Hewitt-Butler Trail)

Once on the Torne trail, signs advertising the blue-blazed Hewitt-Butler Trail will appear.

Hewitt Butler Trail Blaze

Head southwest then south on the blue blazed Hewitt-Butler Trail to Climb Torne Mountain.

View towards Buck Mountain

The first view will be of Buck Mountain to the north. Continuing southeast views  of the Newark Pequannock Watershed land  appear to the west.

Stone Living Room

Near the western viewpoint, a short unmarked trail appears to the left leading to a man-made Stone Living Room.  “Chairs” & “Sofas” have been constructed from surrounding rocks. The Stone Living Room is an excellent place to stop for lunch and rest while taking in views.

View from Stone Living Room

From the Stone Living Room, head back to the Hewitt Butler Trail. Continuing south, descend Torne Mountain passing a stand-alone Stone chair.

Stone Chair

Here you will reach a ravine at the bottom of Torne mountain and the southern trailhead of the red blazed Torne Trail which will be your return back to Otterhole Road.

Rocky Ravine Torne Trailhead

For now, pass the southern trail-head of the Torne Trail and continue southeast on the blue blazed Hewitt-Butler trail climbing to Osio Rock.

Osio Rock

From here, views of the Wanaque Reservoir, the NYC Skyline (on a clear day) and High Mountain of the 2nd Watchung Mountain range may be viewed to the east.

Distant Wanaque Reservoir View from Osio Rock

After taking in the views, turn around and head north west to retrace your steps back to the ravine to the red blazed Torne trail trailhead.

Torne Trail

Here you will take the Torne trail north back to Otterhole Road where the trail began.

Flora

Flora found along the trail includes the below among others:

Sassafras

American Chestnut

Pitch Pine

Eastern Red Cedar

Check out Plant Communities of New Jersey.

NJ’s geology, topography and soil, climate, plant-plant and plant-animal relationships, and the human impact on the environment are all discussed in great detail. Twelve plant habitats are described and the authors were good enough to put in examples of where to visit!

Click here for more information!

Fauna:

Eastern Phoebe Nest Torne Trail

Toad

Directions: (as taken from localhikes.com)

Hamburg Turnpike to Glenwild Ave. Parking area is next to Bloomingdale/West Milford border (look for Welcome to West Milford sign, or Welcome to Bloomingdale sign depending on which direction you are traveling.

Great Hiking/Ecology Books:

1. 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City: Including northern New Jersey, southwestern Connecticut, and western Long Island – Packed with valuable tips and humorous observations, the guide prepares both novices and veterans for the outdoors. From secluded woods and sun-struck seashores, to lowland swamps and rock-strewn mountain tops, this practical guidebook contains all the information needed to have many great hikes in and around New York City.

Click here for more information!

2. Take a Hike New York City: 80 Hikes within Two Hours of Manhattan – In Moon Take a Hike New York City, award-winning writer Skip Card shows you the best hikes in and around The Big Apple—all within two hours of the city.

Click here for more information!

3. Eastern Deciduous Forest, Second Edition: Ecology and Wildlife Conservation – This book is a useful tool for anyone who wants to know or hopes to help one of North America’s great natural resources.

Click here for more information!

4. Protecting New Jersey’s Environment: From Cancer Alley to the New Garden State – With people as its focus, Protecting New Jersey’s Environment explores the science underpinning environmental issues and the public policy infighting that goes undocumented behind the scenes and beneath the controversies.

Click here for more information!

5. Wild New Jersey: Nature Adventures in the Garden State:

Wild New Jersey invites readers along Wheeler’s whirlwind year-long tour of the most ecologically diverse state for its size in America.

Click here for more information!

Feel free to e-mail NJUrbanForest at NJUrbanForest@gmail.com with any comments, memories or suggestion! Thank you and have fun exploring!

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About NJUrbanForest

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

14 responses to “Hiking Torne Mountain! (Norvin Green State Forest)”

  1. JANICE says :

    Great descriptions and photos.

    ________________________________

  2. CEK says :

    So nice to take a virtual hike no matter where you are (or what kind of shape you’re in!)

    Thank you!

  3. Nick says :

    Hiked this many times it’s a great short hike with nice views.

  4. NJUrbanForest says :

    I’m glad you enjoy the trails Nick!

  5. Jim Bowlby says :

    I grew up on GlenWild Lake and took the bus from school every day to Kampfe Lake but didn’t know this trail existed; looking forward to taking the trail next time I’m back east (live in Colorado now). What other trails are in the forest?
    Jim Bowlby

  6. greg gombash says :

    How do I enter the Norvin Forest … through or off what roadway. I am new to the area.
    greggombash@earthlink.net

    • NJUrbanForest says :

      Hi Greg! Thanks for writing. Here are additional directions to Norvin Green State Forest as taken from the NYNJ Trail Conference Web Site:

      South of West Brook Road

      To reach the Weis Ecology Center take I-287, Exit 57, to Skyline Drive. At end of Skyline Drive turn left on Greenwood Lake Turnpike, right on West Brook Road to Snake Den Road [east]. [Google Maps: 150 Snake Den Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456]

      Otter Hole parking area [at southern end of this section] is on Glenwild Avenue, where the Hewitt-Butler Trail crosses. To reach this parking area, take I-287 to Exit 53. At the bottom of the ramp, turn onto Hamburg Turnpike toward Bloomingdale. Upon entering Bloomingdale, the name of the road changes to Main Street. After 1.3 miles [from Route 287], bear right at a fork in the road [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 the parking area on the right side of the road. There is also parking for the Wyanokie Crest Trail [yellow] along here at the Fire Gate lower down the hill. [Google Maps: Glenwild Avenue & Otterhole Road, Bloomingdale, NJ Will show approximate location of parking area]

      North of West Brook Road

      Take I-287 Exit 57 to Skyline Drive. At end of Skyline Drive turn right on Greenwood Lake Turnpike [County 511] to East Shore Road. [Google Maps: Greenwood Lake Tpke. & East Shore RD., Hewitt, NJ]
      A large parking area is at the Stonetown Recreation Complex on Mary Roth Drive. The trailhead for the Stonetown Circular Trail [red tringle on white] has been moved to directly across Stonetown Road from the Mary Roth Drive entrance and the trail has been relocated into the woods from the road. The Highlands Trail [teal] now parts from the Stonetown Circular Ttrail at a junction up along Windbeam Mountain, and follows its own trail south to Weis Ecology and beyond. On West Brook Road take first right to Stonetown Road. [Google Map: Pinewood Dr. & Stonetown Rd., Ringwood, NJ. Select “Satellite” to see the athletic field; Mary Roth Drive will not be named]
      Public transportation: NJ Transit bus #197 for northern trailhead of Hewitt-Butler Trail/Highlands Trail [Greenwood Lake Turnpike & East Shore Drive].
      I hope this helps!

  7. Kit Emory says :

    Hi. I read that the Stone Living Room was vandalized several years ago now. Has the damage been repaired? I’ve always wanted to see it, but didn’t want to see it ruined….

  8. Jerry says :

    Hello, I visited your site today and read through the description of the Torne Mtn. Trail. I have over the years hiked frequently in Norvin Green State Forest. In your discussion of geology I did note an error. The typical granite-gneiss metamorphic rocks of the NJ Highlands are PC Grenville in age, and have been dated at 1.1 billion years old.
    Thanks,
    Jerry

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