Wawayanda State Park Hewitt, New Jersey
Miles of singletrack, multi-use trails and forest roads at Wawayanda State Park allow mountain bikers to explore the diverse terrain and natural features of this 17,000 acre park tucked into this rural corner of northern New Jersey. Wawayanda State Park consists of over 60 miles of well marked multi-use trails. About 20 miles are available for mountain biking. They range from wide, fairly easy riding on carriage roads and along old logging and mining roads to challenging stretches of double and singletrack. The trails wind over rolling hills, through steep stream valleys, hardwood and evergreen forest and thick stands of rhododendron. Rugged outcroppings, plenty of rocks, roots, wet boggy areas and the ocassional log make it a challenge for the moderate and advanced rider or hiker. The area around Bearfort Mountain and Wawayanda Hemlock Ravine are too steep for mountain biking.
Wawayanda State Park was purchased with Green Acres funds beginning with the 1961 bond act. The park opened to the public in 1963. Wawayanda State Park is rich in history. The remains of the iron-smelting town of Double Pond lie along the northern shore of Wawayanda Lake. Operated during the 19th century, the charcoal blast furnace is the only remnant of a once-thriving village. Visitors are invited to observe the raceways and foundations that were once part of this industrial town. The focal point of Wawayanda State Park is the pristine 255-acre Wawayanda Lake and the numerous water related recreational activities. Almost one-third of the park has been preserved as designated natural areas.
The quiet charm of Wawayanda appeals not only to mountain bikers but hikers, campers, swimmers and boaters as well. Forested hills surround Lake Wawayanda creating a restful backdrop for canoeists, boaters and fisherman, while steep mountains challenge casual as well as serious hikers. A twenty-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail runs through the park, while the top of Wawayanda Mountain offers sensational views. More than forty miles of trails are marked in the park. Rock outcrops, dense woods and wetlands characterize the 40,000 acres of Wawayanda State Park. Located in Sussex and Passaic counties atop the Wawayanda Plateau along the New York border, the park is a refreshing oasis for nature and recreation.