Bearfort Ridge Loop from Warwick Turnpike

Abram S. Hewitt State Forest

Bearfort Ridge/Quail Trail Loop from Warwick Turnpike - Photo by Daniel Chazin Bearfort Ridge/Quail Trail Loop from Warwick Turnpike - Photo by Daniel Chazin

This loop hike traverses the Bearfort Ridge, with its unusual puddingstone conglomerate rock and pitch pines growing out of bedrock, passes through a rhododendron tunnel, and comes out on the shore of Surprise Lake.

41.155715, -74.362748

From the parking turnout, walk east on Warwick Turnpike, going back over the concrete road bridge. Just east of the bridge, you'll see a triple green/black blaze that marks the start of the Bearfort Ridge Spur. Follow the green/black blazes uphill through rhododendrons and hemlocks. In about 500 feet, the trail joins a woods road that comes in from the right. Just beyond, the Bearfort Ridge...

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Trip Reports

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October 16, 2022
Beautiful Hike With Limited Views
I did this hike on 10-9-22, except I went counter-clockwise, and used the pink blazed West Ridge Trail instead of the west side of the Bearfort Ridge Loop. The area is immaculately clean, and the trails are very well maintained. With the drought we had over the summer, there are no water issues, but I have been on these trails at other times when your feet will absolutely get wet without waterproof footwear. I found just about all of the views to be somewhat obscured and limited, especially on the West Ridge Trail. Perhaps in winter, with no leaves on the trees, the views would be better. The stop at Surprise Lake was actually the nicest view of the hike for me, and i agree with the the person that said the detour off the yellow trail to West Pond is a nice view as well. One thing to be aware of is that the section of the yellow trail in between the Bearfort Ridge Trial and the West Ridge Trail has a couple of steep ascents/descents which will require the use of your hands for climbing/descending. I found this section to be very hard on my knees. Lastly, while the parking area has room for about 4 cars and is safely off the road, trying to get back on the road after your hike is dangerous, as there is limited visibility in both directions and cars are traveling at a good rate of speed. The next time i head to this area, i think I will just park in the Highlands Preserve lot and use the short path from the Green trail to access the Bearfort Ridge Trail.
Michael K7
December 01, 2019
Enjoyable hike
We did this hike yesterday, on Thanksgiving weekend and really enjoyed it. We did it in 3 hours plus a 15 minute lunch break overlooking the Manhattan skyline, waaayyyy off in the distance but very cool to see from here. The trails were very well blazed, clean and scenic. We passed just a few hikers and a dog walker, so it wasn’t particularly over crowded. We had several water crossings which made it even more fun to do, skipping over stones to get to the other side. We did comment on the possibility of needing gaiters during a wet Spring. After the hike, you’re a short drive from Warwick, a really cute town with some great dining and bar options. We will definitely do this one again.
June 21, 2017
Great hike
Views were pretty good, and on a clear day I could just about make out the tops of the Empire State Building and Freetom Tower. I did this hike and was able to finish it in about 3 and a half hours. I was walking a bit fast though, maybe a slower hiker could complete it in about 4. If you want to do this hike as a lollipop loop around Surprise Lake and West Pond, there are more views through that route. There is a detailed description of that route here:
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