MacMillan Reservoir Loop

Ramapo Valley County Reservation

MacMillan Reservoir - Photo by Daniel Chazin MacMillan Reservoir - Photo by Daniel Chazin

This figure-eight loop hike circles the scenic MacMillan Reservoir.

41.077853, -74.187596

This hike traverses the Reservoir Loop Trail in Ramapo Valley County Reservation, which loops around the popular MacMillan Reservoir. The trail was blazed in 2015 by volunteers of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, including students at the nearby Ramapo College and members of the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization (MEVO).

The hike begins at a kiosk in the southwest...

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Trip Reports

rate experience
August 23, 2020
MacMillan Loop
This was a very crowded trail, especially for the first leg up the yellow trail. We missed the orange blaze turn off from the wide dirt road when you start the hike. That may have made a slight difference. As is mentioned in the other reviews, there are many dogs and we had ours too. The path into the park past Scarlet Oaks Pond is super wide though, with plenty of space to keep social distance. The path narrows as you begin your ascent along side the creek. It is super pretty with different spots to stop and admire the cascades, the trail is very crowded however. Large groups of families and friends were coming up and going down, pretty much a flow of people. After the falls, the crowds did thin out. We soon arrived at the top by MacMillan reservoir. There was a were quite a few swimmers and dogs off leash at the top by the dam. We took the pink trail going counter clock wise. At this point the crowds thinned and we started to enjoy the beauty of this place a little more, the farther we got around the lake we began to relax even more. There are many large rock outcroppings and places to scramble up and down along the hill that descends down into the lake. Our 7 year old loved it. If you are interested in taking a dip, about a quarter of the way around the lake when going counter clockwise is probably the best spot to do it. Its a wide sloping rock face that goes right down into the lake. There were a couple of people there enjoying it, but plenty of room to find a spot to chill out on the open surface to wait your turn to jump in.. We encountered a couple of more small groups of hikers and a couple more swimmers. On the far end of the lake there is a super cool boulder to climb around on. As we came around the last part of the lake we encountered a baby rattle snake. It was cute, but shook that rattle, warning us it meant business. We gave it plenty of room and kept going. Our hike down and out we took the blue blaze, which is a wide dirt road. It was really easy and fast without as many people. I believe the waterfall, which is pretty, is a big draw to the trail. As we were leaving, we agreed it was a lovely place and are happy that so many people can access such nice nature. But if you are looking for solitude, there are definitely more suitable places. We got some great pictures though and had a lot of fun. Pretty place!
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