Climb Torne Mountain and enjoy view after view before heading up Osio Rock for a 360° pano of the Wanaque Reservoir, the Ramapos, and the NYC skyline.
Moderate. A bit steep right from the start, and rugged with larger rocks to walk over. There is an “easier” bypass now for the bit of a rock scramble-down before approaching Osio Rock. Minor scramble through large boulders getting onto the Torne trail on the way back.
- 2.4 miles – This route.
- 6.4 miles* – Can’t do our original longer route anymore.
We continued on, climbed down the side of Osio Rock, into a pleasant forested area to end up at Lake Larriwien at Camp Vacamas (private).
- Longer, variation – Cross Otter Hole (on the side on the road the parking is on) and link up with the extensive trail system in the main part of the park.
- Shorter – 2.0 miles – take RED direct to Osio Rock and return… easier but misses a lot of views
Our two cents: The trail is short but is typical hilly rugged-n-rocky Jersey Highlands so it is not easy, but with multiple viewpoints, a 360 pano from Osio, the NYC skyline, and a funky stone living room in under 3 miles — the reward-to-effort ratio on this route is really in your favor. Lots of sun exposure so plan accordingly if it’s hot and sunny.
Update 8/2016 – Updated description to remove the info to Lake Lerriwein for clarity. Added notes for a variation that involves the new extension of Torne (RED). Note: We’ve not re-hiked this since the change, so the google map/GPS file has not been updated.
*Update 9/2015: A change in ownership of Camp Vacamas has closed the Hewitt-Butler trailhead at Lake Larriwein with no trail access or parking so there is no point in hiking on without being able to check out the lake. This only affects the longer route that continues past Osio Rock. The views end at Osio Rock and is where most people turn around anyway (though Lake Larriwein is pretty). But to get in a hike longer than 2.4 miles now, you’ll need to cross Otter Hole and head into the trail system in the main part of Norvin Green.
Updated 10/27/14: Description updated to include the Torne trail bypass (black dot on blue is the harder route) and the Stone Living Room; new pics; GPX added.
Map: Paper maps may be available at the trail kiosk, or get it online. It’s a non-topo version of the Norvin section of North
Jersey Trails. Jersey Highlands Trails 2016 edition
shows the end of this route on to Lake Lerriwein has removed the trail to Lerriwein and shows that Torne (RED) extends to meet up with a change in Hewitt Butler.
Books: The route just to Osio plus a 3.7 mile variation that combines Osio with Buck Mountain across Otter Hole in Norvin can be found in 50 Hikes in New Jersey. Hike of the Week has a shorter route to only Torne Mountain. A shorter version of this hike is in Hiking the Jersey Highlands. Detailed trail descriptions can be found in the The New Jersey Walk Book.
Parking: N41 02.750 W74 21.027
This route starts from the “Otter Hole” parking area of Norvin, not the main parking for the old Weis Center. Rt 287 to exit 53, bottom of the ramp turn left onto Hamburg Turnpike, right onto Glenwild Avenue.
Pass a hiker parking area for Wyanokie Crest on the right, shortly after that is limited parking for Otter Hole (8-10 cars or so, the map notes a 2nd parking area a little further down the road). Open from 8am to 8pm only. The trailhead is across the road (next to the parking is trail access to the rest of Norvin Green).
Restrooms: None. There was a gas station in town on the way there; and a porta-john in a small park at the corner of Glenwild Avenue and Bogue Dr.
Hike Directions: Overview: BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) to Osio Rock – retrace and then pick up RED (Torne) on the return trip.
0.0 – The trail is a bit steep right from the start. BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) parallels the road a bit.
0.2 – Pass RED (Torne) on the left. GPS: Torne1/Hewitt
Climb up to a limited viewpoint, then the trail comes up and around for a larger view. After this… it’s almost all views.
At one of the larger wide-open viewpoints is a stone couch and on a clear day the NYC skyline is visible. Scrambling up the large rock off to the side gives a better view of the skyline.
0.8 – New “easier” bypass option. Turn LEFT to follow BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) down switchbacks. It’s still steep in spots but not a straight shot over rock slabs like the original route to the right, now blazed BLACK DOT on BLUE (you can take this still, it ends up back on the main trail). GPS: TorneBypass1
1.0 – Continue following BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) as it turns to the RIGHT. [Pass the start of RED (Torne) Trail on the left, marked with 3 red blazes on a tree, somewhat easy to miss. This is the return route.] GPS: Torne2/Hewitt
1.4 – Osio Rock – 360 degree views of Wanaque Reservor, the Ramapo Mountains and if it’s clear enough – the NYC skyline. GPS: OsioRock
Turn around here for the 2.4 mile loop – retrace BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) the way you came, back down off of Osio.
—–Alternate return route:
Note: since we have not hiked this yet we don’t have distances or waypoints; this description is based on the 2016 Jersey Highlands Trails where the new extension of RED (Torne) appears. Since there are multiple BLUE/RED junctions, be sure to also have that map when trying this.
Continue on, past Osio Rock, by following BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) as it scrambles down rocky switchbacks.
Follow BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) until it ends at a junction with RED (Torne). Turn RIGHT and start following RED (Torne).
1.8 – Intersection of BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) and RED (Torne) from earlier. GPS: Torne2/Hewitt.
Turn RIGHT to now follow RED (Torne) by scrambling through some large rocks. [Variation: Continue backtracking on BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) instead for a tougher and longer route].
The rest of RED (Torne) is shady and level.
2.2 – When almost back at the road, turn RIGHT and follow BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) to the lot. GPS: Torne1/Hewitt
[Variation: Had enough hiking on trails for the day? Continue straight on RED (Torne) to the road, turn right, and walk down the road to the lot].
Hiked: 6/19/10. Trail Blog: “Norvin Green – Torne Mountain and Osio Rock“