Norvin Green – Wyanokie High Point, Chikahoki Falls, Otter Hole

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This route takes in Chikahoki Falls, Otter Hole, and an awesome viewpoint at Wyanokie High Point with 360° views of the area, including NYC on a clear day.

Located in the New Jersey Highlands near the Wanaque Reservoir, Norvin Green offers a variety of rugged terrain for short hikes with outstanding views to long, challenging loops for the experienced hiker.

7.7 miles. Rugged, rocky, with a few decent elevation changes. There is an extensive trail system so it’s easy to create other shorter or longer loops.

Our two cents:

Wyanokie High Point has one of the best views in the state, but Norvin Green also contains some of the most rugged terrain.

Beginners or casual hikers will want to stick with the short hike to the view.

Updated: 5/2020 – Page refreshed, not re-hiked. 8/2017 – Minor edits/updates.  7/2016 – New video added. 6/2014 – Revised description, new photos, and GPX.

Map: 

Map #115 of  North Jersey Trails or the map on the park site.

Note: Blaze colors are used multiple times for trails in this park. For example, a WHITE blaze marks both the “Lower” and “Post Brook” trails on this route but “Lower” has a black “L” on white.

Books: 

Different routes that include High Point are in 50 Hikes in New JerseyHiking New Jersey, Hike of the Week, and Take a Hike New York City

A longer, very challenging route is detailed in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City. Hiking the Jersey Highlands contains 6 shorter hikes with trail descriptions and maps – but it’s now out of print and hard to find.

Parking: N41.06986° W74.32171°

139 Snake Den Rd, Ringwood, NJ 07456.

Rt 287 to exit 55, take 511 N (Wanaque), continue through Wanaque for several miles. Make a left onto West Brook Rd.  Continue across Reservoir.

At the T-intersection, turn left. Then make the 2nd left on to Snake Den Road. There should be a sign for The New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation and the Highlands Natural Pool.

Continue uphill and bear left on Snake Den, past some houses until arriving at a dirt lot on the right-hand side. Note: Sign says parking allowed 9 am to dusk.

Restrooms:

Best bet is a gas station or Quick Chek on Rt. 511.

Hike Directions:

Overview: GREEN (Otter Hole) – BLUE (Hewitt Butler) – RED on WHITE CIRCLE (WCI) – BLACK L on WHITE (Lower) – WHITE (PBT – Post Brook Trail) – BLUE (Hewitt Butler) – GREEN (Otter Hole).

0.0 – Start following GREEN (Otter Hole), which is the paved road/trail that runs from the end of the parking lot, by the gate and some signs, between a stream and a field.

After the field, GREEN (Otter Hole) goes to the right of the Highlands Natural Pool and then veers left where there are several different trail markers on a tree in addition to GREEN (Otter Hole).

Head uphill past a few water cascades, through a rocky section and bridge, then cross a woods road to a trail kiosk.

0.4 – At the trail kiosk (“Richard N Warner Kiosk”,) start following Hewitt-Butler (BLUE).

Richard N Warner Kiosk

[GREEN (Otter Hole) goes right, YELLOW DOT on WHITE CIRCLE (Mine) starts and is co-aligned with Hewitt-Butler (BLUE)]

0.6 – Continue following Hewitt-Butler (BLUE). [YELLOW (Mine) trail leaves to the left].

Head steeply uphill to several viewpoints – a preview of things to come.

1.0 – Continue following Hewitt-Butler (BLUE). [WHITE (Macopin) goes off to the right]

Head uphill past a large glacial erratic with a BLUE blaze on it.

Glacial erratic

Scamper over bare rocks on the way to Wyanokie High Point.

1.3 – At markings on two trees close together, veer LEFT to start following RED on WHITE CIRCLE (WCI) and TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands). 

[BLUE (Hewitt Butler) leaves to the right, TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands) also goes to the right].

Head towards a large rock painted with “HI POINT”, an arrow, RED on WHITE CIRCLE (WCI) and a TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands) blaze. 

Signage to Hi Point

Scramble up around the rock, heading up to cross a steep outcropping of bare rock.

1.4 – Arrive at Wyanokie High Point for a 360-degree view and a large area of open rock slabs. This is a terrific spot for a break.

View from Wyanokie High Point
View from Wyanokie High Point
Tree on top of High Point

On a clear day, the New York City skyline is visible. From Wyanokie High Point looking towards New York City, and zoomed in to the skyline.

View from High Point, looking towards NYC
New York City skyline from Wyanokie High Point

View of the Wanaque Reservoir from High Point.

View from Wyanokie High Point

Panorama from High Point:

Panorama from High Point

/// Short option: retrace the route from this point for a 2.6 mile hike. ///

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Variation: In a park full of awesome trails, it’s hard to choose a “best” route, so if you’re up for it… here’s an alternative to the more gradual, easier-going Lower trail:

At High Point, turn around and scramble back down to the junction with “Hi Point” on the rock.

Follow Hewitt-Butler (BLUE)/TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands) instead to another view and then on to YELLOW (Carris) for more views.

This is harder and has more elevation change. End up at the point at 3.4 miles below, at GPS: Lower/Carris).

For an extension of this variation… check out “Wyanokie High Point, Carris Hill, Buck Mountain”.
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Continue ahead, following the RED on WHITE CIRCLE (WCI) and TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands) markers on the rocks (they may be hard to spot).

Along RED CIRCLE on WHITE trail

Steadily descend through an open area before reentering the shade of the forest and leveling off.

2.1 – Turn RIGHT to start following BLACK L on WHITE (Lower). 

Don’t follow RED on WHITE CIRCLE (WCI) and TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands) where they continue straight over a stream:

A stream on RED CIRCLE on WHITE a few steps from the turn onto WHITE
Along the remote feeling WHITE (Lower) trail

3.4 – Wooden arrow signs: Weis 2.4 miles and YELLOW (Carris) arrow to the right, BLACK L on WHITE (Lower), YELLOW (Carris).

Continue following BLACK L on WHITE (Lower) as it passes the end of YELLOW (Carris) on the right, goes over a rock, and veers to the left.

Soon, arrive at a junction at a bend in a brook with wooden arrows for E and W PBT,  BLACK L on WHITE (Lower), Chik Falls, O-H Prkg, Carris.

Post Brook at the intersection of WHITE (PBT) and WHITE (Lower)
Small rock hop

Turn RIGHT, now following WHITE (PBT) to the west. [WHITE (PBT) also goes to the left, east. BLACK L on WHITE (Lower) ends].

3.8 – Chikahoki Falls, seen from the side (and after heavy rain) when on WHITE (PBT).

Chikahoki Falls as seen from the Posts Brook Trail

To view the falls from the front instead of the side, rock hop or cross fallen trees if the water level allows it. Sometimes we’ve seen a wooden plank too.

Chikahoki Falls
Chikahoki Falls

Continue following WHITE (PBT) up sharply to the right as it passes by the top of the falls.

Top of Chikahoki Falls

4.0 – Start following BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) and TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands).

[WHITE (PBT) ends. BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) and TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands) also go to the right]

4.3 – Continue on BLUE (Hewitt-Butler)/TEAL (Highlands Trail) passing YELLOW (Wyanokie Crest) on the right and then left.

4.6 – Continue on BLUE (Hewitt-Butler)/TEAL (Highlands Trail) [Unmarked trail on left].

4.9 ­– Junction of BLUE (Hewitt-Butler)/TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands) and the start of GREEN (Otter Hole) on the right.

Veer LEFT on BLUE (Hewitt-Butler) to check out Otter Hole – a nice water cascade that makes for a good break spot.

Otter Hole
Cascades at Otter Hole
Cascades at Otter Hole

[Beyond the water crossing is a parking area for another great hike: Torne Mountain/Osio Rock.]

Retrace your steps to the junction with GREEN. Start following GREEN (Otter Hole)/TEAL DIAMOND(Highlands):

Turning onto Otter Hole trail

5.3 – Sign: Weis/Pkg is 1.6 miles. Continue straight, now following just GREEN (Otter Hole).

[YELLOW (Wyanokie Crest) crosses the trail, TEAL DIAMOND (Highlands) leaves to the left]. 

5.5 – An overlook to the west. Continue on GREEN (Otter Hole), mostly level with minor elevation change.

6.2 – Continue on GREEN (Otter Hole).

[RED (WCI – Wyanokie Circular) crosses left and right (to High Point)]. Sign: Weis/Pkg is 1.3 miles. 

6.5 – Continue on GREEN (Otter Hole). [WHITE (Macopin) starts on the right and leads to High Point.]

Continue on GREEN (Otter Hole) as it joins and leaves a rocky woods road.

7.3 – At the trail kiosk from the beginning of the hike, turn LEFT to retrace your steps on GREEN (Otter Hole) back to the lot.


Hiked: 7/2/16. Trail Blog: “Wyanokie High Point and Chikahoki Falls in Summer
Hiked: 4/24/16. Variation, from Otter Hole lot. Trail Blog: “Otter Hole, Chikahoki Falls, Carris Hill, and High Point in Spring
Hiked: 10/26/15. Variation, HP/Carris Hill/Mines/Ball Mtn.

Hiked: 6/1/14. Trail Blog: “Panoramic Views and Waterfalls
Hiked: 8/30/13: Variation from Glenwild Ave. Trail Blog:”Wyanokie Crest, Carris Hill, High Point
Hiked: 4/25/09. Trail Blog: “High Point, Chik Falls and Otter Hole loop
Hiked: 1/5/08. 5.9m; Icy; variation. Trail Blog: “Norvin Green“.
Hiked: 10/29/06. 6.1m; variation. Trail Blog: “Wyanokie Crest Trail
Hiked: 10/15/06. 8m; variation. Trail Blog: “Norvin Green – High Point