Ramapo Mountain State Forest – Van Slyke Castle

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Castle water tower

Lots to see in this park… Ramapo Lake, Van Slyke Castle ruins and water tower, NYC skyline, millstones, lakes…

This is a popular spot for a short hike with lots of results for a little effort.

ROUTE: BLUE (MacEvoy) – WHITE (Castle) – Cannonball (RED CIRCLE, WHITE C) – Old Guard (GREEN LEFT on WHITE) – WHITE (Millstones) – Yellow (Diamond shape) – WHITE (Todd) – BLUE (MacEvoy)

For detailed hike directions visit our main Ramapo Mountains – Van Slyke Castle page. Includes shorter hikes options too.

The approach from the parking lot on BLUE MacEvoy trail is rugged enough to feel like you are hiking, and follows a pleasant stream in a cool, shady forest… arriving at a lake in a little more than a half-mile.

Ramapo Lake

Super easy trail surface around the lake.

View along the Castle Trail

Hike a little further, and you are rewarded with outstanding views and get to explore the ruins of the Van Slyke Castle. (watch out for TONS of poison ivy)

Ruins of Van Slyke Castle on the Castle Trail

Fireplace and old pipes.

Old pipes in the ruins

Follow the trail around the ruins.

Stone wall

View along Castle Trail and water tower

Castle water tower
Castle water tower - back

Looking inside the water tower

Castle water tower - inside

View of NYC from water tower area

We kept going, and did a 9.8 mile loop. Moderate trail surface, enough ups and downs to wear you out…

**If you do the short hikes listed, they are easy to moderate. Do the whole loop only if you are an experienced hiker in decent shape and want a nice challenge.

Cannonball Trail

Nice break spot on Old Guard

Old Guard Trail
Nice break spot on Old Guard

Once out of the popular areas, we passed only a handful of people and actually had a several hour stretch where we saw no one, on partly sunny, 80 degree day.

Lake at Camp Glen Gray

The Camp Glen Grey area was almost eerily empty… all these camp buildings… and no campers. Assuming it’s a busy place when there is camping.

Millstone along Millstone Trail


Todd Lake

Todd Lake

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