Hike to the Wawayanda Furnace and return along the lake.
3.9 or 2.5 miles. Moderately rocky trail, minor elevation changes.
- Shorter: Use Wingdam (BLUE) to remove 1.4 miles from the route. Noted below.
- Nearby, boat lot: Lake Loop; Cedar Swamp and Lake Lookout.
- Nearby, beach lot: Lake Loop and Twin Bridges.
- Nearby, visitor lot: Hoeferlin, Cedar Swamp, Red Dot; Iron Mountain and Hoeferlin Loop.
- Nearby: Old Coal Trail, Lookout Lake, Laurel Pond Trail.
- Alternate: Wawayanda Lake Kayak.
Our two cents:
Short, relatively easy hike that hits some highlights of this vast park – an iron furnace (1846) from when ore was mined in this area and pretty Wawayanda Lake.
An early bail out point (Wingdam trail) gives beginner hikers an option to shorten the loop.
Note: This popular park often fills to capacity in summer and closes.
Bonus fun: Canoe rentals available in season, or bring your own.
North Jersey Trails is recommended to navigate the network of trails in this park but the most recent version (2017) is out of date around the lake due to multiple trail changes.
Note 4/2021: Some names/colors of the trails around Wawayanda Lake have changed; this hike guide uses the new names. Currently, the map on the park’s site and North Jersey Trails (2017 edition) are not updated yet. Use this new Wawayanda Map for hiking around the main lake area.
This route isn’t in any books we know of but other ones in the area: A good short hike (2.6 mile) is in Hiking the Jersey Highlands.
Parking: N41.18860° W74.42673° [Boat Lot]
From the south: 287N to exit 55 towards 511/Wanaque/Pompton Lakes. Right at bottom of the ramp and follow 511/Ringwood Ave/Greenwood Lake Turnpike through town.
The road will curve left and pass Monksville Reservoir and then Greenwood Lake. The road name changes to Warwick Turnpike.
The park entrance on the left, about 19 miles since getting on 511. Drive past the visitor center lot (fee gate in season) and follow the park road for a bit.
Turn left at the sign for Wawayanda Lake. Drive through the first parking lot (for the beach), and continue to the boat launch lot.
Note: Google and GPS software may show several of the trails here as drivable roads… they aren’t. It’s allowed on part of Cherry Ridge but you really want one of the main lots.
Wawayanda charges an entrance fee Memorial – Labor day; which is covered by the NJ State Park Pass.
Regular bathroom in the main lot by the visitor center and at both Wawayanda lake parking lots – the first (beach lot) and the second (boat launch lot).
Composting toilets are by the Furnace which is near the junction of Laurel Pond and Double Pond trails.
Overview: Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE) – Double Pond (YELLOW) – Laurel Pond (YELLOW) – Wawayanda Lake Connector (YELLOW-ORANGE) – Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE)
Note: Trail names are sometimes on the markers, in addition to the color.
0.0 – Facing the lake from the boat launch parking lot, turn LEFT and follow the wide path next to the lake.
There may not be blazes but the trail map shows this as part of the Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE).
0.2 – At the corner of the lake, continue straight to now follow Double Pond (YELLOW).
[Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE) leaves to the right towards the main dam (this will be the return route)].
Shortly, the furnace comes into view ahead on the left.
0.3 – Cross a wooden footbridge.
Just past the bridge, check out the Wawayanda Furnace.
And what it looks like in summer (2016, 2009)…
0.4 – Continue towards another wooden footbridge, to the right of two toilets, to start following Laurel Pond (YELLOW).
[Double Trouble (YELLOW) continues to the left of the toilets.]
Laurel Pond (YELLOW) is a wide path with a few rolling hills.
1.2 – Continue following Laurel Pond (YELLOW). [Wingdam (BLUE) starts to the right].
Shorter: Turn RIGHT instead and follow Wingdam (BLUE) all the way back. Removes 1.4 miles from the route.
2.0 – Turn RIGHT to now follow Wawayanda Lake Connector (YELLOW-ORANGE).
This meanders through forest as it makes its way to the lake.
1.6 – Turn RIGHT to now follow Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE). [It also goes left].
Hike through a few rhododendron tunnels.
The Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE) starts to hug the lake with several open viewpoints and spots for breaks.
3.0 – Turn LEFT to continue on Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE). It’s co-joined with Wingdam (BLUE) for a bit. [Wingdam (BLUE) also goes right].
Cross a bridge over the wing dam.
3.2 – Just after the wing dam, turn LEFT to continue following Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE). [Wingdam (BLUE) continues straight.]
// Option: Kept straight on Wingdam (BLUE) to shorten the route a bit, missing some more views of the lake. It soon meets up with Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE). //
Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE) curves around as it hugs the lake again.
3.6 – Continue following Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE) as it meets up with Wingdam (BLUE) just before the main dam.
Continue to the end of the lake and follow Wawayanda Lake Loop (ORANGE) as it turns LEFT and retraces the route to the parking lot.
Hiked: 12/19/20 – via snowshoe. Trailblog: “Snowshoeing at Wawayanda“