The yellow-blazed Ernest Walter Trail is about as good as it gets for Northern NJ. Access the trail via State Line Trail
or the Appalachian Trail, though for an immediate payoff, it is recommended to choose State Line Trail
From the start of this trail, it is a quick uphill climb that eventually reaches a superb viewpoint after ascending an open rock face. The view is of the central and southern portions of Greenwood Lake and Fox Island. This is particularly beautiful in the autumn. On clear days, you can spy the tops of the tallest skyscrapers in Manhattan.
After a gradual descent of about 0.5 miles, arrive at Surprise Lake. Swimming is prohibited here, but most people seem to ignore the restriction. Don't be one of them. Next, traverse a rather long rhododendron tunnel before a challenging climb up to the top of Bearfort Ridge (the Bearfort Ridge Trail
also terminates in this section). There are a few challenging rock scrambles here that require 3 points of contact to be safe.
At the 1-mile mark, be sure to stop for a great view of the next lake by taking the West Pond Overlook Spur
a short length to the lookout point. After one more difficult rock scramble, you'll reach the ridge and turn northeast. The last 0.7 miles are mostly flat with occasional views and many odd-looking pitch pines.