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Split Rock Loop

Difficult
 4.3 (15) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A long loop around Split Rock Reservoir using a section of the Four Birds Trail and the Split Rock Trail.


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Map Key

11.0

Miles

17.7

KM

Loop

1,086' 331 m

High

840' 256 m

Low

1,491' 455 m

Up

1,486' 453 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildlife

Overview

A long loop hike around Split Rock Reservoir using a section of the Four Birds Trail and the Split Rock Trail. A good hike to escape crowds. Watch for Bald Eagles around the reservoir.

Need to Know

The trail can be difficult to follow. Blazes can be few and far between trees. The trail is seldom done, so the trail is not well-defined in places. A hint to find the trail, if you lose sight of the blazes, turn around and look at the trees for blazes in the opposite direction you were traveling. Trail maintenance crews place blazes on different trees depending on the direction.

Description

This loop hike starts from the Split Rock Reservoir Boat Launch parking lot. From the lot, facing the road, turn right and head down Split Rock Road and over the dam. As the road starts going uphill, watch on the right for a white blaze on a large rock. This is the Four Birds Trail.

Turn right and follow the trail up hill through this rocky section for about one mile. The trail then descends and follows the shoreline while occasionally moving inland a bit. The trail can be difficult to follow at times. After about four miles from the parking lot, you reach a trail junction with the Winnebago Trail and a very rocky section at the north end of the reservoir. The trail moves up and ascends Riley's Rise and meets up with the Split Rock Trail (blue blazes).

Turn right on the Split Rock Trail. The trail descends here to Misty Pond. The terrain is rocky as it leaves Misty Pond. It begins to ascend through glacier erratics to a viewpoint called "Indian Cliffs." The trail follows the ridge and gradually descends rocky terrain as it approaches Split Rock Reservoir. The trail can be difficult to follow at times. Be sure you can spot the next marker.

Around the 7.0 mile mark, the trail begins to follow un-maintained Charlottesburg Road, and around the 7.6 mile mark, watch for the trail to left and back into the woods. The trail crosses the road again about 1.5 miles later, descending toward the reservoir.

The trail exits onto Split Rock Road near a track of power lines. Turn right on Split Rock Road and follow the road a short distance back to the parking lot.

Contacts

Shared By:

John Maurizi with improvements by Katie Levy

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 15 votes

#938

Overall
  4.3 from 15 votes
5 Star
47%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#6

in New Jersey

#938

Overall
192 Views Last Month
3,723 Since Nov 25, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
92%
8%

Photos

View of Split Rock Reservoir
Dec 1, 2017 near Lake Te…, NJ
View of Split Rock Reservoir
Dec 1, 2017 near Kinnelon, NJ
Four Birds Trail
Dec 1, 2017 near Lake Te…, NJ
Area on Split Rock Trail known as Indian Cliffs
Dec 4, 2017 near Kinnelon, NJ
Access point to Four Birds Trail from Split Rock Road
Dec 1, 2017 near Lake Te…, NJ
Area on Split Rock Trail known as Indian Cliffs
Dec 4, 2017 near Kinnelon, NJ

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All Clear 72 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Feb 18, 2020
Katie Levy
Great this time of year! Chilly, but beautiful. Downloaded GPX file to Gaia GPS app, which helped a lot with navigation. Still missed one turn. 10.2mi — 4h 45m
Oct 5, 2019
Ben West
14.3mi — 10h 33m
Aug 31, 2019
Sarah Lyons
1st and last 3rd the path is more of a game trail very overgrown and can be hard to follow. Trail runs thru lots of thorns bushes, wear long pants! 14.8mi — 8h 00m
Jul 6, 2019
Pradeep Thomas
Over grown and hard to follow trail - needed mobile app. thorny bushes and a lot of bugs. wildlife - White tailed deer, foxes, eagles, other birds 11mi — 4h 30m
Jun 23, 2019
Bryan Thompson
Hiked with kids and grandparents 5.8mi — 4h 45m
May 19, 2019
Anthony Testa
5mi
Jan 17, 2019
Anthony Benevento
Exhausting
Sep 22, 2018
Nikki D
Great trail! 11mi