Overview: One of the best hikes in New Jersey – Wyanokie High Point, with a view of the Wanaque Reservoir, along with Chikahoki Falls, and Otter Hole are the highlights of this 7.5 mile loop.
Length: 7.5 miles
Elevation gain: +1,778 feet
Parking: The New Weis Center allows hikers to use in their outer gravel parking lot on Snake Den Road (GPS coordinates: 41.0698407, -74.321792). See on Google Maps. The lot is open to the public from 9:00am to dusk; no overnight parking allowed. Parking near the main building is reserved for guests attending programs and events at the Center. Parking off Snake Den Rd near the Highlands Natural Pool is reserved for Pool and Weis members. Parking is not allowed along Snake Den Road.
Trail description: From the parking lot, hikers (without dogs) may walk through the New Weis Center’s grounds (see map below) and go up and around the pool to access trails. Hikers with dogs should access all trails by walking up to the end of Snake Den Road – not through Weis property.
Follow the green blazes, then fork to the left at the start of the blue trail. Continue to follow the blue blazes until you reach a junction with the red/white and teal (Highland) trails. At the junction, go left and follow the red/white and teal blazes, then scramble up the rocks to Wyanokie High Point and enjoy the view of the Wanaque Reservoir.
Turn around and head back down to the junction and now continue to follow the blue + red/white + teal blazes for a while. Soon, the red/white will break off to the right, but we will continue to follow the blue and teal blazes to climb Carris Hill.
At the top of Carris Hill, leave the blue and teal trails and follow the yellow blazes down switchbacks to the base of the hill. As you descend, you’ll pass multiple viewpoints to the east and south.
Now pay attention and follow the white blazes west (make sure you don’t follow the white blazes south, which will lead you out of the park).
Soon you will reach Chikahoki Falls. You could continue on the white trail, but why rush? This is a great spot to stop for lunch of a snack. Cross the stream on rocks and take a break on the beach or on some of the rocks.
When you’re done, cross back over the stream and continue to follow the white blazes west. Soon, the white trail will end and you will continue to follow the blue and teal blazes.
You will cross the yellow trail and then reach Otter Hole, a short detour from the trail.
After checking out Otter Hole, continue on the blue until you reach a fork where the blue goes left and the teal and green go right. Follow the green and teal blazes, and at the fork with the yellow trail, turn left and follow the yellow and teal blazes. Now, continue to follow yellow. After a while, the teal trail will break to the left. Continue on yellow. At the next junction, make a right onto the red and white trail. Finally, turn sharp left on the light green trail and follow it back to the parking lot.