Hiking Bearfort Ridge to Surprise Lake

Last weekend, we joined up with our friends and headed out to explore a local hike. With the our recent move, we have been able to explore a bit more of northern New Jersey since it is right at our finger tips. A few miles away, there are a variety of hikes - including the Beaufort Ridge hike.

I have been using All Trails to get an understanding of what is around here, and it's been pretty helpful in giving us some local routes. This time, since we were going with friends and wanted to give Bear some play time, we opted for Bearfort Ridge to Surprise Lake - our 5.4 mile version of the 6mile loop.

The hike was pretty easy to get to - but it did have limited parking on the side of the road. But don't worry about the parking situation. We got there in the high afternoon and we were able to snag a spot easily. 

We opted to take the loop trail, but we did an in and back to Surprise Lake.


The trail itself is extremely manageable - most of the time you don't even feel the slight elevation gain. It goes through thick and light woods, until you happen upon Surprise Lake. I believe it was about 2.5 or 2.75 until you reached the lake itself.

From there, we let Bear have his field day. There were a few people swimming with a pup in an area with easy lake access - so we did have to do a little digging to find a lake entrance that was OK for Bear (he can be a little scared of heights sometimes). 

We sat, we ate, we watched Bear hesitantly go after the ball, and soaked in the sun. We didn't stay there long, maybe 25min max until we headed back. We only brought light snacks and we were STARVED. 

The way back was the same, so no new news here. Just make sure to pay attention to the trail markers. We got deep into conversation and lost our way for a bit. We were parallel to the path, and finding our way back was simple, but just a reminder!

Overall, if you are looking for a nice Sunday stroll with a lake payoff - this is a great one.