PARK ADVISORY:TEMPORARY AREA CLOSURE
The Duck Pond Loop section of Skylands will be closed between Parking Lot B and the Skylands Road gate from Monday, February 6 through Tuesday, February 28, 2023 for a Special Use Permit event. The majority of the park will remain open as normal.
There will be NO PUBLIC ACCESS to this area - including motor vehicles, bikes, and pedestrian travel - during this time. The Brushwood fire roads will be closed to motor vehicle access during this time.
Visitors to Shepherd Lake and the remainder of Skylands - including Skylands Manor and the New Jersey Botanical Gardens at Skylands - may access the area via the Morris Rd. entrance. Parking for Skylands will be available in Lots A and B. The Ringwood Manor and Shepherd Lake sections will be open normally.
The pink-blazed Five Ponds Loop Trail may still be completed by accessing it via the white-blazed Crossover Trail from Lot A, and by following a short posted detour near the closure, as seen on the map. All other marked multi-use trails will be open normally. *Please stay on marked trails.*
Shimmering ponds and streams, specialty gardens, an intricate trail system and historic manors provide visitors with a variety of activities and a window into the past.
Ringwood State Park offers visitors a myriad of recreational activities throughout the year. The park is also home to a number of beautiful country manors and botanical gardens that are open to the public year round.
Dedicated in 1984, the garden is the culmination of two eras of landscape architecture under the direction of Francis Lynde Stetson, owner of Skylands from 1891 to 1922. The garden contains an extensive variety of plants, evergreens and deciduous trees and shrubs in specialty areas. Of particular interest are the crabapple vista, terraced gardens, perennial and annual gardens and woodland paths. The extensive vistas of the garden and view of Ramapo Mountains frame this 96-acre botanical showplace. Visitors can tour the gardens and surrounding woods year round.
From the delicate shades of a tiny wildflower to the vibrant colors of massed annual plantings, Skylands is a place of beauty in any season. Here you can wander through the elegance of formal gardens or along gentle paths winding through the woods. Skylands is also a safe haven for unusual plant species from around the world.
The NJBG/Skylands Assocation is a member-supported, non-profit organization of volunteers founded in 1976 to help the state of New Jersey preserve and restore the gardens and Manor House, and to develop programs for public education and enjoyment throughout the year.
Picnics, barbecues, blankets, lawn chairs, lawn games, and ball playing are not permitted in the Skylands section of the park. For these activities, please visit either the Ringwood Manor or Shepherd Lake picnic areas.
This beautiful country house, which was home for a succession of well-known iron masters for nearly 200 years, sits comfortably on a low hill overlooking a landscape that looks as if it escaped from a painting. Iron production in this area began in the 1740s. In the mid-19 century, Peter Cooper and Abram S. Hewitt, owners of the successful Cooper and Hewitt Ironworks Company, owned Ringwood Manor. Their families utilized the 51-room Victorian mansion as a summer residence. In 1938, Ringwood Manor was donated fully-furnished to the state of New Jersey. It is now preserved and interpreted as a historic house museum. Ringwood Manor has been designated a National Historic Landmark District.
Tours of Ringwood Manor are generally available Wednesday through Sunday from April through October. Groups of 10 or more or with special accommodation requests should call at least two weeks in advance in order to schedule a tour. Information on Ringwood Manor’s history, tours, events, and educational programming can be found through the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society (link if external).
For more information visit Ringwood Manor web page.
Skylands Manor, with its English Jacobean architecture common in the English countryside 400 years ago, was designed by John Russell Pope for Clarence McKenzie Lewis, a stockbroker and civil engineer. Built in the 1920s, it is constructed of native stone and half-timbers. The weathered stone facade of this 44-room mansion blends into the landscape. The mansion contains rooms with antique paneling as well as new American Oak paneling and large windows, some of which contain 16th-century stained glass medallions. Molded plaster ceilings and an elaborately carved staircase add the finishing touches to this impressive country house.
Tours and special events are offered through the NJBG/Skylands Association (link is external).
Skylands Manor is available for weddings and special events hosted by Frungillo Caterers (link is external).
The spring-fed waters of the 74-acre Shepherd Lake offer excellent recreational opportunities, as well as providing a stunning backdrop for a barbecue. The area also offers picnicking, a playground, boating, fishing and access to a network of trails suitable for hiking, mountain biking and other activities.
The park's multiuse trails offer a variety of terrain for the adventurous biker. Shepherd Lake and Skylands Parking Lot C are good starting points for mountain bikers to park and access the trails. While the majority of the park's trails are geared toward mountain biking, visitors may enjoy biking along sections of gravel carriage roads in the Ringwood Manor and Skylands areas, or along the paved park roads through the Skylands Botanical Gardens.
The grounds and trails in the Ringwood Manor and Shepherd Lake areas offer numerous opportunities for cross country skiing in the winter, however, there are no groomed trails and there are no rentals available.
Hiking trails are accessible from all three sections of the park and cover a variety of terrain. Trail maps and trail guides for some of the more popular trails are available online and in the park office.
Horseback riding is a popular activity on the park's multiuse trail system. Parking for horse trailers and access for the trails is available from the main lot at Shepherd Lake, with trail access from behind the boathouse or from Parking Lot C in the Skylands Section.
The multiuse trail system offers a unique opportunity for snowmobile enthusiasts. Parking and access for the trails is available from the main lot at Shepherd Lake, with trial access from behind the boathouse, or from Parking Lot C in the Skylands section. Operators and passengers must wear helmets and maintain safe speeds at all times. Snowmobiles are not permitted on any body of water within the park.
The Shepherd Lake section of the park offers a boat launch for visitors wishing to bring their own boat (canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Only electric motors are permitted on the lake.
Boat rentals are available during the summer.
Fishing opportunities are available at numerous areas along Ringwood Brook and Sally's Pond in the Ringwood Manor section, Shepherd Lake and various small ponds in the Skylands section.
A valid New Jersey fishing license is required for anglers 16 years of age or older.
A large portion of Ringwood State Park is open to hunting throughout the year.
View the Ringwood State Park hunting map.
Ice fishing is permitted in Shepherd Lake during the winter months.
Visitors may tour the State Botanical Garden, the Ringwood Manor grounds, and surrounding woods year-round. Interior tours of Ringwood Manor and Skylands Manor are available only through guided tours. Please refer to the Ringwood Manor and Skylands Manor drop-down menus for additional information on dates and tour times offered.
Picnic tables and grills are available in the Ringwood Manor and Shepherd Lake sections of the park on a primarily first-come, first-served basis, and reserving picnic tables or grills is not permitted.
There is one designated reservable picnic area in both the Ringwood Manor and the Shepherd Lake picnic areas. Each is comprised of five picnic tables and 2 grills, and accommodates approximately 40 people. For more information, please contact the park office.
Playgrounds are available in the Ringwood Manor section, near Parking Lot B, and the Shepherd Lake section, near the main parking lot and picnic areas.
The Ringwood Manor area is a popular sledding destination for children and adults alike. Two hills, one just west of Ringwood Manor and one near Parking Lot B, offer hours of fun.
Activities that fall outside the normal park uses outlined above may require a Special Use Permit and are subject to approval. Some of the more frequent permits issued have shortform versions below. Please see the individual applications for more information.
Paid / Professional Photography This permit is required for photographers who are taking pictures for clients within the park for their personal use PRIOR to any scheduled shoots. Examples include wedding and engagement shoots, prom photos, holiday card photos, or any other instance in which a photographer is being paid for their service, but the photography itself is not being used commercially. Shoots involving equipment, props, or otherwise interfering with normal park operations may also be subject to the permit process.
Ringwood Manor Garden Ceremony Small wedding ceremonies are permitted in designated areas of the Ringwood Manor grounds.
Brushwood Permit This permit grants vehicle access to the system of fire roads in the wooded areas adjacent to Skylands for the purposes of fishing or hunting only.
Slash Wood Permit This permit allows the permitholder to take downed wood from designated areas for their own personal use.
Events or activities that require a permit but do not fall into the above categories would likely require the full Special Use Permit application package. Examples include adventure races, filming for movies and TV, paid classes (dog training, art, etc.) taught in the park, car shows, concerts, or other organized group events.
Please contact the park office if you think your event might require a permit.
Thunder Mountain (link is external) is a trap and skeet range located in the Shepherd Lake section of the park. They offer lessons, gun rental, ammunition and a number of shooting fields. Hours vary by season, 973-962-6377.
Wedding ceremonies are permitted on the grounds in the Ringwood Manor section of the park with a special use permit issued in advance at the Ringwood office. There are no indoor facilities available for ceremonies in the Ringwood Manor area and no tents or canopies are permitted.
Weddings at Skylands Manor, on the grounds of the Skylands Botanical Gardens, or at St. Luke's Chapel at Shepherd Lake are coordinated by Frungillo Caterers (link is external), 973-962-9370.
A NJ State Park Service Special Use Permit is required for various types of short-duration, organized activities and/or events within a state park, forest and/or historic site. Examples of organized activities and/or special events include, but are not limited to press events, commercial photography and/or filming, corporate events, fundraisers, festivals, demonstrations, walkathons and races, concerts, Televised events and/or commercial use of or on State Park Service lands and/or waters.
To learn more about Special use Permits click here.
Access for Persons with Disabilities
Ringwood State Park recreational and historic facilities are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office at 973-962-7031 for further information regarding disability access needs. Text telephone (TTY) users, call the NJ Relay & CapTel Service at 711 or 1-800-852-7897 for English or 1-866-658-7714 for Spanish.
Activities that fall outside the normal park uses outlined above may require a Special Use Permit, and are subject to approval. Please contact the park office for more information.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Recreational use of ATVs is not permitted on NJ State Park Service property. This includes state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. Thank you for your help in protecting New Jersey’s natural and historic resources. [N.J.A.C. 7:2-3.4(d)]
State law prohibits the smoking of tobacco and use of electronic smoking (vaping) devices in all state parks, forests, historic sites, recreation areas, golf courses and marinas. [N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)]
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6 ]
Keep Your Park Clean and Green
Protect plants and animals and care for your parks by taking your trash with you. Whatever you carry into the park, plan on carrying it out too. It’s like crowdsourcing trash management! Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles in this park. Thank you!
Pets must always be on a leash no longer than six feet in length and under the control of the owner. Please clean up after your pets.
Use insect repellent, wear light-colored clothing, tuck pants into socks, stay on trails, check yourself when you get home, shower and wash clothes immediately.
Be Bear Aware
Black bears are found throughout New Jersey. Do not approach or attract bears by making food available. Feeding bears is dangerous and illegal. Never run from a bear! To report an aggressive bear, call 1-877-WARN-DEP (1-877-927-6337) immediately. Please report any damage or nuisance behavior to the park office. Visit the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife at www.njfishandwildlife.com for additional information on bear safety.
Farny State Park
Long Pond Ironworks State Park
Norvin Green State Forest
Ramapo Mountain State Forest
1304 Sloatsburg Rd
Ringwood, NJ 07456
Gate Open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Park Office Open daily 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m