New Jersey - Van Slyke Castle - Approach

To and from Van Slyke Castle

Two different waterfalls, zero water. July is in the wrong season, clearly.

Imagine living in the middle of a state forest on a road you need a key to unlock. You, too, would build your house out of stone on a property with much older stone walls.

Speaking of stone walls, these line the old road (driveway) up to the castle.

My journeys uncover a butterfly and a milk snake.

My journeys also uncover Ramapo Lake. These photos are of and from the dam at the east end.

Panning from west to the dam in the east as the North Shore Drive trail winds along the lake. Roads are signed in here for the few residents allowed to use them.

Lily pads, progressively closer.

One more view from lakeside, then up Castle Point Trail to an overlook affording lake views to the southeast. The last photo is to the right of the one prior.

The overlook also affords a New York City view, 24 miles yonder.

The overlook also affords a view of the top of this tower. Let's go explore that. (I know this page is out of hiking order. Poetic license.)

The 65' tall Ryecliff Observation Tower was born over 100 years ago at what is now the Wanaque Reservoir. Prior to that becoming the Wanaque Reservoir, this became the Ryecliff Observation Tower, as the new location on Ramapo Mountain was named Ryecliff. It actually was a normal water tower originally, but its function was changed and it was clad with stone upon arrival in the 1920s, thus making it unforgettable. It has five internal levels, apparently two toilets and a fireplace, and could thus be a house, but instead it's just a personal tower for the residents of 4 Ryecliff Road. Maybe you I want to be friends with them.

See the castle itself
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