SHEPHERD LAKE RECREATION AREA
The spring-fed waters of the 74-acre Shepherd Lake are brisk and invigorating and offer swimming from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 10 am to 6 pm. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach.
Boating, canoeing and fishing are permitted with boat rentals available. A network of trails surrounds the lake leading to rocky vistas.
THE STATE BOTANICAL GARDEN
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 1891-1922. 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 veiw of Ramapo Mountains frame this 96-acre botanical showplace. Visitors can tour the gardens and surrounding woods year round,
Skylands Manor with its English Jacobean architecture common in the English countryside 400 years ago, was designed by John Russell Pope for Clarence McKensie Lewis, a stockbrocker 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. Moulded plaster ceilings and an elaborately carved staircase add the finishing touches to this impressive county house.
An intricate system of marked hiking trails are available for the public to explore, some of which connect the Ringwood and Skylands sections of the park. These trails offer visitors opportunities to explore interior woodlands and rocky vistas.
Multi use trails are also available in the Skylands section of the park. These trails are suitable for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. Please obey all designated uses of the trails, posted at the trail heads and trail crossings. A 7.5 mile mountain bike loop trail begins in the Shepard Lake section of the park.
Facilities & Activities:
Shepherd Lake Rec. Area
Picnicking: tables & food concession at Shepherd Lake
electric motors, trailer launch, cartop launch, boat rentals, canoe rentals
Shepherd Lake, bathhouse
Winter sports: cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, sledding
St. Luke's Chapel
Thunder Mountain Skeet Range (call: (973) 962-6377)