This New Jersey Hike Leads to an Abandoned Graveyard

If you are looking for a spooky and scenic adventure, you might want to check out this hike in New Jersey that leads to an abandoned graveyard. The hike is located in the **Ramapo Mountain State Forest**, a 4,269-acre park that offers stunning views of the Ramapo Mountains, lakes, streams, and wildlife.

The Hike

The hike starts at the **Skyline Drive Upper Parking Lot** in Oakland, NJ. From there, you will follow the **blue-blazed MacEvoy Trail** for about 1.5 miles until you reach the **Cannonball Trail**, marked by red circles with white centers. Turn right onto the Cannonball Trail and continue for another 0.6 miles until you reach the **Old Cedar Swamp Cemetery**.

The Graveyard

The Old Cedar Swamp Cemetery is a small and secluded graveyard that dates back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. It contains about 35 graves, some of which are marked by simple fieldstones with no inscriptions. The cemetery is surrounded by a stone wall and a wrought iron gate, and is shaded by cedar trees. Some of the notable burials include **John Van Dunk**, a Revolutionary War veteran, and **Mary Ann Board**, who died at the age of 21 in 1812.

The History

The cemetery is part of the **Long Pond Ironworks Historic District**, a National Register of Historic Places site that preserves the remnants of a 19th-century ironworks community. The ironworks was founded in 1766 by **Peter Hasenclever**, a German entrepreneur, and operated until 1882. The ironworks produced iron for various purposes, such as cannons, stoves, nails, and tools. The workers and their families lived in nearby villages, such as **Hewitt** and **Sterling Forest**. The cemetery served as the final resting place for some of these residents, as well as for some Native Americans and African Americans who lived in the area.

The Conclusion

The hike to the Old Cedar Swamp Cemetery is a unique and fascinating way to explore the history and nature of New Jersey. The hike is moderately difficult, with some steep and rocky sections, and takes about 2.5 hours round trip. The cemetery is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the past and a sense of mystery. If you are looking for a hike that combines beauty, history, and creepiness, you might want to give this one a try. Just make sure to be respectful of the graves and the wildlife, and to leave no trace behind. Happy hiking!

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