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Ringwood, New Jersey: Mine Shaft

Horizontal, not vertical. You can walk into it, but not too far. Ringwood was once the iron mining capital of the U.S.

Weis Ecology Center

150 Snake Den Rd, Ringwood, NJ
I-287 exit 57 onto Skyline Drive. Go north over the mountain toward Ringwood. At end of Skyline Dr. turn left (south) onto Hwy 511. In less than two miles and turn right onto Westbrook Rd (across reservoir). At fork bear left, then take second left onto Snake Den Rd. At fork bear left, pass the yellow "No Outlet" sign. Look for the Weis Ecology Center sign and outer parking lot about one-third mile from this fork. Look on the map for the "Roomy Mine." It's at the intersection of the red and yellow trails.
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Mine Shaft

The Weis Ecology Center has great trails with all sorts of pretty stuff -- creeks, mountains with views of Manhattan, waterfalls -- but the most impressive is a mine shaft you can actually enter. Look on the map for the "Roomy Mine." (There's another mine there that's filled with water.) If you're lazy take the Red trail backwards. It's at the intersection of the red and yellow trails. At first I couldn't find it and my dog disappeared. Turns out, you have to crouch down low to get into a big cave, then the mine shaft is in back. It goes back maybe 100 feet, just enough so you can't see the entrance anymore.

[Carol Vinzant, 11/16/2003]

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