Camp Tamarack
Skyland Drive, Oakland, Passaic County, NJ
182 acres


0.0 start on Saw Mill River Parkway at Hastings-on-Hudson
4.6 Exit 20 for US 287
7.6 TZ bridge
24.7 Exit 15 for US 287 south (just before green mile marker 30)
33.3 Exit 59 Franklin Lakes
35.1 Exit 58 Oakland
35.6 Exit 57 for Skyline Drive north

Pass by the southern parking area for Ramapo Mountain State Forest on the left and park in the northern parking area also on the left (at the 1.4 road mileage marker).


1993  -- the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection had declared the site an illegal waste dump.  The camp had been found to contain 35,000 tons of demolition debris, including bricks, asphalt, tiles, and wood. Also found were chemicals and heavy metals. They cleaned up the site at a cost of $1 million.

1996  --   to recoup the costs, the Boys Scouts' Bergen Council filed a lawsuit against the contractors and haulers that it believed to be responsible for the illegal dumping.

1998  -- the camp was purchased from the boy scouts by Bergen County N.J. and by Oakland N.J. with the aid of state funds.

The camp abuts Camp Glen Gray to the north.

Tamarack is not a part of Ramapo State Forest, but it's close proximity and the shared trails make it's future important to all. Most of the buildings are either run down, stripped, or demolished. There has been a lot of vandalism done to the area. Most of the items necessary to run the camp have been removed or destroyed.



The yellow trail (Hofferlin Trail) goes south to Ramapo Lake and north to the Ringwood/ Ramapo Trail and Cannonball Trail. 

The white-blazed Todd Trail goes east to hook up with the yellow-blazed trail heading north past Todd Lake and then Camp Glen Gray. 

There is a camp road that goes into the camp complex, some of which are congregated around the southwest shore of Lake Tamarack.

10/24/02 I decided to take a walk down to Lake Tamarack. Walked across Skyline Drive and noticed a new trail heading off to the left from the road down to the old Boy Scout Camp. (Someone later told me it was the new Schuber Trail named for the Bergen County Executive who bought Camps Tamarack and Glen Gray to save them from development). Walking down the road I met the new ranger, Mike Rand, who seemed pleasant enough and was busy cutting logs outside the new ranger house.

Kept walking straight until there was a fork in the old beat-up asphalt. Went to the left down to Lake Tamarack. I decided to walk around the lake. Several streams seep out from under the dam area. Passed by the old Boy Scout roofed, triangular open-air "church" with the slogan "A Scout is Reverent" over the threshold.

Came to a wet area where the trail starts heading away from the lake shore. Not to worry, the path came to the orange trail. So I turned left at this T-intersection and went south; crossed a stream; came to another path intersection where I could have (but didn't) picked up a path continuing around the lake back to where I started. Continued on the orange trail passed an old firing range and then came back to the parking area.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, 10/24/02; * = plant found in bloom

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Larix sp. (larch)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea sp. (spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweetfern)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Corylus sp. (hazel)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) *
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (blueberry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster) *
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) *
Aster spp. (small white asters) *
Bidens comosa (beggar ticks)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) *
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley)
Corydalis sp. (corydalis)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Epifagus virginiana (beechdrops)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) *
Hedeoma pulegioides (penny royal)
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed) *
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)
Hypericum gentianoides (orange grass)
Hypericum mutilum (dwarf St. Johnswort)
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lespedeza sp. (bush clover)
Linaria vulgaris (butter-and-eggs) *
Lobelia syphilitica (great lobelia)
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Lysimachia terrestris (swamp candles)
Myriophyllum sp. (water milfoil)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) *
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Polygonum sp. (water pepper)?
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)
Solidago caesia (blue stem goldenrod) *
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod)
Solidago erecta (erect goldenrod) *
Solidago flexicaulis (zig-zag goldenrod) *
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

Juncus canadensis (Canada rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella sedge)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria sp. (yellow or green foxtail grass)

Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

Polytrichum sp. (hair cap moss)
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum)