Terrace Pond North Trail: Blue blaze
Terrace Pond Trail: White blaze
Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points Of Interest: Good climb, interesting rock formations, and impressively scenic natural lake
Google Map of Parking:
View 2012 Hiking in a larger map
Many parks and trails were still closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I was in the vicinity of West Milford, and had heard about the scenic and serene Terrace Pond which is nearby, so I took this opportunity. Terrace Pond is a natural Lake high up on top of Bearfort Mountain, known for its interesting purple puddingstone rock, with rough climbing exposures and scrambles.
I parked at the trailhead at Clinton Road, and took the Terrace Pond North Trail. The first part is a scenic and tranquil part with an even terrain, and then the trail meets up with a gas pipeline which it briefly climbs, steeply. After the pipeline there are some nice scrambles and views, and eventually Terrace Pond is reached, with its beautiful waters and cliffs plunging into the lake. This is a natural lake and is not dammed. The trail goes over its outlet, which is on the south of the lake, and I found this part extremely flooded and muddy, and very difficult to navigate.
I then veered off on the white-blazed Terrace Pond Trail, which loops around the lake. After completing the trail, I was back at the Terrace Pond North Trail, and I took that trail back the same way I came.
At the pond, I met two park volunteers, who were scouting the area for downed trees to cut along the trails. They had mentioned to me they sighted a bear in the vicinity of the pipeline, so I should be cautious. I didn't see any bear here, but apparently many others have sighted bears on this hike in the vicinity of the pipeline.
|Map of the Route|
|Sign Kiosk at the beginning of the hike|
|Rocks Crossing a stream|
|Gas Pipeline. The Bear lives around here.|
|Steep Rocks Climbing the Pipeline|
|View from atop the pipeline|
|Rock Face at Scramble at the main view|
|Rounded, glaciated rock protruding up at the view|
|View, facing west.|
|Same view, facing southwest.|
|Terrace Pond, from the south shore.|
|Natural outlet of Terrace Pond.|
This area lacks a bridge and is very muddy and difficult to cross.
|Terrace pond, from the east shore facing west.|