This hike offers many views of the surrounding mountains and valleys before arriving at Ghost Lake.
Mileage: 5.5 miles round trip (including walking to some overlooks). Moderate, rocky trail. Two rocky descents; and the route back is uphill most of the way.
For another hike in this park, check out the Jenny Jump Trail.
Update 12/13/15 – Minor description changes, inserted shorter hike options.
Books: Variations appear in 50 Hikes in New Jersey, Hiking the Jersey Highlands and 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City plus there is a very short one in Hike of the Week. Trail descriptions can be found in The New Jersey Walk Book.
Rt 80 to exit 12 (Hope/Blairstown). Rt 521 S. Turn left onto 519 at the blinking light. Take the third road on the right, Shiloh Road. Turn right in about a mile onto State Park Road. Park entrance is less than a mile on the left. There are several brown and white park signs marking the way.
Alternate: Park at the Ghost Lake boat launch area off of Shades of Death Road (have to love that road name) and do the trail in reverse. (The uphill will be at the beginning instead of the end). Parking: N40 55.327 W74 53.636
Restrooms: Comfort station in the parking lot. There may be a porta-john at the Ghost Lake parking lot.
Hike Directions: Overview: YELLOW (Summit) to TURQUOISE (Ghost Lake) and back. [Note: Trail Map 1 is the newest/easiest to follow but uses ORANGE and TEAL, respectively for these trails.]
0.0 – From the lot, follow RED (Swamp)/YELLOW (Summit) up a woods road.
0.15 – The trail splits. Continue following YELLOW (Summit) to the RIGHT. [RED (Swamp) continues to the left.]
0.2 – Overlook on the right, one of several along the route. Watch for side trails on the right leading to rocky outcrops.
0.7 – Side trail on the left to an overlook where the Delaware Water Gap can be seen in the distance. There is a bench that is not visible from the main trail.
0.8 – Continue straight on YELLOW (Summit). [BLUE (Spring) crosses the trail, left and right.]
[Shorter options at this junction: 1) Turn around and retrace on YELLOW (Summit); 2) Turn right and take BLUE (Spring) back; 3) Turn left and continue to RED (Swamp) and take that back to the lot.
1.5 – Turn RIGHT and start following TURQUOISE (Ghost Lake). [YELLOW (Summit) and TURQUOISE (Ghost Lake) also continue to the left].
[Shorter options at this junction: Turn left and follow TURQUOISE (Ghost Lake)/YELLOW (Summit) instead until it ends at a camping area – you won’t get to Ghost Lake but you also miss a downhill/uphill section. Follow the park road until it hits RED (Swamp) and take that back. This is also an option for an alternate on the way back from Ghost Lake.]
The path is a rolling, rocky trail with two slightly steep rocky descents.
2.1 – On the right is a short path to the ruins of an old cabin, and a nice view east of the surrounding area and Allamuchy Mountain State Park. The cement foundation works well as a bench for a nice break spot.
Shortly after, the trail turns into more of a woods road and Rt 80 can be seen (and heard) briefly. The trail becomes exceptional pretty and lush, with lots of ferns and some large rocks. A small gurgling stream leads into Ghost Lake.
2.8 – Arrive at Ghost Lake. A grassy causeway splits the lake in two that can be walked on. The trail ends here but you can continue around the lake a little bit, or walk to the boat launch area (not included in the distance for this description).
Retrace the route back to the parking lot; or use the notes for Shorter Options to take different trails back.
Hiked: 12/13/15. Trail Blog: “Jenny Jump in December“
Hiked: 5/21/11. Trail Blog: “Jenny Jump in Spring”
Hiked: 5/17/09. Trail Blog: “Jenny Jump in May”
Hiked: 3/5/06. Trail Blog: “Jenny Jump in March”