Rugged, rocky trail that runs along a ridge with many expansive viewpoints – including Greenwood Lake and the NYC skyline – before arriving at lovely Terrace Pond.
Map: Consider getting the North Jersey Trails – it’s more detailed than the park map, especially if you continue around the pond. It’s a two-map set; this trail is on #116.
Mileage: 5.3 miles round trip.
- Shorter: 3.0 – Rugged route with three major viewpoints along the way. Turn around where noted below.
- Longer: 6.3 – Add a circuit around the pond.
Updated 6/24/14 – re-hiked, route/description revised, new GPX, new photos.
Our two cents: This is not the popular, shorter route to Terrace Pond. We saw no one until we arrived at the pond (and in the time it took us to circle around, it went from one group to people everywhere). This route requires walking down a gas pipeline cut. While that is one of our least favorite things to do, this one isn’t too bad as it was blooming with wildflowers, had seedlings planted, and the many rock cairns gave it a neat look. The prominent road noise in the beginning fades pretty quickly.
Parking: N41 09.454 W74 22.045
Rt 287 to exit 55, follow 511 North (Greenwood Lake Turnpike) through Wanaque. Bear left at the Y-intersection of Skyline Drive. Follow Greenwood Lake Turnpike as it becomes Union Valley at the intersection of Lakeside Rd. and then stay right at the fork, becoming Warwick Turnpike.
Pass the trailhead for Bearfort Ridge/Jeremy Glick and their two small parking pullouts on the right side (one pullout is right after a concrete bridge, then another shortly after) and park at the larger pullout down the road.
The trail head is across the busy road, look for some BLUE markers. It is a little hard to spot.
Restrooms: None. Best bet are gas stations along 511, there is one nearest the trail head at the intersection of Lakeside Rd. Also: Porta-john at the Monksville reservoir on Rt 511. Look for the “Long Pond Ironworks” park sign on the left and follow the driveway down. Restrooms are at the visitor center for Long Pond Ironworks but usually open very limited hours (Usually 1-4).
Hike Directions: Overview: BLUE (Terrace Pond North) – WHITE (Terrace Pond Circular) – BLUE (Terrace Pond North)
0.0 – After crossing the road, BLUE (Terrace Pond North) immediately travels through a beautiful rhododendron tunnel and heads uphill a bit.
The moderately rugged trail climbs to multiple outcrops with very nice views of Greenwood Lake and toward the east (there are starred viewpoints on the map, but in reality there are many views, we’ve marked a few standouts). Watch for hawks gliding in the valley below.
0.6 – Viewpoint. GPS: View1-TPN
0.8 – Viewpoint. GPS: View2-TPN
1.0 – Continue following BLUE (Terrace Pond North) thru a pretty area with some streams, lovely mossy rocks etc.
1.5 – Viewpoint. Greenwood Lake is visible to the left, while the NYC skyline can be seen off on the right. GPS: View3-TPN [Turnaround now and retrace your route for a 3 mile hike]
1.7 – Viewpoint. GPS: View4-TPN
1.8 – Meet up with the gas pipeline cut. Turn RIGHT and follow BLUE (Terrace Pond North and the rock cairns as they run along the right side of the cut, then cross diagonally to run along the left side. GPS: Pipeline1/TPN
2.1 – Turn LEFT, still following BLUE (Terrace Pond North), as it re-enters the forest and leaves the pipeline. GPS: Pipeline2/TPN
2.6 – Arrive at the start of WHITE (Terrace Pond Circular), which continues around the pond and ends up back here. [WHITE (Terrace Pond Circular) goes left and right, BLUE (Terrace Pond North) continues right] GPS: BLUE-TPN1/WHT-TPC
Follow WHITE (Terrace Pond Circular) to the LEFT. [*OR, see harder variation below]
The first viewpoint is somewhat limited but makes a nice break spot. GPS: TerracePond3
2.7 – The next view is more open and larger but may have more people. GPS: TerracePond4 When ready, retrace the entire route back to your car.
Optional extension: Instead of backtracking from this point, keep following WHITE (Terrace Pond Circular) around the pond.
The trail moves away from the pond and continues through dense rhododendron (passing intersections with YELLOW DOT, YELLOW, then RED) and several more viewpoints.
Negotiate scrambles and a wet area before completing the circuit. (to GPS: BLUE-TPN1/WHT-TPC) Turn LEFT and retrace BLUE (Terrace Pond North) to your car.
*Harder Variation: Instead of heading left, turn RIGHT and follow WHITE (Terrace Pond Circular)/BLUE (Terrace Pond North) for other great viewpoints or to circle the pond in a more challenging direction.
The scrambles are first and a bit harder in this direction (going down is harder than up, and one is a bit far to reach down if you are short). Follow WHITE (Terrace Pond Circular) the entire way around, through a seasonally wet area that can be a bit tricky to negotiate, past some more views and intersections with RED, YELLOW, then YELLOW) before completing the circuit (to GPS: BLUE-TPN1/WHT-TPC) and retrace BLUE (Terrace Pond North) to your car.
Hiked: 5/25/09 – Trail Blog: “Terrace Pond North Trail“