Buttermilk Falls, Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond Loop

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This route packs in a lot: Buttermilk Falls, Crater Lake, Hemlock Pond plus a little jaunt on the famous Appalachian trail.

We’d planned on redoing Buttermilk Falls last spring but just never got to it.

The last time we hiked the loop was in the Fall of 2009 (“Buttermilk Falls, Crater Lake, Hemlock Pond… and a bear hiking the AT“) and the falls were just a bit of a trickle – so we wanted to try to time it in the spring when it runs more or – even better – after a heavy rainfall.

It poured buckets in Jersey for a few days… so off we went.

Route: BLUE (Buttermilk Falls) – Appalachian Trail (WHITE) – ORANGE (Crater Lake) – Blue Mtn Lakes Trail – Woods Road -BLUE (Buttermilk Falls)

For complete hike info check out our main Buttermilk Falls, Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond page.

The initial part is steep but short and after that’s it’s pretty mild hiking… until having to retrace the route down the way you went up!

[Updated 7/2019 – Moved some older photos to the trail blog from the main page, such as where the view or trail condition changed.]

Limited view on the BLUE trail (2013):


Crater Lake.

Crater Lake

ORANGE Crater Lake trail on the way to Hemlock Pond (2013 or maybe 2009).


Around the other side of Hemlock Pond.

Hemlock Pond

Several red dragonflies were flitting around (2013).


Swamp area on the way back. (2013)


Stream crossing (2013) – if it’s too high to rock hop…


…look to the left for a trunk to cross on and then bushwhack a bit through the brush.


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