Mountain Lake Trail

Mountain Lake Trail, Jenny Jump State Forest (3/5/2011)

This is Hike #29 ("Jenny Jump Mountain Lake Trail") in the book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City (1st edition). We recently hiked in Jenny Jump, on October 30 of last year. At that time we followed a hike in the 2nd edition of the 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles book. That hike is much better in many ways, and it replaced this hike which no longer appears in the book. Clearly the authors hadn't hiked that other section of Jenny Jump when they wrote the first edition, then quickly remedied that in their second edition.

This is not to say that this hike wasn't enjoyable. It was! Just being out in the mountains and stretching my legs is good enough reason for me to get out there. But if you do this part of the park (which is non-contiguous to the much more interesting part), be prepared for an unmaintained trail on rocky, rugged terrain with no views (even when the trees are bare), which is unblazed for a good extent. The park map is pretty much useless for this area. It shows a yellow blazed trail clearly marked in its entirety, surrounded by nothing but contour lines. In reality the yellow trail isn't blazed along its entire SW loop and it is within a network of trails, traces, spurs and woods roads which are not on the map. We got lost twice trying to follow the hike description (even though the book included some of the other trails on the map).

Total distance traveled was just over 5 miles in exactly 3 hours. Had the trail been blazed we would have spent about 2 hours going just over 3.5 miles.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Kiosk at trail head

Parking for 5-6 cars

Well house

It's evidently Ballou's

Trail head



Abandoned concrete structure


Beautiful roots

Yellow trail heading NW

Descending first mountain

Man-made shelter

Winter color


Wet trail

Very limited views north

Snow at higher elevations

Yellow blaze



Twisted twigs

Descending from first mountain

Snapping the tree [photo by Laura]

At least 70 years old

Poison ivy

Windy path

Sun is popping out

Very wet section

More ruins overlooking lake

Mountain Lake through trees

Park gate

Very old snowmobile

Mountain Lake through trees

Ascending second mountain

A lone pine

[Photo by Laura]

Abandoned nest

Ascending first mountain again

Tangled branches

Some winter color

Descending first mountain

Tiny cascade

Post says "NJ 28"

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