Silver Lake & Mud Pond

Silver Lake & Mud Pond, Hamburg Mountain WMA (4/28/2012)

Turkey hunting season began in New Jersey on Monday of this week (April 23), but we still decided to head to this wildlife management area today because I've had my eye on this area for a while now, having heard that Hamburg Mountain is a gem for hikers, with lots of criss-crossing trails, all unmarked. When we pulled into the somewhat remote lot off Silver Lake Road (about a mile north of Route 23) there were already about a half dozen vehicles, so I was glad to be wearing orange. But as it turned out, all of the vehicles were for the fisherman who peppered the bank of Silver Lake (trout season also began in New Jersey recently). Once we headed north from the lake we didn't see another person the entire hike. Only near the end did we hear a distant gunshot which seemed to come from somewhere far south. And when we got back to our car, it was the only one in the lot, the fisherman (up early as they are wont to do), were already finished for the day.

Using the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference North Jersey Trails Map 116 (2012 edition), we parked at Silver Lake and headed east along the bank passing a handful of fisherman along the way. Just beyond the midpoint of the northern bank we headed north on an unmarked trail until we got to the lovely Mud Pond, which seemed almost as big as the lake. The western tip of the pond, which is where we were, is actually Pequannock Watershed land. After taking in the amazing views, a view that one lucky family seems to have all to itself (there was a large house and smaller house next to it, same design), we continued north with the intent of forming a loop NW of Mud Pond. We began this by making a left and heading westerly on another unmarked trail looking for yet another trail heading south. The map shows such a trail south of Lake Wildwood, but we headed much further than indicated on the map and still couldn't find it. So we turned around and headed back to Mud Pond and then back to Silver Lake. But before heading to the car we continued a bit further east to get view of the lake from its eastern tip. The trail was flooded at this point. Back at the car, we headed to the dam of the lake (on its western end) noticing a woods road heading south from the dam. It's not on the map, but it's something we'll take next time we visit.

Total distance hiked today was about 6.5 miles in 3.5 hours.

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Silver Lake from parking lot

Fish tackle

[Photo by Laura]

Views ...

... of Silver Lake ...


... from ...

... its northern ...

... bank


Heading north from lake

[Photo by Laura]

Rocky trail

Laura taking ...

... this [photo by Laura]

A bit wet in spots

Wildflowers on trail

Heading to ...

... Mud Pond

Fortunate residents


Cat tails


Mud Pond

Continuing north

Mannequin head off trail


Interesting trunk

Forest is turning green



WMA sign

Tree snap

Tiny stream crossing

The path

Rocky slope




Eastern tip of Silver Lake

Flooded trail

Eastern part of lake

Cat tail


Laura at eastern tip

And Dan [photo by Laura]

View from eastern tip


Beaver lodge

Poor tree!

Spring blooms

Views from ...

... high rock over lake

Laura below


Rock in lake

Lady and the lake

[Photo by Laura]


Path to dam

Foundation at SW tip of lake

Dam looking north

Water spill behind dam

Laura on dam

Guard rail underwater!

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