Terrace Pond North

Terrace Pond North, Wawayanda State Park (4/14/2012)

We have hiked to Terrace Pond four times in the past (once every year from 2004 to 2007), always beginning on Clinton Road and heading east to the pond. Today, five years since the last visit, we decided to approach the pond from the north for the first time, and we are sure glad we did. The Terrace Pond North trail begins at a large pull-off on Warwick Turnpike (about 0.2 miles west of White Road), and the stretch between the trailhead and the gasline cut is one of the most spectacular trails in northern New Jersey, something not obvious if one is consulting the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Map 116. That map has a grand total of one viewpoint denoted on this stretch, a view not far south of the trailhead. But this stretch is filled with views, and these are not seasonal views. They are views to the east, to the mountains of Sterling Forest, to Harriman, to Greenwood Lake, to the Manhattan skyline. They are completely unobstructed by any trees. It's quite a path! And then the gasline cut has its own amazing views.

We started on Warwick Turnpike and started climbing immediately, heading south. After the views from the lower ridge we winded our way up to a higher ridge using a relatively new re-routing on switchbacks. (The original trail continued straight to the gasline cut instead of ascending to a higher ridge. This old route, now unused, appears to be quite overgrown at this time.) The views along the higher ridge are almost continuous all the way to the gasline cut where we spilled out from the pitch pines into the open of the glaring sun. Here we turned right, into the cut and then eventually turned left back into the forest following blue all the way to Terrace Pond.

After taking in the view of the lovely pond, we retraced our steps to the gasline cut. But instead of retracing the entire blue trail all the way back to our car, we decided to look for the old blue trail further east down the gasline cut. Steeply descending the amazingly rocky and slippery cut, with an ocean of loose rocks, wasn't the height of the day's fun, so when we found a woods road heading north (after two long steep rock descents) we took it, believing it to be the old blue trail. But it wasn't. The old blue trail was even further down the steep, rocky cut. So we turned too early, and instead winded along a woods road to the re-blazed blue trail at just about the point where we started descending the gasline cut! Ugh! Hungry, we had lunch at a wonderful view, and retraced the entire blue all the way back to the car, not as planned.

Total distance hiked today was 6.4 miles, with a large number of ups and downs, in just under 5 hours.

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

Large pull-off on Warwick Turnpike

Blue climbs immediately

Starting the track logger [Photo by Laura]


Beautiful pond east of trail


Ascending blue


Ascending to lower ridge

[Photo by Laura]

Admiring the ...

... first views

Pitch pines abound

Very rocky in places

Open views ...

... to the SE

Northern tip of Pinecliff Lake

Greenwood Lake

Spring blooms

View east to Sterling Forest

View NE to Greenwood Lake

Tight squeeze

[Photo by Laura]

Distinct glacial striations

Spring color

New Jersey valley east

View NE to ...

... Greenwood Lake

Cute cairn & hiker

Dry moss


Climbing to highest ridge

View east

Manhattan skyline

Hills of Harriman

More switchbacks

[Photo by Laura]


Lovely pitch pines

Gasline cut from above

View down cut

View to Greenwood Lake

Puddingstone all over

Spring blooms

Gas line cut looking east

[Photo by Laura]

Underground gas line

Hiking in cut

This is not the moon!

That puddle is wetland?

Back in the forest


Interesting stone placement

Terrace Pond!

Bufflehead in pond

Blooms over the pond

Plants in rock

[Photo by Laura]


Back in cut; jet in rear

Greenwood Lake from cut

Another view

Very rocky

Heading down

Look at how rocky it is!

The first very steep descent

Our gorgeous lunch spot

Two vultures in distance

Greenwood Lake

Zoom to the lake

Continuing with full bellies

Retracing blue


Beautiful tiny waterfall

Cairn overlooking lake

View east to NJ farmland

Turkey vulture

Cute cairn


Pitch pine

Mallards in ...

... pond off trail

Weeds in pond


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