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Camp Jefferson (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.)
This loop hike climbs to a ridge, passing interesting rock formations on the way.
Easy to Moderate
Allowed on leash
Buy Trail Map:
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Follow I-80 West to Exit 34B (Jefferson/Sparta) and proceed north for 5.0 miles on N.J. Route 15. Take the exit for Weldon Road and Milton, continue north on Weldon Road for 0.5 mile, and turn left into the parking area for Camp Jefferson (the parking area is just before the sign for “Camp Jefferson” on the left side of the road).
From I-80 East take Exit 33 and follow signs for Route 15 North. Proceed as above.
Physical address: 81 Weldon Road, Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849.
At the north end of the parking area, you will notice a fenced-in area with a sign “Skate Park.” On the left, yellow and teal-diamond blazes are affixed to a wooden post. Follow the Yellow Trail and the teal-diamond-blazed Highlands Trail into the woods, passing camp buildings on the left.
With the Blackfoot Cabin just ahead, turn right onto a partially paved road and cross a causeway over a wet area, with a lake visible on the left. At the end of the wet area, bear right at the fork and follow the yellow and teal diamond blazes uphill into the woods. Soon, you’ll reach a junction, marked by signs “Upper” and “Lower,” with a triple-blue blaze on the right. Turn right, following the “Lower” arrow, and continue along the Blue Trail.
At first, the trail follows a relatively level route through the woods, traversing several rocky areas. It then bears left and climbs rather steeply, passing some interesting rock outcrops on the left. When the Blue Trail ends, at the crest of the ridge, continue ahead, following the yellow and teal diamond blazes (do not turn right), and pass a balanced boulder on the left.
The trail continues along the ridge, with limited views through the trees on the left, and soon reaches an interesting split rock. It turns right just beyond the rock and zigzags up to follow near the edge of a rocky escarpment. The trail descends steeply through a cleft in the rock and, after a short level stretch, begins a steady descent. You’ll soon hear the sounds of traffic on the nearby Route 15, which runs close to the trail at this point, but the sounds diminish as you continue to descend.
After reaching a hollow and climbing a little, the trail resumes its descent. Soon, you’ll reach the junction where the Blue Trail begins on the left. Continue ahead, following the yellow and teal diamond blazes, now retracing your steps to the camp parking area, where the hike began.
To view a photo collection for this hike, click here.