Lake Ames Park



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Park Overview:

This park features picnic tables and a walking trail along a lake. Shoreline fishing is permitted. No swimming or boating.

Trail Uses:Hiking
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:3 miles
Park Acreage:285 acres
Rockaway Township/Morris/NJ
Buy Trail Map:Jersey Highlands: Central North Region Trails Map
Park Description:

Purchased by Rockaway Township for nearly $1 million in 1979, the park's original pavilion is now run down, but opportunities for short walks still exist.  Visitors can also investigate the three or four openings of the Denmark Mine. Although a quantity of ore was removed from some of them, the material contained large amounts of pyrite and was never commercially viable.

A glacier formed the crater for Lake Ames and the first dam was erected during the Revolutionary War.  Originally the lake was called "Big Pond." Around 1905 mining company owner Joseph Wharton had the dam repaired, hiring Joseph Jackson as the contractor. A decade later a concrete capping over the dam was rebuilt. 

At one point the Boy Scouts established Camp Ames on the site. Early Scout history has a troop from Montclair camping there in 1916.  It has been speculated to be Troup 4 headed by Frank Gray, which ultimately settled in Camp Glen Gray.  

The remains of a fireplace and chimney are still discernable from what locals remember as a small cabin. Hikers may also discover what is left of a triple-seat latrine foundation in nearby woods.

Trails Overview: In addition to the walk along the lake, more ambitious walkers will find a red trail that meets Snake Hill Road about 100' west of the bridge and again, on the same road about 1 mile further west. The trail is about 3 miles long, but may require brook crossings that might be difficult in high water. To avoid crossing streams bushwhack back out until the trail re-appears. The trail will pass the Denmark Mine; be sure not to trespass on private property.
Directions: Travel on I-80 west to exit 37 toward NJ513/Hibernia/Rockaway. Keep left at the fork, following signs for Green Pond Road. Turn left at Green Pond Road and follow it for 3.2 miles. Turn left at Snake Hill Road. The park will be on the right in 0.3 mile.
Contact Information:Rockaway Township
Region:Morris County