Terrace Pond North Loop
Directions to trailhead
Take I-287 to Exit 57 and continue on Skyline Drive to its western end at Greenwood Lake Turnpike in Ringwood. Turn right and proceed for 8.4 miles to a Y intersection with Union Valley Road. Take the right fork (Warwick Turnpike) and continue for 0.4 mile to an intersection with White Road. Continue on Warwick Turnpike for 0.3 mile past this intersection and park in a small turnout on the right side of the road.
On the south side of Warwick Turnpike, opposite the parking turnout, you’ll see a sign that marks the start of the black-square-on-blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Spur. Follow this trail rather steeply uphill through beautiful rhododendron thickets, then continue along the trail as it climbs more gradually, with cliffs on the right.
After leveling off, the trail turns right and climbs to the top of the escarpment. Heading south along the escarpment, the trail passes several panoramic east-facing viewpoints, with Greenwood Lake visible to the left. Although, for the most part, the trail follows rock outcrops along the escarpment, there are several short but steep ups and downs.
The trail then descends to a junction (marked by signs), where the Terrace Pond North Spur ends. Bear right to follow the blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Loop in the counter-clockwise direction. The trail proceeds along a level footpath through a forest of mountain laurel and hemlock, passing a cascade on the left and crossing two streams.
After descending a little, the trail begins a gradual climb. It dips down to cross a stream on rocks below a cascade, then climbs on switchbacks to the crest of the rise. As you approach the ridge on a switchback heading north, you’ll reach a panoramic east-facing viewpoint from a rock outcrop. Greenwood Lake is visible to the left, and the New York City skyline can be seen in the distance behind High Mountain.
The trail now goes down a little and then climbs over rocks to reach the crest of the rise. It heads south along the escarpment, following rock ledges for much of the way, but also making several short but steep descents and climbs. Along the way, you’ll pass several more east-facing viewpoints and traverse a rock outcrop with pitch pines growing out of the bedrock.
After passing another panoramic east-facing viewpoint from a rock outcrop to the left of the trail, the Terrace Pond North Loop turns right and begins to run along the route of a buried gas pipeline. It follows the pipeline on a mostly level route for a quarter mile, then turns left onto a footpath.
For the next half mile, the trail follows a relatively level route through dense mountain laurel thickets, climbing over several rock outcrops and passing a wetland on the right. After climbing a little and following along the edge of an escarpment, the trail descends gradually to reach a junction with the white-blazed Terrace Pond Circular Trail near the northeast end of Terrace Pond. Bear left to continue on Terrace Pond North Loop, which is now coaligned with the Terrace Pond Circular Trail.
Soon, you’ll reach a junction where the two coaligned trails turn sharply left. Continue ahead on an unmarked side trail that leads to a rock outcrop overlooking Terrace Pond. This is the only good view you’ll have of the pond, so you might want to spend a little time at this beautiful spot.
When you’re ready to continue, return to the trail, turn right, and climb stone steps. The trails head south along exposed rock outcrops, passing a huge glacial erratic on the right.
In a third of a mile, the two trails diverge. Bear left to continue on the blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Loop, which descends steadily, then bears right and continues on a grassy woods road.
After about half a mile along the level woods road, you’ll reach a four-way junction, where the Terrace Pond Red Trail comes in from the right and the yellow/blue-blazed Terrace Pond Connector continues ahead. Turn left and follow the joint Terrace Pond North Loop and Terrace Pond Red Trail, which descend gradually, passing a vernal pond on the left.
After a short climb to a T-intersection, the trails diverge. You should turn left to continue on the blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Loop, which soon bears right to skirt a beaver pond. NOTE: At present, the trail has been flooded by the beaver pond, and you will need to follow an informal path around the southern side of the pond. On the other side of the pond, the trail turns right and climbs steeply on a woods road. The trail levels off at the crest of the rise and soon descends to reach another T-intersection. Here, you should turn left to continue on the Terrace Pond North Trail.
The trail now ascends gradually on a footpath along the shoulder of Bearfort Mountain, with rock outcrops and cliffs on the left. After reaching the crest of the rise, the trail begins a gradual descent. Towards the base of the descent, there are limited east-facing views from a rock outcrop to the right of the trail. The trail now descends more steeply.
At the base of the descent, the trail crosses several branches of a stream on rocks. After climbing gradually, the trail turns right and levels off, then turns left and climbs to the top of an escarpment. It turns left again and heads north on a level route along the escarpment.
In half a mile, a side trail on the right leads to a panoramic viewpoint overlooking Greenwood Lake from a huge rock outcrop. A short distance beyond, the Terrace Pond North Trail recrosses the route of the buried gas pipeline, which also affords a view over Greenwood Lake. The trail traverses a rock outcrop, then begins a steady descent, first rather steeply, then more gradually.
At the base of the descent, the trail crosses a stream on rocks and climbs past a cliff on the right to reach the end of the loop. Turn right on the black-square-on-blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Spur, retracing your steps for a mile back to the parking turnout on Warwick Turnpike, where the hike began.