Know the New Hiking How-tos
Wonder Lake Figure-Eight Loop
Directions to trailhead
The park is off Ludingtonville Road, which parallels I-84 between exits 17 and 18 in Putnam county. From I-84 take either exit and head east. If you exited at 18, turn right onto Ludingtonville Road. If you exited at 17, turn left. The signed parking area is on the east side of Ludingtonville Road.
From the kiosk at the end of the parking lot, follow the Yellow Trail, which heads into the woods. Bear left and stay on the Yellow Trail when the teal-diamond-blazed Highlands Trail splits off to the right. The Yellow Trail goes around a hill, leaving the houses along Ludingtonville Road behind, and gradually climbs through pretty woods. Stay on the Yellow Trail when the Red Trail leaves to the right. (This trail goes over the top of the hill and connects to the Highlands Trail.) There is substantial noise from I-84 at first but it begins to fade as you start down the other side of the hill.
When the teal-diamond-blazed Highlands Trail crosses, stay on the Yellow Trail, but a short distance beyond, turn left onto the White Trail. The White Trail goes downhill through lovely old woods and approaches the north end of Wonder Late. After crossing the stream at the end of the lake, the White Trail ends at the Yellow Trail. Turn left onto the Yellow Trail, which parallels the stream to reach pretty Laurel Pond.
When the Yellow Trail ends (at a woods road that leads out the east end of the park), turn right onto the teal-diamond-blazed Highlands Trail, which heads south and goes up a hill. When the Yellow Trail crosses, stay on the Highlands Trail, which heads towards Wonder Lake. The trail hugs the south end of the lake, with many splendid views.
After coming around the south end of the lake, the Yellow Trail comes in from the left and briefly joins the Highlands Trail. When the Highlands Trail leaves to the right, stay on the Yellow Trail, which heads uphill, away from the lake. Soon, the White Trail goes off to the right, but you should stay on the Yellow Trail. A short distance beyond, when the Highlands Trail crosses the Yellow Trail, turn left onto the Highlands Trail (teal diamond blazes).
This trail climbs to the top of a hill and then descends - a little steeply at times - along the other side of the hill that the Yellow Trail went around at the start of the hike. The noise from I-84 soon returns, but the woods on this side of the hill are beautiful. When the Red Trail begins to the right, continue ahead on the Highlands Trail, but when you reach an intersection with the Yellow Trail, turn left onto the Yellow Trail to return to the parking lot where the hike began.
Click to download and print a Wonder Lake State Park trail map.
Date of hike: November, 2009