Follow Stephens Road past the gate for about 0.7 mile until you come to a gate on the right side of the road. Next to the gate, you will notice three red-on-white blazes which mark the start of the Terrace Pond Red Trail. Turn right and follow this trail into the woods. You will be following this trail all the way to Terrace Pond. This section of the Terrace Pond Red Trail is an old woods road...
Follow Stephens Road past the gate for about 0.7 mile until you come to a gate on the right side of the road. Next to the gate, you will notice three red-on-white blazes which mark the start of the Terrace Pond Red Trail. Turn right and follow this trail into the woods. You will be following this trail all the way to Terrace Pond. This section of the Terrace Pond Red Trail is an old woods road which proceeds through a deep forest of hemlock and mountain laurel, with some white pine and rhododendron.
After a little over a mile of pleasant walking, the Terrace Pond Red Trail bears left and descends to cross a stream. Soon afterwards, it turns left, leaving the woods road it has been following, and continues on a footpath. Straight ahead on the woods road is the Spring North Trail, marked with dark blue blazes, but you should turn left and continue on the Terrace Pond Red Trail. In a short distance, you’ll reach a T-intersection with another woods road. Turn left and follow the red-on-white blazes, which head uphill on the woods road, rather steeply in places.
About a mile and a half from the start, you’ll come to another T-intersection with a woods road – the route of the Yellow Dot Trail (yellow dot-on-white blazes). Turn left, briefly following the joint route of both the Terrace Pond Red and Yellow Dot Trails. In 100 feet, a sign marks the spot where the Terrace Pond Red Trail turns right, leaving the wide woods road and continuing on a footpath. Turn right and follow the red blazes (from here to the end of the trail, the Terrace Pond Red Trail is marked with solid red blazes, rather than the red-on-white blazes that are used for the first section of the trail).
The hike now becomes more rugged. After a steep climb up a ridge, the trail follows the ridge to the north, continuing to ascend gradually. It then descends to a valley, crosses a stream, and continues across several low ridges. A huge rock outcrop soon comes into view. The trail turns right, parallels the outcrop, then climbs to its top and continues along it. The outcrop is composed of reddish-purple “puddingstone” conglomerate rock, with quartz pebbles embedded in the rock. You'll have to look carefully to find the red blazes painted on the rocks, with cairns (piles of rocks) also used to mark the trail in places.
After following the outcrop for some distance, the trail descends to the right and soon reaches a junction with the yellow-blazed Terrace Pond South Trail. The two trails run jointly for a short distance. When they divide, bear left and continue to follow the red blazes. The Terrace Pond Red Trail climbs along another rock outcrop, then steeply climbs over rocks to reach a limited viewpoint to the east through the trees.
Continuing along its rugged, rocky route, the red trail passes to the left of a huge boulder with some interesting crevices that you can walk through. The top of the boulder offers views over Terrace Pond, which may be seen below to the right. Just beyond, the Terrace Pond Red Trail descends steeply over rocks to end at a junction with the white-blazed Terrace Pond Circular Trail. Turn left and follow the white trail. A short distance ahead – just beyond another rock scramble – you’ll reach an open area along the lakeshore. This is a great spot to take a break and enjoy the beauty of this secluded glacial pond (swimming is not permitted).
When you’re ready to continue, proceed north along the white trail. Soon, you’ll come to a junction with the blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Trail. Turn right and follow both blue and white blazes. After crossing a muddy area, a side trail on the right leads to a viewpoint over the pond. Just beyond, the trail crosses the outlet of the pond on rocks and logs (this crossing may be difficult in wet periods) and climbs very steeply over rock ledges, where you’ll need to use your hands as well as your feet.
At the next junction, the blue-blazed trail leaves to the left, but you should bear right and continue to follow the white blazes. Now heading along the east shore of the pond, you’ll pass several viewpoints over the pond, with the best view reached by a short side trail that leaves to the right where the white-blazed trail turns sharply left. After climbing another rock outcrop, you’ll pass an enormous glacial erratic to the right and follow along the top of a long rock outcrop amid pitch pines. Towards the end of the outcrop, the Yellow Dot Trail (yellow-on-white blazes) leaves to the left, but you should continue along the white-blazed trail.
After a short descent, you’ll reach a junction with the yellow-blazed Terrace Pond South Trail. Turn left and follow the yellow trail, which soon turns right to climb a rock outcrop and proceeds through an attractive forest. You’ll briefly join the Terrace Pond Red Trail, but be sure to bear right and continue to follow the yellow blazes. In about half a mile, you’ll come to a broad viewpoint to the east and south from the top of a rock outcrop. This is a another good place to take a break.
After joining a woods road, the Terrace Pond South Trail reaches a T-intersection. Turn left, now following the yellow-on-white blazes of the Yellow Dot Trail. When you reach the junction with the Terrace Pond Red Trail, follow the joint trails for 100 feet, then turn right and follow the red-blazed trail back to the parking area. As of this writing, when proceeding south on this trail, there is one turn which is missing a double blaze to indicate a sharp right turn. If you start seeing old white blazes instead of the red-on-white blazes that mark this section of the trail, go back until you find the turn that you have missed.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 08/26/2005
This “lollipop”-loop hike goes through dense forests of hemlock and mountain laurel and climbs over puddingstone rock outcrops to reach beautiful Terrace Pond.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.