Follow Stephens Road past the gate for about 0.6 mile until you come to a gate on the right side of the road. Next to the gate, you will notice three red blazes, which mark the start of the Terrace Pond Red Trail. Turn right and follow this trail into the woods. This section of the Terrace Pond Red Trail is an old woods road which proceeds through a deep forest of hemlock and mountain laurel,...
Follow Stephens Road past the gate for about 0.6 mile until you come to a gate on the right side of the road. Next to the gate, you will notice three red blazes, which mark the start of the Terrace Pond Red Trail. Turn right and follow this trail into the woods. 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 blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Loop, but you should turn left and continue on the Terrace Pond Red Trail, now joined by the Terrace Pond North Loop. In a short distance, you’ll reach a T-intersection with another woods road. Turn left and follow the red and blue 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. Here, the blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Loop turns right, and the yellow/blue Terrace Pond Connector Trail begins on the left. Continue straight ahead on the Terrace Pond Red Trail.
In a quarter mile, the Terrace Pond Red Trail ends at a junction with the yellow-blazed Terrace Pond West Loop. Turn right onto the Terrace Pond West Loop, which descends rather steeply to cross a stream. It then begins a steady climb, reaching jumbled lichen-covered boulders near the crest of the rise. A short distance beyond, you'll come to a southeast-facing viewpoint from a rock outcrop.
After a short level section, the trail bears left and continues along another rock outcrop. Like the previous outcrop, this one is composed of reddish-purple "puddingstone" conglomerate rock, with quartz pebbles embedded in the rock.
After following the outcrop for some distance, the trail descends to the right and follows another relatively level section. It climbs along another rock outcrop, then steeply climbs over rocks to reach a seasonal viewpoint to the east through the trees. Just beyond, Terrace Pond itself may be seen below to the right (when there are no leaves on the trees).
Continuing along its rugged, rocky route, the yellow trail passes to the left of a huge boulder with some interesting crevices that you can walk through. There is a view over Terrace Pond from the top of the boulder. Just beyond, the Terrace Pond West Loop descends steeply over rocks to reach a junction with the white-blazed Terrace Pond Circular Trail. Turn left and follow the joint yellow/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 lake.
When you’re ready to continue, proceed north along the yellow/white trail. Soon, you’ll come to a junction where the yellow-blazed Terrace Pond West Loop turns left. Bear right, now following only the white blazes of the Terrace Pond Circular Trail. Soon, the trail crosses a floating bridge across a wet area, built by the West Jersey Trail Crew in the summer of 2020. The trail now climbs a ladder and, a short distance ahead, reaches a junction with the blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Loop. Bear right here, now following the blue blazes of the Terrace Pond North Loop as well as the white blazes of 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 with a panoramic view over Terrace Pond. 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 right and follow the Terrace Pond Red Trail back to the parking area where the hike began.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.