From the parking area, cross the road and enter the woods at triple yellow and blue blazes. Follow the yellow-blazed Terrace Pond South Trail, which turns right almost immediately. (The blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Trail, which goes off to the left, will be your return route.) You now follow a rocky trail through mountain laurel, hemlock and white pine, crossing several wet areas on...
From the parking area, cross the road and enter the woods at triple yellow and blue blazes. Follow the yellow-blazed Terrace Pond South Trail, which turns right almost immediately. (The blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Trail, which goes off to the left, will be your return route.) You now follow a rocky trail through mountain laurel, hemlock and white pine, crossing several wet areas on puncheons and large rocks.
In about half a mile, the trail goes through a magnificent rhododendron grove, with the large rhododendrons forming an arch over the trail in places. Soon after you leave the rhododendron grove, the laurel and evergreens end, and you proceed through a second-growth forest of deciduous trees. After following an interesting whaleback rock and crossing two low stone walls, the yellow trail turns left onto a woods road. You’ll be following woods roads, with gentle grades, for the next 1.3 miles.
Soon, the yellow markers bear left again onto another woods road lined with barberry bushes – indicating that this area was once farmed. Then, after half a mile, take care to follow the yellow markers as they bear very sharply left at a junction of woods roads. A short distance ahead, the yellow trail passes a swamp on the left, with many dead trees. Just beyond, the yellow trail bears left at the top of a rise, with another woods road going off to the right.
The trail continues along the woods road, which once again begins to run along the swamp on the left, with much beaver activity visible in the swamp. A short distance beyond, you’ll reach a junction with the Yellow Dot Trail, marked with yellow-on-white blazes. Bear right here, leaving the yellow trail, and continue ahead on the Yellow Dot Trail, which follows a pleasant woods road.
In another quarter of a mile, after passing cliffs on the left, you’ll reach a junction with the red-blazed Terrace Pond Red Trail (marked by a sign). Turn left and follow the red 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 an intermittent stream, and continues across several low ridges.
A huge rock outcrop soon appears directly ahead. 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. The red blazes are painted on the rock.
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 same trail that you followed for the first two miles of the hike). The two trails run jointly for a short distance. When they again divide, turn 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 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 red 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 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 lake.
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. Here, you’ll notice a triple white blaze (indicating that the Terrace Pond Circular Trail technically begins and ends here).
Turn left and follow the blue blazes of the Terrace Pond North Trail, which crosses several wet areas on rocks and logs. After a short climb, you’ll emerge onto a large open rock outcrop. Just to the left of the trail, there are panoramic west-facing views from the top of a peak of conglomerate rock. This is another good spot for a break.
Continue along the blue trail, which makes several short, steep descents (and a few short climbs). After a relatively level stretch, the trail descends rather steeply. At the base of the descent (and before beginning the next steep descent), you’ll notice a steep rock outcrop immediately to your left. Climb this outcrop for another panoramic view to the west and northwest.
Soon afterwards, you’ll come out onto a wide cut for a gas line. Bear left here and follow along the left side of the steep and eroded gas line for about 450 feet to the bottom of the hill. Here, the blue trail re-enters the woods on the left and leads in about half a mile, over relatively level terrain, back to the trailhead, crossing several wet areas on rocks.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 11/28/2002 updated/verified on 10/05/2018
This loop hike goes through dense mountain laurel and rhododendron thickets and climbs over puddingstone rock outcrops to reach beautiful Terrace Pond.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
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 out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.