From the parking area, cross the road and enter the woods at a trailhead with a triple-blue blaze and a triple-yellow blaze. These mark the start, respectively, of the Terrace Pond North Trail and the Terrace Pond South Trail. Follow the yellow blazes, which almost immediately turn right (the blue trail, which goes off to the left, will be your return route.) You will soon find yourself in...
From the parking area, cross the road and enter the woods at a trailhead with a triple-blue blaze and a triple-yellow blaze. These mark the start, respectively, of the Terrace Pond North Trail and the Terrace Pond South Trail. Follow the yellow blazes, which almost immediately turn right (the blue trail, which goes off to the left, will be your return route.) You will soon find yourself in deep woods, following a rocky trail through a large stand of mountain laurel, hemlock and white pine, and crossing several wet areas on plank puncheons.
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. As 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 quarter of a mile beyond this sharp turn, the yellow trail bears left at the top of a rise, with another woods road going off to the right.
The yellow trail now passes a swamp to the left, with many dead trees. Towards the end of the swamp, the yellow markers twice bear right, bypassing flooded sections of the woods road, and crossing the outlet of the swamp on rocks. Soon after crossing over two concrete pipes, the trail reaches a fork. Bear right here, leaving the yellow trail, and continue ahead on the Yellow Dot Trail, marked with yellow-on-white blazes, which follows a pleasant woods road.
In another quarter of a mile, after passing cliffs to the left, you'll reach a junction with the red-blazed Terrace Pond Red Trail. 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 a 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. 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 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 right and follow the yellow blazes.
The yellow trail now climbs steeply up a rock outcrop and descends to a valley. After continuing over rugged, rocky terrain, it ends at a junction with the white-blazed Terrace Pond Circular Trail. Turn right onto the white trail, which soon climbs to a rock outcrop with pitch pines. Here, a triple-blaze marks the end of the Yellow Dot Trail, but you should continue along the white trail, which follows the long rock outcrop for some distance before reentering the woods.
After passing a huge glacial erratic to the left, the white trail comes out onto another rock outcrop, from which it descends steeply. At the base of the descent, you'll come to a fork. Here, you should turn left onto a short unmarked side trail which leads to a rock outcrop, with fine views over Terrace Pond. This is a great spot to take a break and enjoy the beauty of this secluded glacial pond.
When you're ready to continue, bear left at the fork and continue along the white trail, parallel to the pond. After passing another viewpoint over the pond, you'll come to a T-intersection, where the blue-blazed Terrace Pond North Trail joins from the right. Turn left, now following both white and blue blazes.
Just beyond, the trail descends very steeply. You'll need to use both your hands and your feet to make your way down the steep rock faces. At the base of the descent, the trail crosses the outlet of the pond on logs. This crossing can be extremely difficult in wet periods. The trail now climbs, steeply in places, over rock ledges and outcrops, soon reaching another junction, marked by a triple white blaze (indicating that the Terrace Pond Circular Trail technically begins and ends here).
Bear right and continue to follow the blue blazes of the Terrace Pond North Trail, which crosses several wet areas on planks and logs. After a steep descent, followed by 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 rounded peak of conglomerate rock. This is another good spot for a break.
Continue along the blue trail, with level stretches interrupted by several short, steep descents (and a few short climbs). At one point (just before beginning one of the descents), you'll notice a rock outcrop immediately to your left. Climb this outcrop for another panoramic view to the west and northwest.
Soon afterwards, you'll turn right on a woods road and come out onto a wide cut for a gas line. Bear left here and follow the rather steep and eroded gas line for about 450 feet to the bottom of the hill. Here, the blue trail re-enters the woods on your 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 06/20/2008
This loop hike climbs over puddingstone rock outcrops to reach beautiful Terrace Pond and two panoramic viewpoints.
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.