Wonder Lake/Laurel Pond Loop Hike

Wonder Lake State Park

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This loop hike follows the shore of scenic Wonder Lake and pristine Laurel Pond and passes an interesting hemlock grove.

41.49487, -73.66284

To the left of the kiosk in the parking area, you’ll see a post with a yellow blaze (for the Yellow Disc Trail) and a teal diamond blaze (for the Highlands Trail). Follow these trails uphill on a grassy path which widens into a woods road.

After passing a huge boulder above on the right, you’ll reach a junction. The Yellow Disc Trail goes off to the left, but you should bear right to...

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Trip Reports

rate experience
October 18, 2017
4
Wonder Lake loop
Nice relaxed hike, nothing very technical. Hiked with a friend 10/18/2017 on a nice Fall day. Saw a couple of other cars in the parking lot (midweek morning) but never saw a soul the entire 3 hours we were hiking. If not for the noise of the Route 84 highway, soon lost after crossing the first hill, it was a solitary communion with nature. Lovely and peaceful, bird song in the woods and some unusual ducks we startled in the pond (buckleheads?). Trails are in pretty good shape, with a heavy-enough coating of leaves to make the trailmarkers necessary in many places. Fortunately, the NYNJTC.org map was quite helpful at several trail intersections -- such as where the trail joins the powerlines, or trails converge at the lower part of Wonder Lake -- used in combination with Backcountry Navigator on our Android phones, we were able to confidently find our way. We lost the trail once, going north uphill from the lakes on the Highland trail where the trail jogs to the right off a rutted doubletrack. The trail markers on that intersection are not very visible. That northern section of the Highland trail has a lovely gorge to the east of the trail, and is dramatic in the fall. At the most northerly blue trail junction, the trail to the west is well-marked, but the blue trail along the ridge was heavily leaf-covered and we shook off ticks from our pants going through grassy/ferny sections. That blue trail was my favorite trail in the park, although the lake views from the Highland trail are a close second -- so pretty and peaceful there! We wandered around a fair amount and did not stick to the exact route described. We ended up logging 6.2 miles for the day and about 770 feet of vertical -- respectable for Southeastern NY. Many thanks to all those who worked to make these trails so nice!
HalleysComet
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