Remember: The safest place right now is at home.
Lake Ames Park
West on I-80 to Exit 37 toward NJ513/Hibernia/Rockaway. Keep left at the fork, following signs for Green Pond Road. Turn left at Green Pond Road and follow it for 3.2 miles. Turn left at Snake Hill Road. The park will be on the right in 0.3 mile.
This park features a large playground facility, with picnic areas and a walking trail around the lake. Shoreline fishing is permitted. No swimming or boating.
In addition to the walk around the lake, more ambitious walkers will find a red trail that meets Snake Hill Road about 100' west of the bridge and again, on Snake Hill Road about 1 mile further west. The trail is about 3 miles long, but may require brook crossings difficult in high water. If you do not like to cross streams, just bushwhack out until the trail returns. You will pass the Denmark Mine. Be sure not to trespass on private property.
Purchased by Rockaway Township for nearly $1 million in 1979, this park has picnic and playground facilities, a pavilion and opportunities for short walks. You can also investigate the three or four openings of the Denmark Mine. Although a quantity of ore was removed from some of them, the material contained large amounts of pyrite and was never mined.
Lake Ames was formed by a Canadian Glacier. The first dam was erected during the Revolutionary War, during which time the lake was called "Big Pond". About 1905, a mining company owned by Joseph Wharton had the dam repaired. Joseph Jackson was the contractor. The concrete capping over the dam was rebuilt around 1915.
Camp Ames was a Boy Scout Camp, and early Boy Scout history has a troop from Montclair camping there in 1916. The remains of a fireplace and chimney remain from what locals remember as small cabin. You may also find what is left of a triple seat latrine foundation in the woods.