Terrace Pond is a 4.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Hewitt, NJ that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and cross country skiing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
cross country skiing
from route 23 take clinton rd for 7.5 miles to the parking
Overall a nice hike. Not too difficult, but definitely not easy. I've done this hike a few times a year for 10 years and the one problem I have is that its getting way too crowded. I love jumping into terrace pond, but now it just seems like there are too many people up there to hang out and get in the way. time to find a new cliff jumping spot.
Awesome time there! Cliff jumped and hung out at the cliff!
Great hike. Would definitely recommend it. Once you get to the top,where the pond is at, some cliff jumping is a must. Water felt great even on a nice cool day.
I've been hiking this trail for years. it definitely is a loop if you follow the markers properly. you go off the blue onto white and red for a bit by the lake. if you want to make the hike shorter start another half mile up at the pipe line and you'll cut out about 20 minutes of walking which is nice when you're short on time since the beginning is the easiest part anyway.
An absolutely perfect hiking trail... Its a tough as can be hike with beautiful scenery and a perfectly places lake right on top of the mountain... Its one hell of a workout...
A perfect moderate hike with good inclines...not a complete circle though we had to back track from where we came
Great hike with little obstacles! Follow the markers to a great place for cliff jumping! Watch for bears and snapper turtles!
Great trail with lots of different terrain. We took the yellow to red to white to blue trail which is longer than the direct trail to the lake. It was approx 5.5 mile hike. Lots of mosquitos in the beginning so bring repellent. The lake was very busy - lots of swimmers in the water- and 2 large curious snappers swimming around.
I completed this hike 40 years ago and perhaps 40 times since. In my early days the property belonged to a quarry company. Now it is part of a NJ State Park. Nothing has changed though, except that overnight camping is not allowed and violators get summonsed by Park Rangers. Also swimming is not permitted, but it is impossible to keep swimmers out of this "cliff-diving mecca". A Ranger will order everyone out of the water and inform them of the law before he/she leaves, and then it is up to individual impulses and the "band wagon" effect. The State of New Jersey is not liable for injuries incurred by the foolish, so personal responsibility is paramount. The trail has been adequately described by others posting here. I will reiterate, bring bug spray and use it. Ticks do exist in brushy areas, so DEET spray around the lower legs and ankles is advisable. At the same time, the main trails to this "mecca" are heavily used, so brush tends to stay minimal to moderate. This is a great moderate hike for the healthy year-round, but when slippery from rain, leaves, or (in winter) ice, it can be dangerous. Good footwear is a must. Bruises and abrasions are not uncommon on the steeper trail areas which the elderly know to avoid (but others prefer). Take care and enjoy yourselves. Most visitors have been on this hike several times or more, so feel free to ask for information from fellow hikers. Most are friendly and happy to help. There are some small water creatures in this glacial pond in addition to humans from time to time, but there are NO FISH, so leave the pole at home. The large snapping turtles help keep the pond clean and shy away from people without picnic food. They are the largest permitted life forms in the water.
As a fellow west milforder I hit up this hike at least twice a week. Great view, break a nice sweat & have the ultimate payoff of cliff jumping into the pond. Everyone is friendly & the water is so refreshing.
We headed right at the trailhead off Clinton Road, opting to take the yellow trail around and get to the lake later. We hooked up with the white and later, blue trail to complete the loop. Even though we followed the map All Trails has for this hike our track said we went about 5 miles, not 3.
First things first, wear bug spray, sturdy shoes, and you might get muddy. There were a lot of different elements to this hike. The trail starts narrow through dense Rhododendron forest, it gets wider and grassy as you approach Beacon Hill Lake, which is a wetland lake. The Pepperbush was blooming and attracting lots of bees and butterflies. As you continue between Beacon Hill Lake & Terrace Pond you have the option to split off to the yellow on white blazed trail. (I said it looked like fried eggs.) It does reconnect, but we stayed on the yellow. This part of the trail becomes a little scrambley getting you higher on the ridge with additional ups and downs before you reach Terrace Pond. Until this point we had only seen one other couple.
Most people go straight to the lake. Its popularity is obvious, there's a TON of broken glass on the trail. So you'll want to be careful navigating the rocky climbs you'll encounter on the blue trail. Like another reviewer said, these aren't difficult for anyone in reasonable shape. It was also pretty muddy. But there were enough rocks and logs laid down that nothing was impassable. The final part of the trail back to the car was a nice pine forest. The variety, seclusion and challenge made this one of our favorite hikes to date.
I wasn't much a fan of the straight uphill approach in the beginning (straight upwards, boring, loose rocks, obviously close to civilization). When the trail finally went into the woods, it had a bunch of little up-and-down scrambles without crazy changes in elevation. They were not physically demanding but challenging skill-wise, those were fun. The lack of a number of clear views was a bit of a disappointment. Terrace Pond is a nice place to relax for a picnic. Way too many people on this trail (might've seen 30 between the trail and the pond itself), but that's to be expected considering the relative ease of the actual trail (after the initial uphill approach) and the attraction of the pond. Worth a try at least once to see Terrace Pond.
Clear Sunday for this hike with about 7 people besides myself. The trail was fairly manageable but some of the more inexperienced to physical activity required several breaks on the way up. Definitely not difficult. There are some minor scrambles but nothing too tough for those who are in reasonable shape. At the end, of course, is the lake. There were over a dozen other hikers swimming, cliff diving, and picnicing aside from us, many of whom we had seen on the trail. The descent went far more quickly. Great trail for summer given the lake at the end. Not as great of views compared to some other trails in the area, though.