Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Three Mountain Ponds Trail

Layton, New Jersey 07851

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Three Mountain Ponds Trail

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area: Three Mountain Ponds Trail Professional Review and Guide

"What you’ll find on this hike is great diversity. Each body of water is unique, and along the rim of each of these fascinating habitats—Long Pine Pond, Crater Lake, and Hemlock Pond—lies another world teeming with life. Salamanders, frogs, insects, and aquatic plants are only a few of the delights waiting to be discovered.

Pack a magnifying glass and look carefully when arriving at each pond. You may find snails clinging to the rushes and reeds. Or at Hemlock Pond, surrounded by a canopy of majestic hemlocks, you may catch sight of a beaver at work. There may even be a few deer nearby. Most of the hike follows the Appalachian Trail, and backpackers may camp 1 mile north of Crater Lake off the white-blazed trail. Sturdy shoes will help protect against the many rocks encountered on the narrow path. An experimental weather station is set up in front of the parking lot, and a hand water pump (perfect for warming up muscles and filling canteens) can be found off to the right."

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area: Three Mountain Ponds Trail Reviews

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6/21/2006
This was a fun trip, but when the trail guide says to bring sturdy boots, they really mean it. The majority of the trip is on the Apalachian trail and this section of it is covered with rocks, some sharp, some large, and some you could swear someone put in your way to make life more difficult. Rarely will you take two step in a straight line without having to adjust your footing around a rock. The other issue to consider is pets. If you like to hike with your dog(s) like we do, the steep section described at the 1.5 mile mark is quite harsh on dogs, the clib is really steep and narrow and I worried about my 100lb dog's footing, and I had to help him in a couple of spots. Coming back it is even harder. Also be aware of the heavy tick and fly population, which are annoying to both humans and pets. Otherwise it is a enjoyable hike, and if you choose to take it during the week, it also quite deserted and you are likely to find good swimming holes around Crater lake, which you should have all to yourself. If you feel that walking back over all those rocks is a bit to much, you can take the return trip along the unpaved road leading from Crater Lake back to the parking area. There are some stunning views along that route, and it is a lot easier on tiered feet, tiered pets, or tiered children
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Trail Information

Layton
Nearby City
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
5
Distance
350 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
Day Hike or overnight backpack
Duration
Dawn to dusk
Season
Camping
Additional Use
Kittatinny Point Visitor Center
Local Contacts