Sunday, February 5, 2012

Delaware Water Gap NRA - Blue Mountain Lakes


ABOUT THE PARK:  Blue Mountain Lakes - National Park Service

DIRECTIONS:
  • Note that the official parking lot at 41.098289,-74.93503 is not accessible at this time due to the closure of Blue Mountain Lakes Road (shown at Flatbrookville-Stillwater Road on Google Maps).  Click here for information.
  • Alternatively, although there is no vehicle access to Blue Mountain Lakes from the Stillwater, NJ side, it is possible to park a few cars where Fairview Lake Road dead ends and walk up to Blue Mountain Lakes, about 2 miles away.
GPS Coordinates 41.087842, -74.909042

View Larger Map
In this picture, taken from the other side of the gated part of Fairview Lakes Road, Fairview Lakes Road comes in from the right and ends.  Directly across (to the right driving in) is a clearing that is posted "No Trespassing/No Parking"
Sign on the gate - be sure not to park in front of the gate.  Walk beyond this gate and up the road to start the hike.

TRAIL MAP:
Southern Kittatinny Trails Map 121 - NY/NJ Trail Conference

HIKE DISTANCES:
Loop to Buttermilk Falls Trail - 11.25 miles
Loop to Hemlock Pond and Crater Lake - 8.75 miles

APPALACHIAN TRAIL SECTION HIKING:
TrailHeadFinder.com - AT section miles 1295.5 to 1298.4

THE HIKE:
Ascending the fire road which is the gated continuation of Fairview Lake Road.
A lot of storm damage along this old road.
Looking back at the gate at the top of the incline.
Paved Blue Mountain Lakes Road crosses over Van Campens Brook shortly before the parking lot.
Blue Mountain Lake
Blue Mountain Lake
Indian Rocks
View to the west from Indian Rocks
A Blue Mountain Lakes woods road.
Hemlock Pond
Hemlock Pond
Turn around for view to the west while ascending the blue-blazed Buttermilk Falls trail.
Appalachian Trail
Crater Lake
Nice views to the east while descending the old, mostly paved, fire road.

HIKE SUMMARY:
[  0.00]  Continue beyond the barrier up the fire road
[  0.40]  At the top of the ascent, continue beyond a second barrier; keep left at the fork on the paved road when the right fork goes to Crater Lake; Appalachian Trail crosses over
[  0.50]  Keep straight on paved road when road to right goes to Camp Ken-Etiwa-Pec
[  0.60]  Woods road on left
[  0.65]  Woods road on left
[  1.15]  Short road on right
[  1.40]  Woods road on left with kiosk to Pool Colony; road starts to descend
[  1.55]  Continue beyond gate (closed in winter), Van Campens Brook flows under road
[  1.60]  Woods road on left (not on map)
[  1.70]  Creek flows under road, many old stone walls in woods
[  1.85]  Woods road on right (can be taken to access Blue Mountain Lakes)
[  1.90]  Blue Mountain Lakes parking lot on right, turn through lot to trail; at fork in trail keep left where woods road from mile 1.85 comes in from the right; continue to Blue Mountain Lake and follow trail around lake
[  3.70]  On the other side of the lake, watch for an old power cut, turn right and ascend up power cut all the way to the top crossing over 2 woods roads
[  4.20]  At the top of the power cut veer right and watch for view on left; continue on woods road
[  4.80]  Indian Rocks on left, continue on woods road
[  5.00]  Veer left at fork to Hemlock Pond
[  5.10]  Woods road on left
[  5.60]  Side trail on left (doesn't go anywhere just a trashy littered area)
[  5.95]  At intersection keep left, after a few steps veer right at fork to Hemlock Pond
[  6.05]  Continue left at end of Hemlock Pond to woods road and turn right
[  6.10]  Keep straight at intersection (or turn right to Crater Lake to shorten loop coming out at 8.60 mile point below)
[  6.35]  Swamp on right then rock hop over creek
[  7.15]  Turn right on blue-blazed trail at "Woods Trail" sign
[  7.55]  Turn around for view west nearing top of ascent
[  7.65]  Turn right on white-blazed Appalachian Trail
[  8.60]  Appalachian Trail veers left when orange-blazed trail goes right to Hemlock Pond
[  8.65]  Short trail to left for view of Crater Lake; retrace
[  8.75]  Short trail to left for view of Crater Lake; retrace
[  9.00]  Veer right on AT as woods road comes in from the  left
[  9.10]  Short trail to left for view of Crater Lake; retrace
[  9.15]  AT leaves woods road to the right over rock slab with views to west
[  9.20]  AT crosses woods road
[  9.30]  AT joins orange-blazed woods road to the right briefly then leaves to the left
[10.80]  AT trail register on right, veer left to gravel road when AT turns right
[10.85]  Come out at intersection with Blue Mountain Lakes Road, turn left beyond gate to descend
[11.25]  Back at car

3 comments:

  1. D,
    Your reports lot better than any one, keep up the good work and enjoy what you been doing.
    I have s suggestion, how about adding degree of difficulty as part of your report?
    Thanks

    Raj

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Raj! I don't put degree of difficulty because that is subjective. What I might consider easy others probably would not. I try to mention where something is particularly challenging but the pictures should give an idea of the terrain - that is why I put them there :).

      Daniela

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  2. A nice hike is from Blue Mountain Lake Parking lot, taking the LEFT trail up the hill (the trail on the West side of BML), a LEFT instead of going straight (still on the assent) and then a RIGHT at the top of the assent (this was the site of the last standing building before it was demolished). Follow this trail toward Hemlock Pond, passing Indian Rocks (see if you can find the rock shelters). At the dam at Hemlock Pond, follow the trail along the base of the dam and continue straight toward the long decent to the beaver swamp and the Woods Road Trail to the intersection of the Buttermilk Falls Trail. Continue on the Woods Road Trail to Bird Mountain, then at the intersection with the AT, reverse direction so you are going south toward Crater Lake, passing Rattlesnake Mountain. Stay on the AT as you are approaching Crater Lake, and see if you can find the Rock Shelter on the West Shore of Crater Lake. Pick up the trail for Buttermilk Falls and proceed down the hill until it intersects with a cross trail that if taken to the Left will lead you back to the Blue Mountain Lake parking lot. No idea of the distance, but pack a lunch and plenty of water for a day long hike. THE NY/NJ TRAIL CONFERENCE MAPS of this area are excellent.

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