Thursday, July 12, 2012Featured Trail: Surprise Lake
Harriman State Park Intensity Level:
2/3 Trail Statistics:
5 Miles; 600 foot elevation gain Terrain:
Open rock surface, wooded trail, rocky sections, rolling uphills/downhills
Literally full of surprises, this beautiful five-mile trail will lead you to a secluded lake right at the border of New York and New Jersey.
The first leg will get your blood pumping, climbing nearly 900 vertical feet immediately from the trailhead. You'll link up with the famous Appalachian Trail and follow it along the mountain ridge. You'll hit one rock scramble after another, requiring both hands and feet.
As you approach the lake, you'll pass under a giant rhododendron grove that towers overhead. It's amazing how much Jersey looks like Hawaii - no kidding. The lake is truly a surprise as it suddenly appears out of the trees. This is a great spot to stop for lunch and enjoy the seclusion on the boulders while dangling your feet into the water. The loop back to the car has spectacular views over Greenwood Lake, which spans state lines.
If you go on your own, you can make this either a five or nine mile loop. If you don't have a car and don't fancy getting lost in the woods, Discover Outdoors can take you there with a trained guide.
(Once back, we like to post our trail photos
online) Submitted by DO guide Kevin Cafaro.