It was perfect hiking weather on a mid-October afternoon to take a hike on the Blue Mountain Lakes and Hemlock Pond trails in New Jersey. The area is part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
This section was going to be developed before the federal government acquired the land. You can still see evidence of this activity in the form of many old roads that criss-cross the area. Many of those access roads have been converted to trails.
Starting at the Blue Mountain Lakes parking area, I hiked up to Hemlock Pond, creating a five-mile plus loop hike. Be mindful that there are many old road intersections here, so watch for the painted blazes, particularly at intersections, to avoid getting off track.
Additional Information can be found here:
Map of Blue Mountain Lakes Trail.
Fall colors contrast nicely against a blue sky.
A slab of bedrock creates a natural extension to get close to the water at Hemlock Pond.
Cloud reflections at Hemlock Pond.
Sunlight filters through some hemlock trees on the Blue Mountain Lakes trail.
Pine cones and needle duff under a large white pine make a beautiful forest floor.
There is an old saying that claims more brown bands on a woolly bear caterpillar indicate a milder winter and an abundance of black predicting a colder one. According to this little fellow, It looks like we are going to have a mild winter. Next year, this caterpillar will become an isabella tiger moth.
Reflections on Lower Blue Mountain Lake.
A panoramic shot of reflections on the still water provides tranquility at Lower Blue Mountain Lake.
Fall colors and great weather make for an unforgettable hike. (Lower Blue Mountain Lake)
The trail following near the edge of the lake makes this a popular fishing area. This is almost back to the parking area.