Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond
ElevationAscent: 392' 120 m
Descent: -389' -119 m
High: 1,464' 446 m
Low: 1,208' 368 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)
Current trail conditions
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“A lovely hike around the blue waters of Crater Lake and through the ridge-top forest to Hemlock Pond.”— Kristen Arendt
Family Friendly A manageable distance with some rolling hills and beautiful lakes to explore.
At just over half a mile, the trail will intersect the Appalachian Trail, where hikers will turn right and continue on this section of the AT for about half a mile before rejoining with the Crater Lake Trail. Take a left on the Crater Lake Trail and begin a steady descent from Crater Lake northwest toward your second destination, Hemlock Pond.
At about 1.5 miles, the Crater Lake Trail will reach a junction with the Hemlock Pond Trail. Take a left to start the loop around Hemlock Pond. After a short jaunt through the lush eastern hemlock forests for which this trail was named, you'll hike along a short segment of the Blue Mountain Lake Trail (Outer Loop) which is used to complete the loop of the Hemlock Pond Trail. This section of doubletrack lasts for about a quarter mile before hikers turn right to rejoin the Hemlock Pond Trail.
Hikers will enjoy pristine blue waters and a lush, eastern hemlock forest as you relax in solitude along the Hemlock Pond Trail. If you have time, maybe even dip your toes in the pond's cool, clear waters. Along the way, the trail surface is a mixture of easily-navigable roots, small rocks, and smooth-treaded dirt.
After completing the loop around the Hemlock Pond, visitors can either return via the Crater Lake Trail, taking a left at the junction with the AT to stay on the northern portion of the Crater Lake Trail to complete the loop of the lake before returning to the trailhead. There is also a great picnic area located here so pack some snacks or a lunch to enjoy after you finish your hike.
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Land Manager: NPS - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area