Vistas, rhododendron, PINK rocks, and scrambles. There is never a dull moment along the circuit around Surprise Lake. The hiking trail is located within Abram S Hewitt State Park very close to the state line between New Jersey and New York.
Length: 4 mile loop
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous, 1,200 elevation gain
Parking: 538 Lakeside Road, Hewitt NJ 07421 across from the lake in designated lot past the Greenwood Lake Marina. No fees. Porta john at the trailhead.
Cliffnote Trail Directions:
+Begin on blue and white blazes
+Left at yellow blazes
+Left Yellow/Orange when you reach the lake
+Remain on yellow until it dead ends
+Turn right on the white blazed AT
+Right turn on Blue/white
Just behind the trailhead hop on the blue and white blazed trail heading uphill, n less than a mile you’ll gain over 500 feet!
In between wiping your sweat away, keep alert for the yellow trail junction marked on a rock, turn left here and continue your way up.
Climbing steeply, this trail will bring you to one stellar view point over Greenwood Lake.
On a clear day you can just see the tips of the tallest buildings all the way in NYC.
Stick around a bit and you may even be graced with a bald eagle sighting.
When you finally look down from notice the rocks, which are quite different. Some sections are pink puddingstone!
There is more to see. Carry on across the bald rocks past the dwarfed pines back into the woods. Surprise. There is the lake in the middle of the woods.
Take a left to remain on the yellow trail – accompanied with orange for some time, and keep with it until it dead ends. Pass through a rhododendron tunnel which would be magical during it’s bloom – see if you can plan accordingly.
The trail some challenging rolling hills and a bit of a rock scramble. It is filled with diverse habitats and ever-changing views. When you hit the intersection, head right on the Appalachian Trail blazed in white. Turn right to continue onto the blue and white blazed trail descending all the way back into the parking lot to complete your hike.