Lake John is located in State Game Lands 66 and is about 75 acres in size. It is unique in that you can only hike to it, and it is completely untouched and undeveloped. It is rare to find a lake of this size in Pennsylvania without houses, docks, and motorboats. This is one of the most scenic lakes in the Endless Mountains.
I wanted to take a hike last weekend, but wasn’t sure where to go. The summer heat often evaporates my desire to hike. Just then, my friend Rick called and asked if we could go on a hike with his two kids. I said sure. I decided to invite my niece and nephew, but neither ended up going. Rick invited his neighbor Andy, who brought his family.
I decided to take them to Lake John. Although it was a long drive, the trail is fairly easy. Lake John is hike number 30 in Hiking the Endless Mountains.
It was a warm, sunny day as we began the hike on a gated, grassy forest road. The terrain was hilly as it passed meadows, deep hardwoods, and bogs. The trail climbed a larger hill, where a trail to the left led down to the lake. We snacked on tart blueberries along the trail. Soon we reached the outlet of the lake.
I think the group was growing tired of the hike, but once they saw the lake, they all lit up and were impressed by the view.
We walked down to the shore. I was worried the water would be stagnant from the hot, dry weather. But it was clear and refreshingly cool. The rocks were slippery and yellow blossoms were about to bloom on the water lilies nearby. The kids swam as the adults ate lunch. Two large birds circled in the distance; they appeared to be eagles. Everyone enjoyed the bright sunshine and the great scenery. We had the lake all to ourselves.
We began to get ready to leave and I started the climb away from the lake. I turned around to see a deer browsing on a distant island and poking its head down to the water for a drink. It was a great wildlife sighting in an impressive setting. It reminded me of the National Geographic specials; I half expected an alligator to rise up, snag the deer, and pull it down into the water.
We began the hike back, snacking on more blueberries. We soon had another “wildlife” encounter- two other hikers heading down to the lake. I have never seen other hikers on this trail.
We reached the cars, tired but fulfilled. Everyone enjoyed the hike and appreciated the departure from normal routines to see this beautiful, hidden place.
Pictures from my April, 2009 hike.