Jefferson Lake

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Jefferson Lake is located within the Allamuchy Mountain Park. It is a small 50 acre lake with a few private homes on the southern shore. The northern shore is home to the Jefferson Lake Day Camp which operates during the summer months. There is a public boat launch which makes kayak access to this small lake easy. Fishing is good in the lake. There is an island on the southern side of the lake where green herons hunt the shallow shore line for a meal. Jefferson Lake is great place for beginner paddlers to plan there first trip and get used to being on the water as only electric motors are allowed on the lake.


This was my first trip to Jefferson Lake which is a 50 acre lake and part of the Allamuchy Mountain State Park system. It is also home to Jefferson Lake Day Camp. The day I was there was a big send off and awards ceremony for all the campers which was a hoot to listen to while I paddled. There were several fishermen on the water. It’s a small lake with many coves and an island where I saw and captured some video of the elusive Green Heron which was a highlight of the paddle for me. As I was approaching the island a snapping turtle about two and a half feet in diameter was surfacing. It was big and prehistoric looking as it scrambled back under the water. I also explored an arm of the lake that goes under a very low bridge. All and all it was a great experience.


Headed out on Jefferson Lake for an adventure that I have been thinking about since I first paddled the lake several weeks ago. There is an outgoing stream that on the map looks like it feeds into the Musconetcong River which sits below the lake. Adventure set!
Upon paddling to the outgoing stream I came upon a hawk just as it flew off with a snake in its grip…obviously off to enjoy its meal in the woods and away from noisy paddlers. Was very disappointed upon approach of the stream to find it dammed up and just a trickle flowing down toward the mighty Musky! This adventure was done!