Giving indeed! This 90-acre rectangular pond, squeezed between the Delaware River and Canal, is an excellent place to walk, fish, kayak and even island hop! Once a quarry, the submerged terrain, with its crops of trees, has created a thriving habitat for wildlife. A few small meadows dotted with picnic benches and wildflowers scallop the water’s edge.
Circling the perimeter takes less than an hour heading first along a dirt access road, then connecting along footpaths past ruins and wildflower meadows to the canal towpath and then following Jugtown Hill Road to the right before diving onto the first spur trail through the woods that flank the pond’s Northern end, leading you back to the parking lot.
Another sneaky footpath starts at the bottom of the boat launch and follows a skinny ridge out into the pond until you’re standing amidst the islands. Had we brought our water shoes, we could have waded across a shallow, narrow channel to continue the path. Beware, poison ivy is just barely avoidable here.
Swimming is not permitted, but you can island hop and explore the many inlets in a kayak. A Google search turns up several local rental companies and during summer Sundays, park rangers offer guided tours.
The pond received its name from Ken Lewis, former superintendent of Delaware Canal State Park responsible for opening the pond in 2003; as he watched the quarry fill with water around the many trees clinging to the quarry basin, he thought of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree and the name was born. It truly is a gracious pond, supplying fish with a complex water world and attracting all sorts of wildlife from eagles to turtles and foxes.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, naturally.