Heron Pond – 2.9mi / 4.7km
This lily pad covered pond, frequented by waterfowl, looks out to Half Moon Bay with a lovely backdrop of the Grand Tetons. The hike starts on the Hermitage Point Trail along the south end of the Colter Bay Marina.
It travels on a dirt road with a view of the marina, filtered by lodgepole pines, then further out Colter Bay to Jackson Lake. At the junction with the Swan Lake Trail, continue straight, entering into a lodgepole pine forest.
Note that, after the junction, a side trail used primarily by the horse concessionaires takes off to the right up to a knoll called the Jackson Lake Overlook. (The view from the overlook isn’t of the lake, rather a nice view of the tree covered mountains. It then continues on down to rejoin the Hermitage Point Trail at Heron Pond.)
Stay on the original trail, avoiding the side trail, for a shorter and more pleasant route to the pond. After the point where the two trails merge, the trail continues along the east side of the lily pad covered pond. It reaches a nice spot overlooking the pond, portions of Half Moon Bay, and out to Jackson Lake and the Tetons.
Turn around here, or continue on to Swan Lake to make it fairly level 3.1mi/km loop. For an even longer day hike, continue on to Hermitage Point that includes Swan Lake and a great vantage from the shores of Jackson Lake. (See Swan Lake and Hermitage Point for descriptions.)
Trailhead: This trail begins at the Hermitage Point Trailhead which is located at the far southern end of the parking lot for the Colter Bay Marina, near the boat launch.
Elevation Gain: 150ft / 45m – Elevation Loss: 150ft / 45m