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Lake Hopatcong

Trip Planner USA  /  New Jersey  /  Lake Hopatcong
(4.6/5 based on 200+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, golf
Lake Hopatcong is the largest freshwater body in New Jersey, United States, about 4 square miles (10 km²) in area. Located 30 miles from the Delaware River and 40 miles from New York City, the lake forms part of the border between Sussex and Morris counties in the state's northern highlands region. Lake Hopatcong was produced by damming and flooding of two ponds, known as the Great Pond and Little Pond, and the Musconetcong River, its natural outlet. Historically known as a resort lake for vacationing New Yorkers, it is now a mostly suburban residential lake.NameThe exact origin of the name Hopatcong is unknown, though it is most commonly attributed to the Lenape Indian word for "stone water," or "stone over water". Some linguists believe "Hopatcong" to be a derivative of the Lenape word hapakonoesson, meaning "pipe stone". A definition perhaps more widely known is "honey waters of many coves", invented at the beginning of the 20th century to stimulate tourism.Before the late 1700s, Lake Hopatcong was known by several names, including Great Pond and Little Pond (before flooding into a single lake), Sandhay Sea (circa 1648), Brookland Pond (mid-1700s), and Musconetcong Pond (1769).Lake formationBefore the last ice age, the waters of the prehistoric Hopatcong basin fed into the Raritan River. The glacier that shaped much of the New Jersey Highlands formed a long terminal moraine that forced water from the basin into the Musconetcong River. The glacier left behind two ponds, nearly two miles apart.
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