The park contains almost 200 lakes and ponds, ranging in size from about 35 acres down to less than one-tenth of an acre. The majority of these lakes and ponds are remnants of residences and farms that existed before the designation of the park. Most of these small waterbodies used to be wetlands or springs which were excavated and dammed to create open water for watering livestock, recreational activities or aesthetics.
Lakes and ponds differ from wetlands in that they don't usually contain much vegetation, and consequently don't support the same diversity of wildlife. Typical residents of the recreation area's lakes and ponds are warm water fish largemouth bass and sunfish, green and pickerel frogs, painted turtles, and dragonflies, and damselflies.
Many of the recreation area's ponds are favorite fishing spots for both park visitors and local residents. These waterbodies are also important foraging areas for water birds such as great blue herons, mallards, black ducks, and kingfishers. Some of the larger lakes serve as rest stops for migratory waterfowl. In addition to the more common ducks and geese, it is possible to spot some of the less common species such as pied-billed grebe and even the occasional loon.
Pink lady's slipper (cypripedium acaule) or moccasin flower, a member of the orchid family, can also be found around Hidden Lake, along with Jack-in-the-pulpit. Please remember that all wildflowers within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area are protected by federal law and may not be picked or dug up for transplanting.
For more information on how Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area monitors places like Hidden Lake for clean water click here .