Sunday, April 18, 2010
Delaware Water Gap, NJ (Copper Mines, AT, Catfish Mountain, Rattlesnake Swamp, Catfish Pond)
ABOUT THE PARK: National Park Service
TRAIL MAP: NY/NJ Trail Conference Kittatinny Trails Map #121
I-80 to New Jersey exit 1, north on Old Mine Road for 7.5 miles, parking on left.
NEW JERSEY 1K CLUB PEAKS: Catfish Mountain
Great hike at Delaware Water Gap NRA. Very few people there so lots of solitude, waterfalls, views, swamps and ponds. The hike is 11.6 miles.
From the parking lot cross Old Mine Road to the trailhead. The red-blazed Copper Mines Trail goes straight. To the left is an unmarked trail that goes along waterfalls to a mine. Out and back is only .25 miles so we did that first.
Take the red-blazed Copper Mine Trail until you reach the white-blazed Appalachian Trail at about 2.5 miles. This trail is very scenic and even though it is a steep uphill, you barely notice there is so much to look at.
When you reach the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, turn left, go over a bridge then cross a gravel road and continue on. This stretch seems really boring after the waterfalls but once the views start, they keep getting better.
At 5.3 miles you reach the Catfish Fire Tower which is the summit of Catfish Mountain if you are peakbagging. You can go up the fire tower for better views.
Continue on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail 1/2 mile then turn left on an unmarked gravel road. After about 1/4 of a mile, turn left on the orange-blazed Rattlesnake Swamp trail at 6 miles.
You'll reach Catfish Pond at about 7.9 miles.
At 8.2 miles, leave the orange trail turning right on an unmarked trail. This trail turns into a gravel road which goes through the AMC Mohican Outdoor Center. Continue on the gravel road until you meet up with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail at 9 miles. Turn right and cross back over the bridge you crossed earlier. In just a few feet turn right on the red-blazed Copper Mine Trail and follow that back to the parking lot. From the far side of the parking lot, you can get a nice view of the Delaware River.
Only one plastic bottle and one napkin which we packed out.