Sunday, October 19, 2014

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, NJ - Walpack

Walpack Area Trails - National Park Service
Walpack Center and Van Campen Inn - National Park Service
Historic Walpack Center - National Park Service
Guide to Military Trail - National Park Service (This is great to print out and take along.)

GPS Coordinates 41.157230, -74.878154

View Larger Map
I parked in the pull-out near the bridge just outside of Walpack Center on Main Street.  You can also park next to the post office at the corner of Main and 615.

Northern Kittatinny Trails Map 122 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, NJ - Walpack at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.8 miles

Walking from the car through Walpack Center on Main Street.
At the post office, cross Route 615 to the Military Road traihead.
Starting up Military Road.
Watch for a red blaze on the right and turn right on the Walpack Ridge Trail.
A footbridge ...
... over a creek.
When the trail reaches a gravel road, turn left and head straight for the pond.
A Great Blue Heron behind the snag - did not know he was there until I uploaded the picture.
A red-tailed hawk, although he bends in really well.  Had I not seen him land there, I would have never known.
A pair of swans.
From the pond, the red-blazed trail continues as a woods road for a short distance,
before it leaves the woods road as a path.
This section is particularly scenic.
The trail follows high above a pond.
On the other side is the ridge where we just came from on the other part of the sort of horseshoe-shaped Walpack Ridge Trail.
Back on Military Road descending down to ...
Old Mine Road
Left on Old Mine Road to ...
Van Campen Inn.  Van Campen Day is the third Sunday in October, which happened to be this particular day, so people were busy setting up and I couldn't get any good pictures.
A short distance further on Old Mine Road and a farm road (dashed line on the map) on the right leads to ...
the Delaware River.
It was windy and quite chilly but that did not stop her.  Must get those paws wet.
We then followed along the bank of the river ...
... until we hit this obstacle, which presented no problem for Miss Wet Paws but it did for me.
Had to break out the plastic boot covers to make it through the blow down - it was all swampy with no dry way to get by.
After the blow down, there is a grassy area which most likely is not passable in the summer.
After following a herd path for a short distance, found what resembles a woods road...
... and kept heading towards the corn field where we met up with another farm road (dashed line on the map).
Followed this along the corn field all the way to ...
Old Mine Road
Looking back at the farm road down to the Delaware River with Pennsylvania on the other side.
A right on Mine Road ...
... to Military Road.  We caught up to the lady up ahead who said she was going to be leading a Van Campen Day hike later in the day and she was kind enough to point out where the various historical items in the brochure were along with providing lots of historical background.  It was like having a private tour - so awesome!
She pointed out the where the ruins are - I would have never gone far enough to find them had she not told me.
Ruins which may be the Fort Johns blockhouse from  the 1700's.
Leaving the ruins, directly across Military Road, a pair of gravestones.
These gravestones were found along the Delaware River near Van Campen Inn.  The location of the actual graves is unknown but the stones were placed here since the Hulls owned this land at one time.
This is signpost 4 although the number is missing.  It's on the left and a path leads to...
... a cemetery of possibly slaves and later free citizens of African descent.  The upright stones mark the graves, one placed at the head and another at the feet.  As the lady explained to me, those closer together would be graves of children, the two stones farther apart would be adults.
The kind lady who provided all of the history.  She was placing flags so the group she would be bringing up could see the graves better.
Back on Military Road and of course, it's break time.
A little bit better shot of a hawk.
Along this stretch some people coming towards us with their dog stated their dog had just treed a small bear.  Lovely.  Would rather it had been a large bear because I did not want momma bear to think we treed that baby bear because we don't do such things.  Never did see the bear, though.
The Kittatinny Mountains in the distance, a section where we have hike every inch of the Appalachian Trail that runs along the ridge.
Coming back down to Walpack Center.
Odd that a Walpack Ridge Trail sign would be here since this is not that trail.
Walpack Center Post Office (where there is also parking along the right side)
Main Street back to the car.

[  0.00]  Continue on Main Street through Walpack Center
[  0.15]  Cross Route 615 to Military Road trailhead
[  0.35]  Right on the red-blazed Walpack Ridge Trail
[  1.15]  Trail turns left at creek and descends before crossing creek on foot bridge
[  1.80]  Left on gravel road; straight at intersection along pond to end; retrace
[  2.00]  Right on gravel road; continue beyond gate
[  2.20]  Leave road on footpath on the left
[  3.25]  Right on Military Road
[  3.70]  Left on Old Mine Road
[  3.90]  Van Campen Inn
[  4.15]  Right on farm road
[  4.50]  Right along bank of Delaware River
[  4.70]  Follow herd path to corn field then follow along corn field to farm road
[  5.15]  Right on Old Mind Road
[  5.35]  Left on Military Road
[  5.40]  Fort Johns ruin on right, Hull gravestones on left
[  5.65]  Left at post (missing #4) to cemetery; retrace
[  5.80]  Left on Military Road
[  6.10]  Straight on Military Road when red goes left
[  6.40]  Straight on Military Road when red goes left
[  6.60]  Cross Route 615
[  6.80]  Back at car


  1. LOVE ur hikes!!! You just keep adding to my list of awesome places I wanna hike w my German Shep! :)

    1. Thank you! I just hope I can keep finding places I have never been to before, then you'll have even more :)


  2. I've been to Walpack Several times on that Walpack Ridge Trail. I stopped going alone because I ran into a bear up there. Since you go alone with your dog aren't you concerned about running into bear? It's a lovely area though. Have you ever gone to Buttermilk Falls up there? Thanks for sharing and love your dog!

    1. Thanks, Joanne. I did not see a bear but there was plenty of bear scat around. We have run into bears on other occasions but I just try to be aware of my surroundings and act appropriately when I do see one, always remembering we are visitors in their home and play by their rules. That has worked fine so far. Shawnee does not react to wildlife at all on the trails so I am not worried that she is going to start trouble with a bear. I worry more about bear encounters near camping/picnic areas because you never know if people are storing their food properly resulting in bears in those areas are becoming conditioned to humans.

      Yes, I have been to Buttermilk Falls a few times but only went up those steps once. Shawnee is terrified of steps and we are both terrified of heights and well, thank goodness there were no witnesses that time because it was not pretty. We did eventually make it to the top but once is enough! Here is how I incorporated Buttermilk Falls into a hike while avoiding those steps last spring: