Mount Minsi Hike The Delaware Water gap
Mileage: About 5 miles Directions
Hike Time:about 3.5 hrs with 3 kids (by myself 2 hrs) Facebook
Significance: Appalachian Trail, views Delaware Water Gap
Here is some of what you need to know: This is where the Appalachian Trail (AT) enters Pennsylvania from New Jersey. Their are two trails to get to the top, one is the utility trail (fire trail), the other is the AT. The utility is less rocky but you miss out on some views and other nature scenes. You are better off picking up the AT near the bottom because it is easy to miss at the top.
1. Scroll the mouse over the altitude line to see where it lines up on the map
2. Click on the flags for more information
3. Click on the pictures to make them large
The Fire Trail is the starting point and is basically a gravel access road and runs with the AT briefly. At about 0.5 miles you have a clear choice, stay on the fire road or make a left onto the AT (white blazes). The AT is more scenic, and this entrance is the easiest to find. We did a Loop, but for the sake of simplicity I will pretend we went up the AT from this point.
From here the AT is mostly rocky and uphill. The elevation will rise about 900 ft over 2 miles. Let the rocks, trees, and views distract the you from the uphill battle against gravity. A little over a mile into the hike you will come across a small Oasis. It is a great place to take a break and cool off.
Shortly after the Oasis you come to the first big vista and your best chance for a panoramic pic of Mt Tammany. Its a view from a cool open rocky area large enough for a small crowd. The next half mile has about 400 ft rise in elevation before you get a break.
As I said earlier the upper entrance to the AT is easy to walk past. I would have missed it the first time had it not been for a couple of hikers popping out right in from of me.
This picture is from the fire trail, the 2 trails run together for a short time on your way to the top.
Their are 2 big vistas at the top. The first is of Mount Tammany on the NJ side. Unfortunately their are too many trees for a panoramic view. The last vista is about 0.3 miles further up the trail. It is a brief and rocky hike but worth it. You will know when you are almost their when you pass the remains of an old radio tower.
In the area
Take some time to explore the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Their are big hikes like Mount Tammany and Mount Minsi, swim at the River Beeches, visit the Buckhorn fire tower, see Pennsylvania’s tallest waterfall Raymondskill falls, and New Jersey’s tallest waterfall Buttermilk falls. Do not forget Dingman’s Falls. Their is a ton to do and you will love it.