The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is the crown jewel of NJ hiking. Whenever anyone asks me what it’s like to explore the backwoods of NJ, I send them photos from my hikes on Mt. Tammany and the Dunnfield Creek Natural Area. When Adam (ThatOutdoorGuy) messaged me on twitter to see if I would take him on a hike during his family’s Appalachian Mountain Road Trip, I knew exactly where I wanted to take him.Hike 25 stats:
Date: July 10, 2016
Weather: 75°F, sunny
Trail Route: Appalachian Trail to Dunnfield Creek Trail (out and back)
Distance: 6.15 miles
Total Ascent: 802′
Highest Elevation: 967′
Highlights: Green Timber Rattlesnake, Dunnfield Creek Waterfalls, Good CompanyAfter a series of DMs, texts, and an early morning phone call – I spotted Adam’s Subaru pulling up near the Kittatinny Point Visitor Center. We exchanged hellos, a tote bag and some t-shirts and started walking along The Appalachian Trail – which follows the road under Rt. 80 towards the Dunnfield Creek Natural Area. After a half mile or so on the AT we hit the green blazed Dunnfield Creek Trail.The trail tracks north along the creek, passing a series small waterfalls and mature forest. About a mile into the woods I stepped over a fallen tree and heard Adam yell: “Keep walking Kev!” Not knowing what the issue was I turned around to see him pointing to a large rattlesnake a few feet from where I was standing. We took a few minutes to check out the Green Timber Rattlesnake that was calmly curled up behind the log. Neither of us had ever seen a Timber that color before – a chat with the Rangers after our hike and some Google searching confirmed that there is actually such a thing.We pressed on, warning southbound hikers of the snake we had just passed, hoping that no one would bother the truly beautiful creature.About three miles into the hike we decided to turn back towards the gap – we got back in our vehicles and headed up Old Mine Road so we could check out Buttermilk Falls – a popular area in the park that I had actually never been before. The route was quite fun in my Jeep Patriot and Adam’s Subaru Forester – the two guys in the Nissan Altima in front of me were not enjoying the rutted out dirt road as much as we were.The falls are right next to the road so the area was pretty crowded, but the beauty of the 90′ waterfall was worth it!
It was truly a pleasure to meet and hike with Adam – not only to take a break from my normal backcountry solitude, but to meet someone that I’ve been friends through social channels for the last three years or so. I look forward to traveling down to Tennessee someday soon so he can show the piece of magnificent Appalachia that he and his family call home.