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Rattlesnake Swamp - AT Loop

Intermediate
 3.8 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Although you probably won't see any rattlesnakes, you'll enjoy this scenic hike through the woods.


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Map Key

4.8

Miles

7.7

KM

Loop

1,566' 477 m

High

1,190' 363 m

Low

450' 137 m

Up

452' 138 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

24%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly A great loop option with a lake, swamp, and fire tower to explore.

Overview

This scenic loop offers a little bit of everything including the scenic shores of Catfish Pond, the interesting wetlands of Rattlesnake Swamp, and the great views along Kittatinny Ridge on the Appalachian Trail.

Need to Know

Restrooms are located at the Mohican Outdoor Center.

Description

Starting at the Rattlesnake Swamp Trail Parking Area, head north along Camp Mohican Road for a few hundred meters before reaching the trailhead. Continue northeast along the trail, veering left at the junction with the Rattlesnake Swamp/AT Connector.

Follow the gently graded trail through mixed hardwood forest to the edge of Catfish Pond. Keep your eyes peeled for beavers at this spot, as their handiwork can be spotted throughout the pond. Continue along the trail, crossing Yards Creek and navigating the swamp from which the trail gets its name.

Once the swamp has been conquered, enjoy a peaceful, flat trail through red maple, white oak, and the occasional hemlock before climbing steeply to the trail's junction with the Appalachian Trail (AT).

The climb to reach Kittatinny Ridge will be the most strenuous part of the hike, and once you turn right onto the AT, you'll be rewarded with several scenic viewpoints including the Catfish Fire Tower which is a popular spot to stop and enjoy a picnic. From the fire tower, the rest of your way back is mostly downhill so you can enjoy the rest of the scenery without working too hard.

At about 4 miles, keep an eye open for the Rattlesnake Swamp/AT Connector which will branch to the right from the AT. Head west along the connector on a slightly steeper downhill section to reach the Rattlesnake Swamp Trail, at which point head south to return to your car and complete your hike.

Flora & Fauna

Red maple, white oak, and the occasional hemlock are present along this trail. Look for beavers at Catfish Pond.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kristen Arendt

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#4023

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#37

in New Jersey

#4,023

Overall
60 Views Last Month
2,232 Since Jul 14, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

lower part of the rattlesnake swamp trail
Feb 19, 2018 near Hardwick, NJ
Uphill towards the AT.
Feb 19, 2018 near Hardwick, NJ
SE View from Catfish Fire Tower - 1565 ft. with permission from Jean Drescher
Jul 14, 2016 near Hardwick, NJ
At the start of the hike
Feb 19, 2018 near Hardwick, NJ
Catfish Pond in the fall. with permission from Jean Drescher
Jun 24, 2016 near Hardwick, NJ
Amazing view from scenic point in the loop!
Aug 26, 2016 near Hardwick, NJ

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Check-Ins

Jul 31, 2019
Mike Marsh
Jan 8, 2019
Meagan Schweiger
Apr 28, 2018
Jaye Smalley
Feb 19, 2018
Mark Butje
I hiked this trail on a beautiful winter day and had a great time. I walked it in opposite direction. 5.4mi — 3h 00m
Oct 7, 2017
Eugene Ferguson
Great hike 5.4mi — 3h 48m
Apr 29, 2017
Standingzulu 9
5mi
Dec 4, 2016
Alayna Bereziuk
Aug 20, 2016
Gustavo Santos
5mi — 2h 45m