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blueBlack Sunfish Pond via Mt. Tammany Fire Road

  4.4 ( 14 ) Favorite

Trail

10.9 mile 17.5 kilometer loop
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,479' 451 m
Descent: -1,476' -450 m
High: 1,548' 472 m
Low: 323' 99 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Charles Behnken

A steep climb to the top of Kittatinny Ridge then along the Mt. Tammany Fire Road to Sunfish Pond.

Charles Behnken

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Waterfall · Wildlife

Overview

This is a challenging hike in a beautiful area of the Delaware Water Gap Recreation area. The hike climbs quickly and steeply to the ridge after traversing the pretty Dunnfield Creek Hollow, a hemlock filled ravine with many waterfalls. The trail is fairly flat or descending once the ridge is reached, and there are views to the southeast of the hills and valleys of NJ. Sunfish Pond is a beautiful destination and break spot before returning via the Appalachian Trail.

Need to Know

This area is very popular and the parking lot fills up quickly (particularly on weekends). There is overflow parking by the visitor center on the other side of I-80.

Description

From the parking lot, take the AT (White)/ Dunnfield Creek Trail (Green) northwest into the ravine, hiking through a Hemlock forest alongside Dunnfield Creek and several small waterfalls. This section is really beautiful anytime of the year. After just under a half mile, you'll meet the Blue Dot Trail which veers to the right, while the AT heads uphill to the left. Follow the Blue Dot Trail to the right.

After you cross the bridge (notice falls on the left), the Blue Trail and Dunnfield Creek Trail split. Take the Blue Dot Trail to the right uphill. This is about a 1300 foot climb up to the ridge over about 1.2 miles. There are a few pretty steep sections here.

At the top of the ridge, the Blue Dot Trail heads to the right to the Mt. Tammany Overlook of the Delaware Water Gap. Directly in front is an view to the southeast. To the left is the unblazed Mt. Tammany Fire Road. Take the Mt. Tammany Fire Road to the left. This well-defined trail goes along the ridge and affords nice views through the trees. You'll even pass the site of a helipad. After about three miles, you need to find the Turquoise Trail on the left. If you miss it, you'll come to Yard Creek Reservoir property and will need to backtrack.

Take the Turquoise Trail for about a mile and a half. It dips into a valley and goes back uphill. At one point, it joins the Sunfish Pond Fire Road. Continue on the Turquoise Trail, which will eventually come to a rock outcrop at the end of Sunfish Pond; this makes for a really good lunch spot. Continue on the Turquoise Trail to the AT (white blazes).

Turn left onto the AT and head south alongside Sunfish Pond. This is a quite rocky section of trail that goes right along the edge of the pond. Optionally go back from lunch spot to the Sunfish Pond Fire Road and take it to the south end of the pond where it joins the AT.

Take the AT about five miles back to the parking lot. You'll pass a large beaver pond, the AT camping area, and the Douglass Trail (blue blaze), Fairview Trail (yellow blaze) and the Holly Springs Trail (red blaze).

Flora & Fauna

Porcupine have been seen along this trail. Deer, bear and beaver are in this forest, and sometimes you see eagles and hawks along the ridge or at Sunfish Pond

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Dogs Allowed, History & Background

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Contacts

Land Manager: NJ State Parks

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Check-Ins

Jun 1, 2019
Jordan Beffert
5h 45m
Apr 27, 2019
John Lambdin
Apr 13, 2019
Allison Fuhrman
Dead at the end. Great hike — 4h 54m
Apr 10, 2019
Kyle Schmitt
Challenging climb to the top of Mt. Tammany, then a nice scenic hike to Sunfish Pond
Feb 10, 2019
Lou Poulas
With hiking group, alternative route 12.3mi — 7h 00m
Oct 26, 2018
Christopher Klingaman
Took the red Dot Trail to start, was a steep climb to start. Had lunch at Sunfish Pond. Finished by walking along the Dunnfield Creek Trail for a bit. 12mi
Aug 12, 2018
Dan Patterson
11mi
Jul 9, 2018
Alan Guzik
Missed the turnoff for the fire road and had to backtrack 1/2 mile. Saw 2 bears had to scare one off the trail 11.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 14 votes

#591

Overall
  4.4 from 14 votes
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#591

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