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Sunfish Pond via Mt. Tammany Fire Road

Difficult
 4.4 (17) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

10.9

Miles

17.5

KM

Loop

1,548' 472 m

High

323' 99 m

Low

1,479' 451 m

Up

1,476' 450 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

35%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Unknown

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

Contacts

Land Manager: NJ State Parks

Shared By:

Charles Behnken

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 17 votes

#605

Overall
  4.4 from 17 votes
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1 Star
6%
Recommended Route Rankings

#5

in New Jersey

#605

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Photos

The Tammany Loop is extremely popular for the excellent views of the Delaware Water Gap and rightfully so, but there is natural beauty to be found throughout as well.
Apr 8, 2019 near Belvidere, NJ
You'll pass by this scenic waterfall on the way to the summit of Mt. Tam.
Aug 20, 2016 near Strouds…, PA
View to southeast from top of Blue Blaze (Blue Dot) Trail
Nov 8, 2017 near Belvidere, NJ
Sunfish Pond from Turquoise Trail lunch spot
Nov 8, 2017 near Hardwick, NJ
waterfall
Jul 12, 2019 near Belvidere, NJ
Someone built one or two cairns along the pond's edge.
May 31, 2017 near Hardwick, NJ

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Check-Ins

Jul 18, 2020
Alie Ledergerber
Jun 6, 2020
Nelson Soto Jr
Jan 4, 2020
Sean Bourke
10.2mi
Oct 5, 2019
Daniel Kurz
Here we go!!!! 10.9mi — 11h 17m
Aug 31, 2019
Peter Wright
Great hike. A little overgrown on the Turquoise trail. Rocks by the pond exactly as described in the guide. 9.9mi
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