This is a challenging run in a beautiful area of the Delaware Water Gap Recreation area. The run 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.
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.
From the parking lot, take the AT (White)/ Dunnfield Creek Trail
(Green) northwest into the ravine, running 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
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