Mt. Minsi

mt-minsi-07Wonderful view of New Jersey’s Mt. Tammany and the Delaware River from this short, steep route.

[Looking for a challenging hike in this area? check out our “Mind The Gap” hike]

Our two cents: The best view of NJ’s Mt. Tammany is actually from Mt. Minsi, on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware Water Gap – the break in the Kittatinny Mountains that was carved by the Delaware River. This is a popular route and you will not be alone.

5.1 miles round trip. Moderate. Uphill, a couple of steep rocky areas; a rock hop over a small stream. The return trip is more gradual, on a woods road.

This route continues past the top view to along the AT a bit, to a third view and would be shorter if you chose not to do that. It would also be slightly shorter if you backtracked and didn’t use the fire road, it is steep coming downhill however (consider the fire road if there are a lot of wet leaves).

Map: Map 120 of the Kittatinny Trails map set. The NPS has a basic map here, the Minsi section is in the lower left.

GPS note: If you are using the GPX file – please note the last leg of the hike where the woods road rejoins the AT does not show correctly as satellites dropped out. That portion retraces your route on the AT, but it is shown as a straight line in the file.

Books: Detailed description and map can be found in Kittatinny Trails. Variation can be found in Hiking the Poconos.

Parking: Directions from the park site.

Mt. Minsi PA/Lake Lenape Parking GPS: 40.979754 -75.142189
[Not sure of a street address for this lot. The road the lot is off of is Mountain Rd, which is off of Rt 611 (Main St), and google lists this area as Bangor PA.]

Rt. 80 West, over the toll bridge. Stay to the right at the toll booth and immediately take PA Exit 310. Follow signs for Route 611 south down a circular ramp. At the end of the ramp, turn right. This is Broad Street.

At the next light in the village, turn left onto Route 611 south.For Mt. Minsi and Lake Lenape parking area (the AT), continue a few blocks in the village and look for the Deerhead Inn on the right. Turn right at the Inn onto Mountain Road. Take the next dirt road on the left into the trailhead parking area.

Restrooms: None. There is a visitor center just over the bridge, think there are facilities there – not 100% sure, it’s been awhile since we stopped. On 80 E on the NJ side, you can access the visitor center restrooms for Dunfield Creek/Mt. Tammany.

Hike Directions: From the dirt/rutted parking lot, pick up the wide trail past the trail kiosk. This is the Appalachian Trail and is marked with a white blaze. Small Lake Lenape comes into view shortly.

Just keep a watch for the white blazes and keep on that trail and the woods road yet. The trail will turn off the woods road and start heading uphill through a really pretty area, with views to your left over the Gap. Road noise is an issue here, as you are right over Rt. 80 – but the views more than make up for it.

At this point the trail is easy to follow. It can be muddy after a hard rain, and there is a small stream to hop over.

1.3 miles – 1st overlook.

1.8 miles – cross the fire road.

2.0 miles – 2nd overlook, this has the best views. If you have binoculars or a telephoto lens, look across and most likely you will see people on Mt Tammany.

A lot of people simply turn around here. If you want to continue, keep heading up and arrive at wide level area. The AT becomes a wide woods road here and continues south (turning to the right) away from the summit.

2.4 miles – 3rd viewpoint, which overlooks western NJ. Look for a path on your left that leads out for a lovely view and rocks to sit on. Turn around and retrace your steps.

[Alt: you can keep going on the AT as much as you’d like, it’s an easy woods road for awhile, then turns back into a trail. We did a 16.5 mile roundtrip from the Minsi parking area to way down the AT before.]

2.8 miles – arrive back at the woods road split – the AT goes off to the right. You can go that way to retrace your route or follow the woods road back. Woods road is more gradual and slightly longer; AT is steeper but has views and is a prettier trail. Your choice! If it’s really wet and slippery… you might want to opt for the woods road.

If you take the woods road, it’s unmarked but easy to follow. It will merge back in with the AT as it nears the parking lot.


Hiked: 10/25/09. Trail Blog: “Mind the Gap” – Mt Tammany and Mt Minsi in One Day