Detailed hike info and directions on our Coppermines – Rattlesnake Swamp page.
For summer holiday weekends, we prefer to head away from the shore and the associated crowds/traffic. After poking around our stack of maps, Rattlesnake Swamp caught my eye.
We’d done the trail probably a good 6 or 7 yrs ago, maybe more, and hadn’t been back since. I believe we weren’t enthralled with it because it was really overgrown and/or confusing… can’t recall. Time to revisit.
This time we combined Coppermines, the AT, and Rattlesnake to make a big loop, which serves up a bit-o-everything: streams, water cascades, mines (closed), ridge hiking with views of rural Jersey, a fire tower, lush trails, rhododendron tunnels, a swamp… very nice.
Coppermines Trail follows a stream for a lot of the way, and heads gradually uphill. There are several nice cascades and it was many degrees cooler by these. The Appalachian Trail has a ton of views and many nice break spots. Rattlesnake Swamp trail is lush and close (but not overgrown), with rhododendron tunnels. It skirts the swamp and is a little soft in spots but not really wet.
Route: Coppermines Trail (RED) (inc. the unmarked spur at the beginning) – AT – Rattlesnake Swamp Trail (ORANGE) – road through Mohican Outdoor – Coppermines.
Wildlife spotted: The year of the snake continues… this makes 3 weeks in a row seeing snakes. This time it was a black snake, a
little green garter snake smooth green snake [thanks, Jeff], and a rattlesnake (dead) – on the Rattlesnake Swamp Trail no less.
I started walking right by it at first, then when we realized a rattler was smack dab in the middle of the trail, we both yelped and did a fancy little jig trying to get out of the way (luckily no one was around to witness this absurdity). Had a couple extra heart thumps for a second until we realized it was dead. The rattlesnake was only about 18in long, and we couldn’t tell what had killed it.
We also saw a bajillion toads in all sizes, and two deer – one with a itty bitty totally adorable fawn.