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Delaware Water Gap: Coppermines – Rattlesnake Swamp

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.

10.2 miles.

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.

Comments

  1. Jeff Jotz says:

    The green snake in the photo is not a garter snake but a Smooth Green Snake.

  2. How many hours approx will this hike take? Looking at possibly doing it this weekend

  3. Mike – We actually don’t keep track of our time and it’s really subjective anyway… it varies greatly depending on your personal hiking speed, plus variables like stops for photos, snacks, and viewpoints.

    However, I’d guestimate around 5-6 hours for this hike, for an experienced hiker keeping a decent pace (roughly 2 miles per hour).

    –Dawn

  4. Thanks!

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