A steep but short approach to Sunfish Pond via Garvey Springs, then expansive views along the Appalachian Trail at Raccoon Ridge.
11.8-miles, with notes for shorter versions. Rocky trail surface. Garvey Springs is steep; AT is mostly level until approaching Coppermines if you do the long loop.
- 3 miles: to Sunfish Pond via Garvey Springs out-and-back.
- 6.6 miles: to Raccoon Ridge viewpoint out-and-back.
- 11.8 miles: This loop, using Coppermines and Kaiser.
- Variation, challenging: ~16 miles – stay on the AT thru Catfish Pond Gap to Catfish Fire Tower out-and-back.
- Variation, shorter: ~5 miles – Garvey – Sunfish – AT – Douglas loop (longer but less steep on the return)
Our two cents: Garvey Springs is the short-but-steep way to get to Sunfish Pond (instead of the longer approach via Dunnfield or AT). Most will want to turn around at the Raccoon Ridge viewpoint, but for avid hikers the long route is enjoyable.
We like to use the Garvey Springs approach when prepping for hiking trips since it puts a steep-ish section at the start/finish and the AT allows us to up our mileage. Raccoon Ridge is a good place to watch hawk migrations.
Panorama from Raccoon Ridge
Map: Kittatinny Trails section #120.
Parking: 41.01317 -75.08217 [Douglas lot; Old Mine Road]
Rt. 80 W to the last exit in NJ (1) for Millbrook/Flatbrookville which bears right onto River Road/Old Mine Road.
Cross a one-lane bridge with a stop light and continue on Old Mine Rd for about 4 miles, passing a sign for Worthington and the driveway to the park office. The lot will be on the left and has a sign.
Note: Google Maps has errors – along Old Mine Road before the actual Douglas Trail parking lot there are two wrong points. They are marked as “Douglas Trail” and “garvey springs trail” but are not those trailheads.
Restrooms: From the lot, walk into the campground area a bit and a bathroom building is on the left.
Overview: Garvey Springs (ORANGE) – Appalachian Trail (WHITE) – TURQUOISE to view of Sunfish – Appalachian Trail (WHITE) – Coppermines (RED) – Coppermines/Kaiser connector (BLUE/RED) – Kaiser Road (BLUE) – Appalachian Trail (WHITE) – Garvey Springs (ORANGE)
0.0 – From the parking area, cross Old Mine Road to start following Garvey Springs (ORANGE).
0.6 – Continue on Garvey Springs (ORANGE) as it turns left and follows Rock Cores (GREEN) for a bit, before turning right and continuing steeply uphill.
1.3 – Garvey Springs (ORANGE) ends. Turn RIGHT and now follow Appalachian Trail (WHITE) briefly.
1.4 – Turn LEFT and follow TURQUOISE over to a view of Sunfish Pond. Retrace TURQUOISE back to the AT.
[Alternate: stay on Appalachian Trail (WHITE) to check out the pond instead; skipping TURQUOISE]
1.6 – From Turquoise, turn RIGHT to again follow the Appalachian Trail (WHITE). [Pass Garvey Springs (ORANGE) on the left.]
[ 3-mile route: Turn left and take Garvey Springs (ORANGE) back down to the lot.]
3.3 – Wide views over NJ and PA from Raccoon Ridge. There is a owl decoy on a tall poll – this is a hawk watch area.
[ 6.6-mile route: turn around here and retrace the Appalachian Trail (WHITE) back to Garvey Springs]
4.0 – Continue on Appalachian Trail (WHITE). [Kaiser Road (BLUE) starts to the left]
5.9 – After heading downhill over a very rocky section, turn LEFT to start following Coppermines (RED). [Appalachian Trail (WHITE) continues straight.]
7.1 – Turn LEFT and now follow Coppermines/Kaiser connector (BLUE/RED). [Coppermines (RED) continues straight.]
7.2 – Turn LEFT and now follow Kaiser Road (BLUE) on a woods road that heads gradually uphill. [Kaiser Road (BLUE) also goes right].
8.2 – Kaiser Road (BLUE) ends, veer RIGHT and start following the Appalachian Trail (WHITE). [Appalachian Trail (WHITE) also goes left – this intersection was passed earlier].
10.6 – Turn RIGHT and now follow Garvey Springs downhill, retracing the route back to the parking lot.
Hiked: 9/3/16. 11.8 miles.
Hiked: 8/31/08. 16 miles. Trail Blog: “Garvey Springs to AT North”
Hiked: 9/3/06. 9.9 miles. Trail Blog: “Sunfish – AT”