Mt. Minsi

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

5.1 miles. Steep and rocky; rock hop over a small stream.

The return route is on a woods road (Mt. Minsi Fire Road) seems more gradual but is still quite rocky.

  • Shorter: 4.0, out-and-back to the 2nd viewpoint (don’t return via Mt. Minsi Fire Rd.).
  • Shorter: 4.5, stop at the 2nd viewpoint and return via Mt. Minsi Fire Rd.
  • Shorter: 4.8, out-and-back to the 3rd viewpoint (don’t return via Mt. Minsi Fire Rd.).
  • Longer: Add some miles with the Appalachian Trail, we did a 16.6 mile version  here.  Or keep going, the AT south ends in Georgia…
  • 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.

Plenty of rhododendron that bloom in July. This is a popular route. Some road noise early on that dissipates as the trail climbs.

Update 7/2017 – Re-hiked, added summer photos; description, GPX and Interactive Map updated.

Map:

Use #120 of the Kittatinny Trails set.

Books:

Variations with detailed description and map diagrams can be found in Hiking Pennsylvania and Hiking the Poconos. Kittatinny Trails has details about the trails but not a loop hike.

Parking: 40.979754 -75.142189

[Mt. Minsi/Lake Lenape Lot] Small dirt lot that fills up. There are a few more spots in a lot just past the main one.

Rt. 80 West, over the toll bridge into PA. Stay to the right for PA Exit 310 (immediately after the toll there is a road on the right that looks like an exit, but is not).

Follow signs for Route 611 south down a circular ramp, to a light. At the light, turn right onto Broad Street.

[To stop at the PA Welcome Center first – instead go straight through the light and then turn right into the lot].

At the next light, left onto Route 611 south. Continue a few blocks and turn right at the Deerhead Inn onto Mountain Road. Take the next dirt road on the left into the trailhead parking area.

Not sure of a street address for this lot if you are looking to type that into a GPS. 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.

Restrooms:

None. The PA Welcome Center just over the bridge has bathrooms; unsure of the hours but it was open early AM even though it looked closed the last time here.

On 80 E on the NJ side, you can access the visitor center restrooms for Dunnfield Creek/Mt. Tammany.

Hike Directions:

Overview: Appalachian Trail (WHITE) – Mt. Minsi Fire Road – Appalachian Trail (WHITE). For this route, we reference three overlooks:

  • 1st: on the Appalachian Trail heading up, with an approaching view of Mt. Tammany. Called “Lookout Rock” on maps.
  • 2nd: the main viewpoint, of Mt. Tammany.
  • 3rd: further up on the Appalachian Trail, with a view east into northwestern NJ and the river, not of Mt. Tammany.
Lake Lenape

0.0 – From the trail kiosk, start follow the Appalachian Trail (WHITE) on a wide woods road. Small Lake Lenape comes into view shortly.

0.4 – Veer LEFT off of the woods road to continue following Appalachian Trail (WHITE) onto a trail. The trail can be muddy after a hard rain, and there is a small stream to hop over.

Appalachian Trail
Water on the way up Mt. Minsi

1.3 – 1st overlook in Fall and Summer.

Mt. Tammany and the Gap, from the first viewpoint
1st overlook

1.9 – Cross the Mt. Minsi Fire Road (not marked) by making a quick LEFT and then RIGHT to continue on Appalachian Trail (WHITE).

2.0 – 2nd overlook. This has the best views.

There are two spots, one lower with more of Mt. Tammany visible, and then up some rocks for a different perspective.

2nd overlook, view of Mt Tammany
Mt Tammany

With a monocular, binoculars or a telephoto lens, hikers can be spotted on the rocky outcrop on New Jersey’s Mt Tammany.  

Have you ever hiked Mt. Tammany and scrambled down the rocks at the top? The open rocky area on the right is where you were sitting:

Where hikers scramble down for views from Mt Tammany of Mt Minsi
Zoom in to see hikers on the rocks of Mt Tammany

Many people simply turn around at this viewpoint.

To continue to the 3rd overlook, head very steeply up the Appalachian Trail (WHITE) through rhododendron tunnels and on stones placed as steps.

Rhododendron blooming on the Appalachian Trail
Rhododendron in bloom
Hiking through a rhododendron tunnel

The trail turns right onto a woods road with sticks blocking the left.

Arrive at wide level area with a building in the brush and where there used to be a fire tower – this is actually the summit of Mt. Minsi. (Years ago there was a wooden sign).

Continue following the Appalachian Trail (WHITE) as it continues south and away from the summit.

2.4 – Look for a casual path on the left that leads out to the 3rd overlook.

The Delaware River can be seen running between northwestern NJ on the left and PA on the right. There are a few rocks to sit on for a break.

3rd overlook

Retrace your steps to the junction with the Mt. Minsi Fire Road.

[Optional: 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.]

2.8 – Arrive back at the Mt. Minsi Fire Road. Turn LEFT and now follow that.

[Variation: Stay on the Appalachian Trail (WHITE) to retrace the route.]

The Mt. Minsi Fire Road is unmarked but easy to follow.

Minsi fire road

4.1 – Pass an unmarked trail to Lake Lettini on the right… probably won’t even notice it.

[Optional: Though it’s not really worth checking this out, the trail goes around the small lake and then meets back up with the AT.]

4.3 – Pass an unmarked trail on the left and continue on the Mt. Minsi Fire Road.

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Variation: Go left for the trail less taken via Table Rock. We prefer this route back, but be sure to have a trail map and be OK with finding somewhat faint trails.]

This unmarked trail passes a short side path to a small cascade on it’s way to a wide open flat rocky area called Table Rock, then continues to the back of Lake Lenape.

It ends up at the overflow parking lot that links to the main one. Points are included in our GPX file and the Interactive Map.

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4.6 – The Mt. Minsi Fire Road is now also marked the Appalachian Trail (WHITE) as it nears the parking lot.

Lake Lenape in July

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Hiked: 7/9/17. Trail Blog: “Mt. Minsi, Table Rock, Cold Air Cave, Slateford Falls
Hiked: 10/9/11. Trail Blog: “Delaware Water Gap – Mt. Minsi, Arrow Island
Hiked: 10/25/09. Trail Blog: “Mind the Gap” – Mt Tammany and Mt Minsi in One Day
Hiked: 9/20/08. Trail Blog: “Delaware Water Gap – PA Side – AT South out and back
Hiked: 10/31/04. Out-and-back, 8.3 miles