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.
Detailed hike info and directions on our Coppermines, Appalachian Trail, Catfish Fire Tower, Rattlesnake Swamp page.
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.
First, a side trail to an old mine.
After heading uphill, pass another mine on the right:
Cross the stream on a bridge near some cascades.
The 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.
Eventually arrive at the Catfish Fire Tower.
Rattlesnake Swamp trail is lush and close (but not overgrown), with rhododendron and mountain laurel. It skirts the swamp and is a little soft in spots but wasn’t 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 near the Mohican Outdoor Center:
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.