DISTANCE: 5.1 miles loop (9.1 if you opt to continue on to the AT)
DIFFICULTY: Moderate, considering the icy, snowy accumulations
Hiking boots/snow boots w/ microspikes/cleats or yaks
hiking poles/sticks, water, snacks
This hike takes you all the way to the summit of Mt. Minsi on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail with an elevation gain of 1,060 feet in 2 miles. We willpass by lake Lenape, rock hop over several small streams along the way and witness the green beauty of rhodondrons in winter. Gap is composed of the majestic Mt. Tammany in New Jersey to the left and Mt. Minsi in Pennsylvania to the right. You will be able to look down from the top of the cliffs where you stand to see the Delaware River snaking through the Gap with I-80 Just before one mile, sounds of rushing water lead you to Eureka Creek, the largest stream, which is crossed on rocks. Easy hike back down using the gravel rd. and probably some difficulty w/ piled -up snow at the moment.
1.3 miles - 1st overlook.
1.8 miles – cross the fire road.
2.0 miles – 2nd overlook, this has the best views. If you have binoculars or a telephoto lens, look across and most likely you will see people on Mt Tammany.
A lot of people simply turn around here. If you want to continue, keep heading up and arrive at wide level area. The AT becomes a wide woods road here and continues south (turning to the right) away from the summit.
2.4 miles - 3rd viewpoint, which overlooks western NJ. Look for a path on your left that leads out for a lovely view and rocks to sit on. Turn around and retrace your steps.
[Alt: you can 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. We did a 16.5 mile roundtrip from the Minsi parking area to way down the AT before.]
2.8 miles - arrive back at the woods road split – the AT goes off to the right (total 9.1 miles). You can go that way to retrace your route or follow the woods road back. Woods road is more gradual and slightly longer; AT is steeper but has views and is a prettier trail. Your choice! If it’s really wet and slippery… you might want to opt for the woods road.
If you are not in good health or lacking physical endurance, this is not a hike for you. ANYONE going on this hike MUST TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY for themselves, their family and anybody going with them. WE WILL BE WALKING ON ICE. THERE'S A CHANCE OF INJURY/DEATH, frostbite, twisted ankles, getting lost, and too many other way to get hurt or die to mention. Participate at you own risk. If you drink, sample, or eat any wild plants while on this hike you take the risk of having a allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, trouble breathing, or a funny taste in your mouth. It's on you. I am providing a free public service by pointing out some of the wonders of nature but everyone must take care of themselves.
Mt. Minsi PA/Lake Lenape Parking GPS: 40.979754 -75.142189 (pls plug on google as you can easily get lost if you miss the ist left on Mt. rd and ist left on Lake rd)
[Not sure of a street address for this lot. 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.]
Rt. 80 West, over the toll bridge. Stay to the right at the toll booth and immediately take PA Exit 310. Follow signs for Route 611 south down a circular ramp. At the end of the ramp, turn right. This is Broad Street.
At the next light in the village, turn left onto Route 611 south.For Mt. Minsi and Lake Lenape parking area (the AT), continue a few blocks in the village and look for the Deerhead Inn on the right. Turn right at the Inn onto Mountain Road. Take the next dirt road on the left into the trailhead parking area.
POST HIKE LATE LUNCH:
Zen Fusion : 14 Main St. Delaware Gap, PA (570)369-1351