Hike up Mt. Tammany with the Kids – Delaware Water Gap
Went hiking with the kids Friday to the summit of Mt. Tammany in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
This was their first hiking trip to this wonderful area. We did a day hike to the top of Mt. Tammany that overlooks the Delaware River. Mt. Tammany, at 1527 feet above sea level, is on the New Jersey side of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. There are other trails in the area that are worth doing and we will most likely come back in the fall to hike one or two of them.
We followed the 1.5 miles, 1250 foot climb Red Dot (Tammany) Trail up to the summit of Mt. Tammany. The trail is steep and rocky.
Rocky and steep is how my boys like their hiking trails. Despite the rocks, the Red Dot Trail is not as difficult as some websites make it out to be. There are a couple of spots that you may want to use your hands to help you steady yourself, but you don’t need rock climbing skills to hike this trail. But because most of the rocks have shape edges, a good pair of hiking boots is a must. If you wear sneakers on these trails, you will ruin your sneakers and your feet will be sore.
If you are hiking with kids younger than five years old, you and the children may find the Blue Blazed (Blue Dot) Trail easier to hike. The Blue Dot Trail is a more gradual 2.5 mile hike compare to the steep 1.5 mile Red Dot Trail. If you want to hike both trails, I would suggest hiking up Mt. Tammany on the Red Dot Trail and hiking down on the Blue Dot Trail. The trails meet at the summit of Mt. Tammany and meet the bottom in the same parking lot.
The Blue Dot Trail ends at the Dunfield Brook where you will be treated to a couple of cascades before ending back at the parking lot. I thought the Blue Dot Trail was more interesting than the Red Dot Trail. The Blue Dot Trail was also more nature like since the trail goes though the woods and further away from the noisy I-80.
Waterfalls at Dunfield Brrok
Whichever trail you hike, you will be rewarded with some great views of the Delaware Water Gap near or at top of the summit of Mt. Tammany.
The Blue Dot Trail may be better suited for younger kids and adults that are not in the best of shape. The Red Dot Trail up Mt. Tammany is physically demanding. The trail is 1.5 miles and climbs over a thousand two hundred feet. The trail is more suitable for older kids and adults that are in relatively good shape. If you want to do a loop, instead of backtracking, hike up Mt. Tammany on the Red Dot Trail and hike down Mt. Tammany on the Blue Dot Trail.
The view from the top of the mountain is spectacular and is well worth your effect.
A difficult 3 mile round trip hike using the Red Dot Trail; or a moderate to difficult 4 mile loop using the Red Dot Trail and the Blue Dot Trail; or a moderate round trip hike using the Blue Dot Trail. The Red Dot Trail is a shorter and steeper; the Blue Dot Trail is longer and not as steep. Both trails are very rocky and most often covered with loose shale. A proper pair of hiking boots will give your feet the needed support and protection.
There were no bathroom facilities of any kind at the parking lot when we were there this past Friday. You may want to stop at the Worthington State Forest Information Center to use the bathrooms before parking at the Dunfield Creek parking area to begin your hike.
Take Interstate 80 (I-80) toward the Delaware Water Gap. If you are coming from New Jersey, the Dunfield parking lot, where the trailheads for Mt. Tammany are, is before the tollbooth. If you are coming from Pennsylvania, the Dunfield parking lot is after the tollbooth.
National Park Service map of Delaware Water Gap: