Appalachian Trail: Wind Gap to Delaware Water Gap

Trek to the border of New Jersey along PA's finest section of the Appalachian Trail.
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Trek to the border of New Jersey along PA's finest section of the Appalachian Trail.

Thru-hikers refer to the Keystone state as “rocksylvania” because the trail seems paved haphazardly with jagged stones. The payoff for the occasional stubbed toe? Long, rolling views from countless outcropping and balds. Access the trail, northbound, in Wind Gap for an easy start along a gentle climb through oak and box elder, crossing the Blue Mountain Water Company Rd. at 2.1 miles. Gain 570 feet as you climb to a wooded ridge and track along it for 4.7 miles.

At mile 6.8, you’ll reach 1,620-foot Wolf Rock, a lichen-covered knob with views over a sea of white pines. On a clear day, you can spot New Jersey’s Kittatinny Ridge, whose name means “endless mountains.” In .3 mile, you’ll reach an old road. Turn right and follow it .9 mile. At mile 7.7, head left back into the woods. Walk .5 mile to Fox Gap at PA 191. The Kirkridge shelter (sleeps six) lies straight ahead at mile nine. (Pack a tent? Hike another .5 mile north to camp in an open meadow.) Spend the night listening to thru-hiker anecdotes (they’ll be blazing through en force midsummer).

The next day, hike .8 mile to Lunch Rocks and another sweeping vista. The trail turns into a gravel road at mile 11.1 and back into singletrack 1.7 miles later, where you’ll begin an easy ascent of 1,461-foot Mt. Minsi; look and listen for red-bellied woodpeckers (chuf-chuf-chuf’s alternating with br-r-r-r-t’s). A mile after the summit, the AT crosses the Lookout Rock Trail, which leads to, yes, a sweet lookout. Gaze across the Delaware River to see 1,527-foot Mt. Tammany.

Continue .1 mile through a rhododendron tunnel to Eureka Creek. Slosh across and reach Council Rock at mile 14.4. Descend .7 mile to the Lake Lenape trailhead and your shuttle car.

Gear up: Get last-minute supplies like duct tape, batteries, and fuel at Cramer’s Home Center (519 N. Broadway, Wind Gap, PA; 610-863-6064).

-Mapped by Jeff Chow

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 24.0

Waypoints

WPT001

Location: 40.861504, -75.294952

Wind Gap: AT turns E on PA 512 under PA 33 before turning L at AT sign. and parking area

WPT002

Location: 40.913952, -75.232765

AT turns E

WPT003

Location: 40.925316, -75.221497

Rocky scramble to Wolf Rock; view to ENE

WPT004

Location: 40.928432, -75.21833

Powerline

WPT005

Location: 40.935349, -75.19677

PA 191; Fox Gap

WPT006

Location: 40.936016, -75.189819

Telephone line

WPT007

Location: 40.936218, -75.18737

Sidetrail to Kirkridge Shelter

WPT008

Location: 40.936733, -75.186432

Kirkridge Shelter - Shelter with covered cooking and sitting area.

WPT009

Location: 40.937904, -75.183144

Nelson Overlook

WPT010

Location: 40.9435, -75.177101

Lunch Rocks

WPT011

Location: 40.948383, -75.163467

Two telephone lines

WPT012

Location: 40.948448, -75.16172

Tots Gap

WPT013

Location: 40.948101, -75.16053

Radio tower

WPT014

Location: 40.958935, -75.128616

Expanisve vista just off AT of 330-mile Delaware River, farmland, and small towns of Portland, PA and Warrington, NJ

WPT015

Location: 40.959751, -75.128586

Tree-shaded summit of 1,480-foot Mt.Minsi

WPT016

Location: 40.95995, -75.1287

Old fire tower site

WPT017

Location: 40.962715, -75.126816

Lookout: View of craggy quartzite layers that hug SW side of Mt. Tammany, a.k.a. Indian head (look for profile of Chief Tammany in rock)

WPT018

Location: 40.963516, -75.12838

AT turns L

WPT019

Location: 40.963966, -75.129532

Turn R @ T with fire road

WPT020

Location: 40.965668, -75.133385

rock wall

WPT021

Location: 40.968601, -75.135468

Lookout Rock offers views of Kittatinny Ridge and Delaware River. AT turns W

WPT022

Location: 40.967716, -75.136986

Cross Eureka Creek

WPT023

Location: 40.969883, -75.137932

Bear Right

WPT024

Location: 40.974033, -75.138603

Council Rock

WPT025

Location: 40.975052, -75.13887

View of bridge over the Delaware River

WPT026

Location: 40.979084, -75.140633

Lake Lenape, named for native tribe of the Delaware Valley

WPT027

Location: 40.979885, -75.141701

Parking on Mountain Rd.

View from Lunch Rocks

Location: 40.943537, -75.176783