Sunday, November 15, 2015

NJ Appalachian Trail - Section 6 - Millbrook-Blairstown Road to Kaiser Road Trail

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
11/15/2015 10.2 miles 4 hours 30 minutes 1,391' 2.4 mph 702

Trail Map
Trail Guide and Map
Parking: Millbrook-Blairstown Road, next to gate

Hike directions: 
Start on AT by passing by gate on woods road.
Follow AT as it alternates between a woods road & a trail.
Pass Catfish Fire Tower.
Pass Rattlesnake Swamp Trail on the right.
Cross Camp Road (which does get some cars on it)
Hike to Kaiser Road Trail (sharp hairpin turn to the right - supposed to be blue blazed, but we saw a white blaze)
Turn around.
Retrace your steps on the AT until you reach Camp Road.
Turn left on Camp Road.
Pass the Mohican Outdoor Center and various buildings.
Pass boat launch area at Catfish Pond.
Look for a sign on the right for Rattlesnake Swamp.
Follow orange blazed Rattlesnake Swamp Trail.
Where the trail splits, turn left (going right will take you back to the AT).
Follow the trail as it takes you through a rhododendron tunnel.
The trail will end at the AT on the woods road.
Turn left on the AT.
Follow AT back to the parking area.

This hike didn't have a lot of elevation gain, but was rocky - which made for tricky footing. At the Catfish Fire Tower, we were greeted from above by someone presumably working. It is a pretty tall tower, and I'm not a fan of climbing them, so we continued on. A lot of the AT portion of the hike is on a ridge, so there are views to some farms and reservoirs. Returning back on the Rattlesnake Swamp Trail didn't have the views that the AT had, but did pass by the Mohican Outdoor Center (no time to visit, but they do have a shop & lodging there) and more importantly, it passed by Catfish Pond (where Trek had a swim). The Rattlesnake Swamp Trail also goes through large rhododendrons that form a tunnel around the trail. I bet it is beautiful in the spring. I think it would also make a good snowshoe hike. There is canoeing at the Mohican Outdoor Center - I'm going to have to find out more about that.

Gate next to parking area. The trail starts behind the gate.

Catfish Fire Tower

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