Vacationing in the Poconos and looking for some outdoor adventures? Maybe some hiking? There are some great parks and hiking trails in the Poconos. But one that is popular and stands out is the Delaware Water Gap. Hiking the Delaware Water Gap trails is a must do adventure if you’re a hiker.
The Delaware Water Gap comprises over 70,000 acres and over 150 miles of trails. It’s great for hiking anytime of the year, but I suggest checking the weather first. And during the winter months with it getting dark earlier, you may want to check the sunset time the day you plan to hike and get there early so you don’t get stuck in the dark. It’s also best to plan to hike early or on the weekdays if you want less of a crowd because It can get really busy there with the parking lots filling up by 9am on weekends.
So, it was mine and my husband’s anniversary recently and we decided to go hiking the Delaware Water Gap. My husband’s hiked there before so he planned the trip and picked the trail. I’ve never hiked there before and It was actually only my second time hiking anywhere. I have recently bought hiking boots in the hopes to start hiking and go more often and this would now be my second time this year. And hopefully more in the future.
Anyways, he picked the Tammany (Red Dot) Trail and then the Pahaquarry (Blue Blaze) Trail, which are connected. You can start on the Tammany trail and combine it with the Pahaquarry trail to make a loop. He had these trails picked out, not realizing they were two of the hardest trails at the Delaware Water Gap. And it was a struggle doing the two hardest trails when it was only my second time hiking, but I made it through. And it only took us 4 hours.
Tip #1 – If you’re planning a loop hike onto the Tammany and Pahaquarry trails, I suggest hiking up the Tammany trail and down the Pahaquarry trail. Most people find the trek up Tammany trail easier than hiking up the Pahaquarry trail.
The Tammany (Blue Dot) Trail is a 1.2 mile trail up a mountain that connects with the Pahaquarry (Blue Blaze) trail, making a loop trail.
First, you will walk up steps to where you will start your tread up a mountain. There are no flat or smooth areas on the trail that will make it easy on your feet. None. It is rough terrain of rocks all along the whole trail. So it will be a rigorous climb up the mountain and over all the rocks. So definitely invest in a pair of hiking boots.
Along this mountain, you will come across a couple clearing spots with beautiful views of the Delaware Water Gap. And once you think you might have gotten to the top point where you might start your descent down the mountain on Pahaquarry trail, well not quite yet.
Another mountain will come into view and at first will look overwhelming and scary by how steep it looks. But once you start climbing, while still difficult, it’s not as bad it looks from below. However, it does feel like your scaling the side of a mountain and you do end up 1,201 feet in elevation once you arrive at the top.
At the top, you’ll change course and head down the mountain on a different trail. The Pahaquarry (Blue Blaze) Trail, which is 1.7 miles down the mountain.
At this point, I was happy the difficult climb up the mountain was over and would be an easy tread down. Oh how wrong I was. If I thought climbing up that steep mountain was difficult, hiking down it might’ve actually been worse. It can put some serious strain on your legs especially if it’s a bit steep like this mountain was.
My knees and shins started to hurt as I was bending my knees walking through all the rocks. Due to the strain on my knees, I did have to take a few breaks along the way. Not only that, but all the leaves on the ground made the trail slippery. I kept slipping on all the leaves. But I was able to keep myself from falling.
Finally, we level off a little and come to a river with waterfalls. After taking a break and taking a few pictures, we then head down the rest of the trail. A short distance after the waterfalls, we come to the end of the trail and hike landing back at the parking lot to head home.
It may have been 2 difficult trails and was bit of a struggle, but we still had a lot fun hiking the Delaware Water Gap. I would definitely return and maybe try some of the other trails.
As already mentioned, these are 2 of the most difficult trails at the Delaware Water Gap. They have other trails ranging from easy to difficult. So if you are a first time hiker, you can certainly pick one of the easier trails or if you are experienced hikers, these 2 trails are two good choices.
Looking for more outdoor adventures, you can check out Camping Out at Promised Land State Park in the Poconos. Or for some tips, check out 13 Fun Activities and Adventures to do While Camping.
Or looking for other fun activities to do in the Poconos, check out 16 Best Things to do in the Poconos and Enjoy a Winter Trip to Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark in the Poconos.
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