Friday, June 12, 2009

Day At The Gap

When: Saturday, June 6th, from 7:15am until after Midnight
Where: Worthington State Forest and The Delaware River, Warren County
What: Hiking in Worthington State Forest and Fishing the Delaware River
Weather: Nice, not higher than 80, not lower than 60
We picked a perfect day to be outside, and that's where I spent every minute of it.

We met Lindsay's Dad at the Dunnefield Parking Area just after 7am. We were the first cars in the lot and we're quickly headed up to Mount Tammany.

We took this hike a year ago, sans Dad, and have been hooked ever since. Our route entailed (from Dunnefield) taking the Red Dot Trail to the top of Mount Tammany, the Blue Dot Trail down from Mount Tammany, which meets with the Green Dot (Dunnefield Hollow) Trail which goes up to Sunfish Pond, where we met up with the White Dot Appalachian Trail (THE Appalachian Trail) which took us back to the Dunnefield Parking Area. Phew!!! It's almost exactly 12 miles and took us a little over 7 hours, including time for lunch and pictures.

The first part of this hike is a ball breaker. I believe that it's one of the tougher trails in New Jersey. The reason for this is that it climbs over 1,200 feet in just 1.5 miles, so it's a lot of uphill with a touch of rock scrambling. Once atop Tammany, however, the remaining 10+ miles were not as strenuous.

The hike up to Sunfish Pond is beautiful, and follows Dunnefield Creek, a wild-trout stream, for much of the way up. Last year we came across Black Bear, Deer and a Timber Rattlesnake on this hike, but this time only the deer made an appearance.

We had lunch on the shore of Sunfish Pond amidst a swarm of horseflies and headed back down the Appalachian Trail.

Along the way down, Dad got some other opinions for our hot debate regarding the benefits of hiking poles. A couple of the hikers he queried had gotten on the trail in Georgia, therefore making them credible sources.

The jury is still out for me.

The twins and I had planned to meet at the Dunnefield Parking Area at 3:30 for some fishing. They were running late, so Lindsay and I spent a couple hours on the shore of the Delaware where I managed to catch a couple of eels and she managed a couple photographs.

When the twins arrived, we I set out to catch some catfish.
That didn't pan out so well.

Brian and I attempted to wade the Mighty Delaware for some Smallmouth, but the previous days' rain had the river running. I caught a Rock Bass and then we went catfishing.

We spent several hours fishing for Catfish. We had lots of bites, Brian had an eel and a Rock Bass and Chris caught the one nice Catfish pictured above.

It was a long, long day out in Warren County. I got back to Jersey City around 2am after having left to go hiking that morning at 6am.
Every minute was worth it.

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