Route: Appalachian Trail: Lehigh Gap to Delaware Water Gap (PA)

Submitted by Ryan Espulgar on Mon, 08/31/2020 - 10:53am
Location
Pennsylvania, US
Distance
35.5 mi
Vertical Gain
4700 ft
Description

Start Point: Trailhead sign at the bottom of the mountain. The winter trail branches off the AT from this sign.

End Point: Boundary line of PA-NJ on the bridge that crosses Delaware River.   

This is another part of the "Rocksylvania" segment of the AT, known for it's rocky terrain throughout.

An unfortunate disposition is that Palmerton is also the home to an EPA Superfund site focused on cleaning up the remnants of a formerly-massive zinc plant. Heading north on the AT, the views are endless, though a solemn reminder of the town's history and present situation.

Just past the trailhead at Blue Mountain Drive, you'll reach Weathering Knob, a spot providing excellent views to the north. The trail then traverses across the top of a ridge that is home to the adjacent Blue Mountain Resort. Ahead, pass through a few energy corridors, through Smith Gap, and onto Wind Gap. Most would consider this as the halfway point to the segment.

Before Wolf Gap, the trail passes the unique and challenging segment at Wolf Rocks. The craggy outcropping serves as an excellent place to take a break and is also accessible from the road by a shorter day hike.

Passing through Fox Gap, the AT climbs to Kirkridge Shelter and to the summit of Kittatinny Mountain. According to Wikipedia, "The name comes from a Lenape Native American word meaning 'endless hill' or 'great mountain.'" The picturesque views from the summit are only the beginning as you traverse the long stretch into New Jersey across the Kittatinny Ridge.

Crossing through Totts Gap, Mount Minsi serves as the final high point in Pennsylvania before descending to the Delaware River. This area is popular among day hikers due to its phenomenal vistas, particularly during dusk and dawn.

Additional Info Links: 

https://www.cnyhiking.com/ATinPA-HahnsLookout.htm

https://weekendjots.com/2016/04/25/appalachian-trail-wind-gap-to-delaware-water-gap/