Hiking around Mohican Outdoor Center!

View from the outlooks on the ridge, Appalachian Trail

Greetings from New Jersey! As some of you may know we usually post trail conditions from the White Mountains in New Hampshire, but for the next couple of weeks I am working down at the Mohican Outdoor Center in Blairstown, NJ and am able to go out to explore the beauty of the more southern parts of the Appalachian Trail. Mohican is a quick 90 minute drive from New York City, located on a beautiful glacial lake in the 70,000 acre Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This is a great base for exploring with self-service cabins, comfortable lodge bunk space, and a fully-stocked kitchen. I arrived this morning and found that I had a few hours off so I decided to go on one of their commonly hiked loops; the AT-Firetower Long Loop. This is a great 8 mile loop hike of low difficulty with lots of biodiversity!

View northbound on the AT, Catfish Fire Tower

The start of the hike begins from the Mohican Outdoor Center then headed down Camp Road to where the Appalachian Trail (AT) crosses the road, heading north on the AT you gain some elevation and within about 1/2 mile you end up on a beautiful ridge line strewn with blueberry bushes and many scenic outlooks with stunning views of the Paulinskill Valley and southern views towards the Delaware Water Gap.

Rattlesnake Swamp Trail

After 2.5 miles on the ridge you then come across the Catfish Fire Tower, which you can carefully climb up and get some beautiful 360 degree views. There is also a picnic table nearby to enjoy a well deserved snack halfway through the hike. Continuing on the AT you come to a road crossing, staying on the road for about 100 yards you will see the orange blazed Rattlesnake Swamp Trail which is through beautiful rhododendron groves, some of which were still in bloom! This trail loops back to the camping and tenting sites as well as Catfish Pond where the boathouse has lots of kayaks and canoes to use. There is lots more hiking to do here as well as paddling, biking, camping and rock climbing, so stayed tuned as I will continue with more updates of what Mohican Outdoor Center has to offer in the following weeks!

The Boathouse, Catfish Pond
If you are staying at Mohican Outdoor Center we have a great Demo Center that you can test out boots on your hike from LOWA, hiking poles from Leki and backpacks from Deuter and Gregory for free! The Demo center is located near the check-in desk and you can get gear during the normal operating times of 9am-7pm 7 days a week. 

For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice, please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk. We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at amcpinkhaminfo@outdoors.org. To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm. Be sure to check weather conditions before you come and call us here with any questions. We'll see you up here! 

Happy Hiking!


Backcountry Information Specialist
Pinkham Notch Visitor Center

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