Blue Dot/Red Dot Loop to Summit of Mount Tammany

Overview

This loop hike steeply climbs Mount Tammany, with panoramic views, and follows scenic Dunnfield Creek.

Details
Time:
3 hours
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Length:
3.5 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Waterfall
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Warren
State:
NJ
Maps/Books
Buy Trail Map:

Buy Book:
Publication
First Published:
07/29/2005

Updated/Verified:
08/22/2011
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

The Delaware River as seen from Mount Tammany. Photo by Dan Chazin.

Parking


View Mount Tammany Parking in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
40.9718, -75.1255
Driving Directions

Take Interstate Route 80 west towards the Delaware Water Gap. Immediately beyond milepost 1, take the exit for "Dunnfield Creek/Appalachian Trail” and bear left at the fork. Continue past the underpass to the left and turn right into a parking area at signs with "P" and "hiker" symbols. (If you miss the exit from Route 80, take Exit 1, turn left at the end of the ramp, and continue on the service road parallel to Route 80 past the visitor center. Turn left at the underpass, go under Route 80, turn left again, and turn right at signs with "P" and "hiker" symbols.)

Description

Start of the Red Dot trail. Photo by Dan Chazin.Near the entrance to the parking area, you will see a sign for the Tammany Trail (also known as the Red Dot Trail). You will be taking this red-on-white-blazed trail all the way up Mount Tammany. Follow the trail up wooden steps and bear left when you reach junctions with several side trails that lead to another parking area. The trail briefly levels off on a wide path, but it soon reaches stone steps that mark the start of a rather steep climb. Passing through a dense forest of hemlocks and deciduous trees, the trail ascends steadily on a rocky footpath.

Stone steps on the Red Dot trail. Photo by Dan Chazin.After climbing over rock outcrops, you’ll reach the first panoramic viewpoint, from open rocks just to the right of the trail. You can see up and down the Delaware River, with Arrow Island in the river to the left, and Mount Minsi directly across the river in Pennsylvania. You’ve climbed about 400 vertical feet to reach this point, and you’ll want to rest from the steep climb and take in the view.

When you’re ready to continue, follow the trail upwards on a more gradual grade through an open forest, with an understory of blueberries. In about 10 minutes, the trail bears right to cross a streambed (often dry), and the climb steepens. You’ll go up a set of rock steps and continue through a talus field. Just beyond, there is a short level stretch, but the steady climb soon resumes.

As you approach the top of the mountain, the grade moderates, and there are views through the trees to the right. Finally, you’ll reach the end of the Red Dot Trail, marked by a triple blaze. Turn right and follow a rock outcrop downhill for about 100 feet to another panoramic viewpoint over the Delaware River and Mount Minsi, with the rolling hills of Pennsylvania in the background. You’ve now climbed nearly 1,200 vertical feet, and you’ll want to take another break here.

After you’ve rested from the climb, retrace your steps to the trail. Just ahead, you’ll see a triple-blue blaze that marks the start of the Blue Dot Trail. Follow this trail, which heads northeast along the ridge of Mount Tammany on a rocky but relatively level path. In a quarter mile, it turns sharply left at a wooden sign for the “Blue Trail” and soon begins a rather steep descent on a rocky, eroded woods road. After a while, the descent moderates somewhat, but the road remains quite rocky for most of the descent. Towards the base of the descent, sections of the trail have been relocated off the eroded road and onto a parallel footpath.

A little over a mile from the summit, you’ll arrive at a junction with the green-blazed Dunnfield Creek Trail. Turn left and follow the joint blue and green blazes, which follow a wide path parallel to Dunnfield Creek. Just ahead, you’ll notice an open area with a bench that overlooks an attractive waterfall on the right. Continue ahead a short distance until you reach a wooden footbridge that spans the creek. Here, a short unmarked trail on the right leads to the base of the waterfall (if it’s hot out, you might want to dip your feet in the water!). This is another good spot to take a break.

When you’re ready to continue, cross the footbridge and continue along the trail, which parallels the creek on a wide path. This is the most scenic portion of the hike, as you pass through the narrow gorge of Dunnfield Creek, studded with rhododendrons, with the waters of the cascading creek below to your left.

In another quarter mile, the Blue Dot and Dunnfield Creek Trails end, and you continue ahead along the creek, now following the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. Soon, the trail bears left, leaving the wide path, and crosses Dunnfield Creek on a steel bridge with a wooden deck. Just ahead, you’ll reach the parking area where the hike began.

Dunnfield Creek. Photo by Dan Chazin.


To view a photo collection for this hike, click here.

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Mt. Tammany

Did this hike yesterday (9/10/16), although the temperature and humidity were way up there, so it was a good thing that I had lots of water with me.  This was a weekend, so there were a ton of people on the trail (shades of Breakneck Ridge on a weekend!).  As noted, it's a steep climb, but no rock-scrambling, unless you count the talus slope part of it.  The only addition I'd make to Mr. Chazin's description is that there are two different spots near the top of Mt. Tammany with good views, not just the one that he mentions, which is just a few yards before the end of the Red-Dot Trail.  The other is about 0.06miles earlier/lower, where there is a rocky clearing, and you have to go downhill to the right of the blazed trail about 0.03miles.  Both have good, but different views, with the one at the top giving a more unobstructed view of Mt. Kinsi. I went up Mt. Kinsi a couple of weeks ago, and I found the views from Mt. Tammany better.

Red Dot Trail

Hiked Mt. Tammany yesterday early morning. We did see a black bear cub near the first scenic lookout, about a 1/2 mile in. Just a reminder to play it safe on the trails. Instagram selfies with a bear in the background may get you likes, but it is not safe. This comment is just a reminder to educate yourselves on what to do if you see a bear. 

Check it out

This is one of the better hikes I've been on in a while. A good workout. Lot's of people out on the trail. Very clean considering how many people use the trail. I'd like to go back and see it in the fall.

NICE VIEW!

When you approach MT Tammany from RT 80 you will say to yourself, "I must climb that thing today!" I saw a Google pic of the view from MT Tammany in the winter with snow on the gorund and would love to take pics of that. I've climbed the RED trail during the summer and it was a challenge. The climb had everything and I highly recomend it. 3.5 miles, but well worth it! I thought taking the BLUE trail down might be a little less strenuous, but when the trail began to decend it looked like volcano lava had cooled down along the trail. ROCKS, ROCKS, and more ROCKS covered the entire trail down. My feet were killing me and there wasn't any break areas to stop and rest your feet like there were on the RED trail. Brush was on both sides of the trail keeping you locked in. The winter or fall might be better or you can take the RED back down in the warmer months. There was plenty of shade on both trails.