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Jenny Jump Mountain Longer Loop Hike via Summit and Swamp Trails
This loop hike climbs to several panoramic viewpoints and passes interesting glacial erratics.
Easy to Moderate
Allowed on leash
New Jersey DEP Jenny Jump State Forest map (available from park office) (Note: The “camping area” map provides the greatest detail on the trails used for this hike).
Take I-80 west to Exit 12 (Hope/Blairstown). Turn left at the bottom of the ramp and proceed south on County 521 for 1.1 miles to the old Moravian village of Hope. Turn left at the blinking light onto County 519 (Johnsonburg Road). Continue for 1.0 mile and turn right onto Shiloh Road. In 1.1 miles, turn right onto State Park Road and proceed to the park entrance, 1.0 mile on the left. After stopping at the park office to obtain a map, bear right at the fork in the road, following the sign to "hiking trails." After passing a restroom building on the left, follow the paved road as it curves to the right, and park in a paved parking area on the right side of the road.
From the parking area, walk back along the paved road until you reach a T-intersection, with a sign marking the trailhead of the Summit and Swamp Trails. Turn right onto a woods road and follow the yellow and red blazes, passing two cabins (designated by the park as "camp shelters") to the left. Just beyond, the road begins to climb and bears right at a fork.
After passing Campsite #9 to the right, you'll come to a junction (marked by a signpost). Here the red-blazed Swamp Trail forks to the left. This will be your return route, but for now, bear right to continue on the yellow-blazed Summit Trail, which soon resumes its climb.
The Summit Trail continues to ascend, soon reaching a flat rock along the trail. Here, a side trail to the right leads over open rocks to a panoramic viewpoint amid cedars, with farmlands of the Great Valley to the left, the cone-shaped mountain known as The Pinnacle directly ahead, and the Delaware Water Gap in the distance to the right. Glacial striations are clearly visible on the surface of the rock outcrop at the viewpoint. You'll want to pause here to enjoy the spectacular view.
When you're ready to proceed, return to the Summit Trail and turn right. The trail now bears left and follows a wide, grassy path along the ridge of Jenny Jump Mountain. According to folklore, the mountain derives its name from Jenny Lee, a young woman who once lived with her aged father on the mountain. While in a remote area on the mountain, she was accosted by (depending on the account) either a spurned suitor or a Native American. After being chased to the edge of the cliff, she chose "death before dishonor" and jumped. (In one account, however, she lived to tell the tale.)
In another five minutes, a wide side trail on the right leads downhill to a southeast-facing viewpoint, which includes both forest and the fertile fields of the Great Valley. After taking in the view, return to the Summit Trail and turn right.
In another 100 feet, the trail passes two large glacial erratics in an open area. These boulders were carried here by the Wisconsin Glacier about 15,000 years ago. The one on the left is formed of limestone, which is very different from the underlying bedrock, composed of Precambrian granite gneiss.
The trail continues along the crest of the ridge, with views to the northwest through the trees to the left. At one point, the trail crosses a flat rock. Here, to the left of the trail, there is an unobstructed view of the Delaware Water Gap and Kittatinny Mountain from a rock outcrop just off the trail. A bench (not visible from the trail) has been placed just below this outcrop, offering hikers the opportunity to rest and take a break.
The Summit Trail now descends over rocks, steeply in one spot. At the base of the descent, a signpost marks an intersection with the blue-blazed Spring Trail, but you should continue to follow the Summit Trail along the ridge. A short distance beyond, you'll notice a yellow-tipped concrete survey marker, with the notation "NJ 78" on the top. Here, a side trail leads right to another southeast-facing viewpoint from a rock outcrop. The view is partially obstructed by trees, but you might see hawks hovering over the valley below.
Continue along the Summit Trail, which now descends. After a brief climb, it levels off. In about a quarter mile, the trail bears left at a beech tree with many carved initials and climbs to a high point on the ridge. The highest point in the park (elevation 1,134 feet) is a short distance to the right of the trail.
From this high point, the trail descends steadily. Near the base of the descent, it bears left, and after a short level stretch, it reaches a T- intersection with a woods road. Here, the Summit Trail turns left, joining the turquoise-blazed Ghost Lake Trail, which comes in from the right. Both trails continue along the woods road, passing another interesting glacial erratic (which somewhat resembles an arrowhead) on the right.
About a mile and a half from the start of the hike, you'll reach a T-intersection with the paved East Road (an access road to the park's campsites). Here, the Summit and Ghost Lake Trails end. You should turn left and follow the paved road. A short distance ahead, a sign marks the start of the white-blazed Orchard Trail, but you should continue ahead along the road. Just beyond (between Campsites #34 and #35), you'll notice another glacial erratic on the right side of the road - with a small evergreen tree growing out of the side of this huge boulder!
Immediately past Campsite #20 (opposite the second restroom building that you'll pass), a woods road forks to the left. Leave the paved road and follow this dirt road, which passes Campsite #19 and the trailhead of the Spring Trail on the left. After passing Campsite #18 on the right, a signpost marks the start of the red-blazed Swamp Trail.
Continue ahead on the woods road, now following red blazes. To the left, the boulder-covered ridge you see through the trees is Jenny Jump Mountain, which you followed at the start of the hike. After passing through an evergreen grove, the road begins to descend, with a small wet area (after which the Swamp Trail is named) on the left. When you reach a T-intersection with the yellow-blazed Summit Trail, turn right and follow the joint Summit and Swamp Trails downhill, back to the parking area where you began.