Dunnfield Creek/A.T. Short Loop

Overview

This loop hike follows the cascading Dunnfield Creek and returns on the Appalachian Trail.

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

Buy Book:
Publication
First Published:
09/05/2012

Updated/Verified:
09/03/2012
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Dunnfield Falls in flow. Photo by Daniel Chazin.

Parking


View Dunnfield Creek/Appalacian Trail in a larger map

Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
40.974455,-75.125399
Driving Directions

Take I-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  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

At the northwest corner of the parking area, you’ll notice a sign for the Appalachian Trail. Proceed into the woods on this white-blazed trail, which soon crosses Dunnfield Creek on a steel bridge with a wooden deck. The trail bears right and begins to ascend parallel to the creek on a wide path, with the cascading creek, studded with rhododendrons, below on the right.Bridge over Dunnfield Creek. Photo by Daniel Chazin

In about half a mile, you’ll reach a fork. The white-blazed Appalachian Trail bears left, but you should take the right fork, now following the green-blazed Dunnfield Creek Trail and the blue-blazed Blue Dot Trail along the creek. A short distance ahead, the trails cross the creek on a wooden footbridge. On the other side of the creek, a short unmarked path leads along the creek to the base of Dunnfield Falls – an attractive waterfall. You may wish to take a short detour to these falls, a good place for a break.

When you’re ready to continue, return to the main trail, climb the slope beyond the bridge, bear left and continue on a path above the creek. Just ahead on the left, you’ll notice an open area with a bench that overlooks the waterfall. A short distance beyond, the Blue Dot Trail Dunnfield Creek. Photo by Daniel Chazin.leaves to the right. Proceed ahead on the green-blazed Dunnfield Creek Trail, which continues to parallel the attractive creek, climbing gradually.

Be alert for a turn, a short distance ahead, where the green-blazed trail turns right and climbs stone steps to avoid a washed-out section of the original trail route. The trail soon returns to its route along the creek, but after a while, it again bears right, climbs stone steps, and continues on a route far above the creek.Holly Springs Trail. Photo by Daniel Chazin.

About a mile from the start of the Dunnfield Creek Trail, it bears left and crosses Dunnfield Creek on rocks. Then, in another quarter mile, you’ll reach a junction where the red-blazed Holly Springs Trail begins on the left. Turn left onto the Holly Springs Trail, which climbs steadily on a woods road, passing the Holly Springs (an unreliable water source) along the way.

In about half a mile, you’ll reach a four-way intersection. Ahead, the woods road that you have been following is marked with yellow blazes as the Beulahland (Farview) Trail, but you should turn left onto the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. Follow the Appalachian Trail as it heads downhill on a wide path, rather steeply at first, then more gradually. In about a mile, you’ll reach the intersection where the Dunnfield Creek and Blue Dot Trails begin on the left. Continue ahead along the Appalachian Trail, now retracing your steps, to the parking area where the hike began.

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Parking

Please be aware that the park has been strictly enforcing parking rules.  Park only in designated parking areas and on pavement.  If the lot is full you can park near the visitors center on the other side of I-80.