(Don’t) Mind the Gap: Mt. Tammany

Traversing over 300 miles, the Delaware River snakes its way through towering mountains covered in luscious foliage on its way from the Catskills to Delaware Bay.  Each peak offers an otherworldly view of the river below, but perhaps the most magnificent on the New Jersey side is that of Mt. Tammany.  Reaching a height of 1,526 feet, the mountain’s crest provides a panoramic view of the Delaware Water Gap and the neighboring bluffs.



What to Expect

The sign that marks the beginning of the Red Dot trail

In order to reach the summit, you will have to endure a strenuous trek.  Kyle and I elected to take the Red Dot trail all the way up the mountain.  We encountered rocky terrain that was relatively steep for the majority of the hike.  I am a cross-country and track runner, and even I had to take a few breaks along the way, so do not expect a walk in the park.  After getting on the trail, you will not have trouble following it, as it is well-marked.  The first view comes at about halfway up the mountain, which took us roughly 30 minutes to reach.

After stopping for this viewpoint, we continued along the trail, which became significantly more difficult to negotiate.  Another 30 minutes or so later, we finally

The view from halfway up the Red Dot trail

reached the peak, and we were duly rewarded with a sweeping vista that captured miles of the scenic landscape below.  If you are adventurous (like myself), you will want to climb down the rocky outcropping that extends about 50 or 60 feet down from the summit. From here, you can sit and take in 180° views of the river and mountains.


Stunning view from the peak

On the way down, we opted to take the Blue trail, which was much easier to hike.  If you are looking for an easier hike, Kyle and I recommend either taking the Blue trail up and down, or taking the Red Dot trail only to the first viewpoint, which rivals the view from the summit, and then heading back down.


All in all, the hike took me about 2-2 1/2 hours, covering a little over 3 miles.  This includes breaks and stopping to take in the view.  I passed a good amount of people during my ascent, and there were several more at the peak, but climbing down the outcropping afforded me a bit of privacy to take in the surroundings.  The trail is mostly shaded, so even on a hot day the hike is manageable.


There are three locations where you can park.  After getting off Route 80 a little bit before the last exit in New Jersey, there will be a lot on the right.  If this is full, continue on to the next lot, which is about 500 feet further and also on the right.  If both of these lots are full, follow signs for the visitor center, where you can park and walk back up to the main two lots.  The Red Dot trail and Blue trail both stem from these parking areas.


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