Red Dot Trail
Mount Tammany Trail, also known as Red Dot Trail, is probably the most strenuous trail I hiked this summer, and the most beautiful one (with Pinnacle and Lehigh Gap East closely behind). The plan was to hike up the Red, then head to Sunfish Lake via Fire Road and Turquoise, and back on the other side joining the Blue. Unfortunately, we got too tired and turned around half way on the Fire Road.
The parking lot at the trail head is nice and clean. It’s a circle. I took this picture standing by the AT trail head. Red Trail head is on the other side of the parking lot, on the right hand side once you drive in from I-80.
It’s Red on White blaze, and there are many of them to lead us to the top of the mountain. There is even a note to remind hikers that Day Light Savings Time is over and it gets darker much earlier now.
Follow the trail up the wooden steps.
The trail briefly levels off on a wide path. Nature’s golden fall color was the main color palette today.
It’s been raining so much recently, there are little creeks in the middle of the trail in many places. Waterproof hiking boots really helped today.
The trail soon reaches stone steps and large boulders that mark the start of a rather steep ascend.
After climbing over some rock outcrops, we reached the first panoramic viewpoint. Standing on the rock just to the right of the trail, you get this incredible view of Mount Tammany on the left, Delaware River with Arrow Island in the middle and Mt. Minsi on the right.
After a steady climb of 400 feet, it’s wonderful to rest with such beautiful backdrop.
Continue on the trail of red on white. Okay, here we went off the trail because we didn’t look for the blazes. It wasn’t too long before we realized this. I noticed there are plenty of blazes, so if I look around me and don’t see one, it’s more than likely that I am off the trail. Back tracking while looking at the AllTrails recording, we were able to get back on the trail without any issue. Tip: pay close attention to blazes, it’s hard to back track if you are too far off the trail.
The trail continues upwards through an open forest.
After about 10 minutes on this relatively easy part of the trail, we bear right on the trail that crosses a streambed.
The climb steepens! This seemed to last forever.
The triple blaze marked the end of the Red Dot Trail, which is also the summit of Mount Tammany.
Summit of Mount Tammany
Turn right and follow a rock outcrop downhill to another panoramic viewpoint over Delaware River wrapping around Mt. Minsi.
Most people stopped right here, rest and take pictures. We decided to continue downhill. It wasn’t an easy descend, but wait till you reach the lower outcrop!
Total amazement! Unobstructed panoramic view in all directions! The weather was so cooperating. It’s been raining a lot, and clear day like this was almost a luxury. Sure it was, an hour later, it was cloudy again.
Can’t take in enough of this beauty. Though it was a little late in the fall, the color started to dull, it’s still a sight.
After lots of pictures, we retraced our steps back on to the trail. The triple blaze market the beginning of the Blue Dot Trail. It was flat yet rocky. In a quarter of a mile, the Blue Dot turned sharply left, we decided to continue on Mount Tammany Fire Road toward Sunfish Lake.
Mount Tammany Fire Road
That walk along the ridge was beautiful mountain meadows full of blueberry bushes. It was a leisure stroll comparing to the Red Dot Trail. The whole area is filled with splashes of beautiful colors of the fall. Blueberry bushes are bright red, mosses are fresh green, furn is golden, and the sky is blue. A full color pallet indeed!
As the cloud thickens, it was no longer as bright. With daylight savings time over the weekend before, we realized we might not be able to get back down to the parking lot before it gets dark. We decided to turn around and back track to where Blue Dot Trail was and descend via Blue Trail.
Blue Dot Trail
Blue Trail was a steep descend on rocky and eroded woods road. Our legs were already tired, and the Blue seemed harder than Red :(.
Along the rocky road, we found some fresh woodear. I have never seen fresh woodear before, though the dried ones were a staple in my pantry. We had a lot of fun finding them off the rotten logs and pick them. That certainly helped us to forget the tiring descend. The woodear made onto my dinner table.
After a little over a mile from the turn, we arrived at a junction with the green blazed Dunnfield Creek Trail. Turn left and follow the blue and green blazes.
Dunnfield Creek Trail
Just ahead, there is an open area with a wooden bench overlooking a beautiful waterfall.
Continue a short distance ahead, it was the footbridge spans the width of the creek.
From here, the waterfall is in full view.
This is the most scenic section of the trail, and it’s very easy walk with cascading waterfalls just to the left.
In another quarter mile, the Blue Dot and Dunnfield Creek Trails end, and we were following white-blazed Appalachian Trail.
Soon the trail bears left and crosses Dunnfield Creek on a steel framed wood bridge.
We finally reached parking area where we started our hike six and half hours ago.