Monday, June 27, 2011

Camping on the Appalachian Trail: NJ Backpacker Camp #2

Located midway between Delaware Water Gap, PA and the AMC Mohican Outdoor Center, backpacker camp #2 in Worthington State Park, NJ is much nicer than guidebooks let on. We had expected a typical shelter with a bare dirt perimeter from overuse.

What to expect

We were pleasantly surprised first by how quickly we arrived at the camp site and secondly by the large size of the camp. We first sighted a large wooden bulletin board which stands at the trail intersection adjacent to the camp. The bulletin board provided information on the camp rules, bear safety, maps of the surrounding area, and more than one reminder of no camp fires in New Jersey. Walking around the sign, it was obvious that the last rule is frequently disobeyed as much of the area was charred from a previous out-of-control fire.

While not level and with frequent rocks and trees, we did note many green grassy areas suitable for tent camping. Hammock campers will also find many suitable pairs of trees from which to hang. We were also amused to find our first BearSaver bear box and eagerly opened and examined it. The bear box was centrally located and there was more than one.

Not too far from the bear box and seeming uphill and downwind from most camp sites was a moldering privy. Common along the Appalachian Trail, the moldering privy provides for composting human waste to the benefit of the surrounding forest.

Near the western edge with a great view of the Delaware river Valley below was a wooden platform with a sign noting this was the ridge runner's reserved campsite. Since no ridge runner was present, we plunked down our pack on the platform, dug out our food bag and had a lovely lunch while enjoying the view. We recommend you do the same if passing by outside of the busy season.

Water for the camp is available at nearby Sunfish Pond, just a short 15-minute walk further north along the Appalachian Trail.

Stays are limited to one night only, so don't plan to hike up for the three-day weekend and hang out. You'll be asked to move along.

Getting there

The easiest route to backpacker camp #2 is northbound along the white blazed Appalachian Trail from Delaware Water Gap. The trail is moderately steep, but easy to hike in comparison to the Appalachian Trail just north of the camping site. The route follows a creek for the first part and then slowly peels away and continues up to the summit where the camp awaits. We were able to walk from trailhead to camp in just over one hour.

No comments:

Post a Comment