6.3 Miles Moderate
The Cooper Mine - AT - Kaiser Loop Hike at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Hardwick Township, New Jersey is a moderate 6.3-mile hike that brings you along three popular trails and up to a ridge with scenic views along the Appalachian Trail.
This is an awesome loop for a day hike at the Delaware Water Gap - only some steep portions, and otherwise a gradual ascent. The middle two miles are along a stunning scenic ridge that is part of the Appalachian Trail, which is a bonus. The Delaware Water Gap can be packed on nice days, but this trail is secluded and overall, a great way to spend a few hours.
Mileage: The hike starts off at the parking lot and runs along the Cooper Mine Trail (red blazes) for 0.2-miles until you reach a fork in the trail. Stay left to keep hiking along the Cooper Mine Trail, which will lead up to the Appalachian Trail. After 2-miles into the hike, you'll finally reach the Appalachian Trail which sits at the top of the Kittatinny Mountain ridge. Follow the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail for approximately 2-miles until you reach the Kaiser Trail (blue blazes). Take a right-hand turn on the Kaiser Trail for 2-miles until you reach the original fork in the trail with the Cooper Mine Trail - stay left here to head back to the parking area. Before you reach the parking area, take a right-hand turn along the spur trail that leads to Old Cooper Mine.
Parking: Parking can be found at the direction coordinates provided at Dunnfield Creek. The parking lot at Dunnfield Creek was full on the Sunday we hiked this trail, but we only saw two other groups on our route.
Bugs: Beware -- lots of ticks and mosquitoes. Bring deet. Our dog, in particular, had 100ish ticks. Be smarter than we were.
Pets: Dogs are allowed on this trail as long as they're leashed and their waste is carried out.