Do you enjoy hiking? Have you heard of Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River’s Take a Hike! program? As a way to get people to enjoy the outdoors, Upper Delaware has partnered with the New York Department of Conservation, the Pennsylvania Game Lands, Sullivan County, NY, Boy Scouts of America, and Damascus Township, PA to create the Take A Hike! program which includes six local trails. Located just south of the Mongaup River at the intersection with CR-31 (Upper Mongaup Road) on Route 97, you will find a small pull off with a bulletin board marking the trail head for the Mongaup River Trail. This is one of the trails included in the Take A Hike! brochure.
The Mongaup River Trail is a two-mile linear trail that provides a relatively easy hike with abundant opportunities to view eagles, wildlife, and waterfowl. This hike will take you past large Eastern Hemlock trees towering overhead as you hike through the steep ravine landscape. This trail can sometimes be wet and muddy but will be manageable with its small stone and dirt hiking surface. This relatively flat and short trail can serve as a perfect starter trail for young or novice hikers and is wonderful for the whole family. If you enjoy history, you will find the old Knight Cemetery to the right of the trail, once you reach the end. The engravings on the stones are weathered and hard to read, but if you look closely you will see that one date is “1816”.
Upper Delaware’s “Take a Hike!” brochure highlights six local hikes and provides the names, locations, descriptions, and difficulty levels of trails in the Upper Delaware Valley. It also provides a checklist to keep track of the trails you’ve hiked which can be turned in upon completion at Upper Delaware’s park headquarters or the Zane Grey Museum as well as mailing to the park for the coveted “Take a Hike!” patch. Taking advantage of this local hiking program is a great way to get out and learn more about the beautiful natural resources of this region, whether you are visiting the area for the first time or are a lifelong resident who may not have ever know about these trails. This resource is available on the web at www.nps.gov/upde/planyourvisit/take-a-hike.htm or by calling (570) 685-4871 and asking a park ranger to put a copy in the mail for you.
When hiking the Mongaup River Trail or any other trail it is always a good rule of thumb to be prepared by wearing sturdy shoes or hiking boots, bringing plenty of water, snacks, sunglasses, tick/insect repellant, binoculars, and a hat. It’s also good practice to do a thorough tick check once you’re off the trail. Please be respectful of this trail and remember that it is carry-in, carry-out. Please don’t litter.
If you are seeking even more hiking opportunities close by, look at the Trail Keeper (www.trailkeeper.org) page for plenty of hiking options throughout Sullivan County, New York. Happy Hiking!