Appalachian Trail: Tott's Gap

Appalachian Trail at Tott's Gap (9/22/2012)

The last time we hiked the AT in Pennsylvania was way back in 2007 when we climbed Mount Minsi to gaze at Mount Tammany across the Delaware River. Today we returned to bag a couple of vistas indicated on the 2012 edition of the NYNJTC Kittatinny Map #120: Lunch Rocks and the Nelson Overlook. That was the plan anyway. But as often occurs on the AT ridges of the Kittatinnies, the weather didn't cooperate. When we arrived at the gate on the southern end of Tott's Gap Road we could see the ridge engulfed in a soupy mist. Walking up the gravel road to the AT, we couldn't see the communications tower near the intersection. And heading south on the AT we saw nothing at Lunch Rocks and nothing at the Nelson Overlook. You can see only white in the first series of vista photos.

We arrived at Kirkridge shelter just before the autumnal equinox, registering in the log and then hanging out until 10:49 AM before completing the Blue shelter trail and taking the AT back north to the gravel road and back to our car. Miraculously the mist began lifting enough to give us a hint of the vistas that could have been. We were able to see a farm below us at Nelson Overlook and the communication tower from Lunch Rocks, but little else. The best views of the day came in the two telephone line cuts near the communications tower. We were able to see nice views both east and west, albeit marred by the telephone lines.

Incidentally, since the first half of our hike was during the last 100 minutes of summer, and the second half was during the first 100 minutes of autumn can I now tell everyone I know that I hiked the Appalachian Trail from summer to autumn without stopping?

Total distance hiked was 4.8 miles in just over 3 hours.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Gate at end of Tott's Gap Road

Parking for 3-4 cars

Heading up the gravel road

Misty morning

Intersection at top

The Appalachian Trail

Tott's Gap

Very rocky and slippery


Narrow passage here

Telephone line cut




Beautiful purple wildflower

Heading south

Another lost glove

Heading into ...

... the mist ...

... on the AT

Flowers in the mist

AT blaze up ahead

Taking previous pic [photo by Laura]


Spider web

Tiny flowers

Fire ring

Early autumn leaves

Misty Lunch Rocks


Dash of color

Cool tree

Mountain Laurel thicket

Heading to Georgia


Climbing to misty and ...

... viewless Nelson Overlook

Birch tree

Wildflowers in mist

Continuing south

View north

Blue trail to shelter

Antenna near shelter

Crooked tree and antenna

Outhouse near shelter

Wildflowers at ...

... Kirkridge shelter

Misty path to the water

Spacious shelter

Trail log

Signing ...

... the log


It's 10:49 AM! Happy Autumn!

Kirkridge Retreat Center ...

... near water supply

Slug on tree

Back to ...

... Nelson Overlook

Farmland below

Misty view, but a view!

Wildflowers at Nelson Overlook

WWYY 107.1 FM radio tower from Lunch Rocks

Misty view at ...

... Lunch Rocks

Silos in distance

The famous AT blaze

Wildflowers ...

... on the trail

WWYY radio tower

In a telephone line cut

Wildflowers looking west

View east in the cut

Taking in the view

View east


View west from cut

Another view west

Regal tree

Rocky descent

WWYY radio tower now visible from road

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
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