The Old Mine Road

Like any road trip before it where the sole motivation was to relax and take some nice pictures, this one had no real navigational planning. I knew I wanted to go to the Delaware Water Gap national recreation area, specifically I wanted to drive Old Mine road along the New Jersey side of the Delaware River.  I knew how to get there, but was not really in a hurry.

I started up I-76 headed west, the wonderful Schuylkill expressway, headed for the northeast extension the Pennsylvania turnpike. Of course as anyone from the region can tell you it is not the place to be at 9 in the morning. I quickly changed plans and headed off in a different direction. I exited the expressway and got onto the Lincoln Drive and wandered the smaller roads out to Us Route 202 just east of Doylestown. I followed US 202 into New Jersey.

Once in New Jersey I immediately exited rte. 202 and headed north along rte. 29, which follows the river north to Frenchtown. From there I stayed along the small roads which border the Delaware River, ensuring I would pass through Manunkachunk because I think the name is funny and I thought maybe I would visit the famed Manunkachunk tunnels again. Although I did not visit, I did yell hello as I drove on by.

I had been along the Old Mine Road before, but it had been years and never on a lone trip. I was excited as I knew this was a great wildlife area with many trails, and the wonderful Buttermilk falls.My first stop was the old copper mine trail, a nice 2 mile hike up to an old abandoned copper. The hike started out OK, but very icy by the time I hit mile 1, and I had to retreat so as to not die since that was NOT on the agenda for today.

I carefully traversed back down the mountainside, be ever so careful of the many very icy patches along the way. It took some time, but I did get to see a very large and very unhappy Owl who was also very camera shy. I returned to my jeep and continued my journey, slowly taking in all the amazing scenery. This place is so beautiful in snow and ice. I took around 650 pictures, 300 of which are worthy of keeping and there are 30 in the gallery which can be accessed by clicking the link at the end of this post.

I was disappointed in how little wildlife I got to observe on this trip, although I did see numerous hawks and 2 Falcons. It was not a wasted trip though, as I got to take a few really great shots which I am quite proud of! This is a great day out in any season, but I would suggest a first trip being sometime in mid spring when the roads are not so Ice covered unless of course you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and are not afraid to drive on hard pack snow.
I plan to take another trip to the Gap in the springtime in hopes of getting some good wildlife shots, but for now this trip is ended. Please check out the gallery of pictures.