"Stanley, time to get up!" Mommy called.

"Do I have to? I'm so cozy." said Stanley.

"I thought you wanted to hike the New Jersey Appalachian Trail?" said Mommy.

"I do", said Stanley. "But it's too cold".

"Stanley you are so silly. Just look at you. It was cold last night. It was 22 degrees but now it's warming up and just perfect for hiking." said Mommy.

Friday night we drove from home to a campground in New Jersey. The ride took us about two hours. It was dark when we got there so I didn't get to see much of New Jersey. This is my first visit to New Jersey.

Flat Stanley Rohland all cozy in his bed in Baby
Flat Stanley on trail to bridge over the Delaware River


From our campground, we drove to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and parked at the visitor's center.

On Saturday we hiked from the visitor center to Lake Lenape in Pennsylvania and back to where we started. Then we hiked from the visitor's center to Sunfish Pond and back. So we hiked everything twice. Once to get there and second to hike back to Baby.

If you want to find this area on a map look for Interstate 80 highway at the Delaware Water Gap.

Here you can see me sliding up the railing to get to I-80.  

This part of the AT is different from anything else that I have hiked so far. We had to cross this long bridge that goes over the Delaware River. You can see the walkway that they made for hikers. It is right next to the big road with lots of cars and trucks.

The bridge moves and bounces whenever big trucks go by. The traffic goes by so quickly that it makes a lot of wind. I put my hat on to keep my ears warm.

The bridge is really high too!

See the end of the bridge? That is Pennsylvania.


AT trail over Delaware River bridge
Delaware Water Gap

Here you can see the gap in the mountains where the Delaware River goes through. The Delaware Water Gap is famous because the gap is so deep and wide. It really is beautiful. The gap is a mile wide from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. The mountains are much higher than the river. The gap is 1,200 feet deep from the tops of the mountains to the river.

The gap is slowly changing. The river is eroding a little more of the mountains all of the time. The river takes away a tiny bit of ground each day.If you would like to learn more about how the Delaware Water Gap was created visit this site. It was made for kids.

Since the Delaware Gap is so beautiful a lot of people come here to hike. There are a lot of other trails here besides the AT. I met a lot of people from New York city. Hikers are so friendly.

Here I am crossing the Dunnfield Creek. I really loved hiking along the creek. There were mini waterfalls all along it. As we hiked up the hill we looked down at the creek.

There are trout in the creek but I didn't see any.

When I was getting my picture taken some girls said I was cute. My face got all red when they said that.

Flat Stanley Rohland on bridge over Dunnfield Creek
Flat Stanley on the AT near Holly Springs Trail

The AT turns away from the creek. Up and up we hiked over the rocks. We climbed a total of 1,000 feet. Have you seen how long a football field is? 1,000 feet is more than 3 football fields put together.

I just had to take a break. I'm so glad this tree seat was here to sit on. Sometimes the leaves covered the rocks so I didn't know where to step. I had to go slowly a lot of the time.

There are no shelters in the Delaware River Gap recreation area. There are only a few areas where hikers can camp. This is one of the areas where camping is allowed. That is why there are so many tents here.

The campers are not allowed to have fires. They must bring a small camp stove with them to cook their food.

Backpack campground #2
Flat Stanley Rohland helping Jim & Nick carry water to camp

Meet my buddies Jim and Nick. I met them when they were carrying this big jug of water back to their tent. They had two sticks in a big X to carry the jug. Can you see the sticks between them?

They were working so hard I decided to help them. Jim was laughing because I was tickling him.

If you ever see us on the AT, I'll take your picture too and put it on this website. Just make sure you say hi.

I would like to see pictures of you on the AT. Email your picture to stanley @ rohland.org . I will put it on a web page. Make sure you tell me where you were hiking and your name.

We finally made it to Sunfish Pond. Lunch time - yes! This was a really nice place for lunch too.

While I ate Mommy told me how this lake was made. 18,000 years ago a glacier dug out this area. That was a really long time ago. A glacier is a huge amount of ice that moves along. It has a lot of power to do all of this work.

We saw a sign about Sunfish Pond. It said Sunfish Pond was made a National Natural Landmark in 1970.

It sure was nice resting. Now we have to hike back down the hill. I can't wait to see Baby!

Flat Stanley Rohland at Sunfish Pond
Flat Stanley Rohland at view of Yards Creek Reservoir

Sunday we hiked from Mohican Outdoor Camp to Sunfish Pond. Sunfish Pond is where we ended our hike on Saturday.

There were a lot of great views on this hike. Here you can see Yards Creek Reservoir.

This reservoir is used to make electricity. At night and on weekends when people aren't using a lot of electricity, water is pumped from the lower reservoir to the one up the hill. During the daytime when electricity is needed, they let the water run down the hill in a huge pipe. The water pushes big fins that make electricity.

The Yards Creek electric station uses more electricity to pump the water uphill then it makes when it comes down the pipes. It just makes the electricity when people need it. 

When we looked down on the other side of the mountain we could see the Delaware River. It's a long way down there. Another really nice view.

From way up here the river doesn't look that big. It just looks like a big snake. It is 55 feet deep in some places. That is pretty deep! It is about the same distance between bases on a Little League baseball field.

A lot of people enjoy canoeing, boating, fishing and tubing on the river.  

Flat Stanley Rohland at view of Delaware River between Mohican Camp Road and Racoon Ridge
Raccoon Ridge - eagle and hawk watchers

This is Raccoon Ridge.

Can you tell what these people are doing? They are watching birds. They have hiked all the way up this hill so they can see birds migrating. The birds are traveling from their summer home to their winter home. These bird watchers saw eagles and hawks.

Do you see that big pile of rocks? That is how you know it is Raccoon Ridge. The rocks were piled up to make a table. People count birds from this place on the AT. They use the table to write down how many birds they see.

There really are a lot of people that like the AT.   

Daddy and I looked down at the Delaware River from Raccoon Ridge. He told me that we are really lucky there is still a river here. There were plans to build a dam here in 1960. The dam would make a huge lake. All this area would be flooded.

Many people in this area had to move away. Their homes were torn down. The dam would flood everything. 15,000 people had to move.

A lot of people were not happy. They did not want the dam. This would change everything.

In 1978 they decided not to build the dam. They would keep the land as a huge park and call it the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area.

I am so happy they changed their minds. This is such a beautiful place. I feel sorry the families had to move.  

Flat Stanley Rohland with Daddy Dave looking at Delaware River
Flat Stanley Rohland on the trail around Sunfish Pond

Today we hiked to Sunfish Pond again. We hiked from the opposite direction. We ended our hike where we had lunch on Saturday.

All around Sunfish Pond are rocks like this. It looks very pretty. Do you think it would be easy to hike this? I can tell you. No!

We ate lunch here again. Then we turned around and hiked back to Mohican Outdoor Camp.   

Oh boy, do my piggies hurt. I really love hiking on the AT but it can be hard work. I might soak my feet forever! "Mommy, this water feels so-o-o good".

I am really sad. We won't be doing any AT hiking until the spring. Mommy said I might be able to hear some AT stories from our friends. Do you have any stories about the AT?

Mommy and Daddy have more pictures of our hike. You may see them at New Jersey - Section 6.

If you have any questions you may email me at: stanley @ rohland.org.   

Stanley with tired feet

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