floor. Proceed through a large hemlock
forest, skirt Catfish Pond, cross an old
creek bed and follow the swamp’s edge.
At several points, the trail goes right to
the edge of the swamp (help preserve
the environment—resist the temptation to step onto the spongy floor and its
variety of mosses). After about an hour’s
walk, (approximately two miles) turn
right on the stone road to the fire tower.
In five minutes, you will intersect the
Appalachian Trail. Turn right to head
up the ridge. You can walk on the rugged
trail or on the parallel stone road. A sign
points to Catfish Fire Tower, three-
quarters of a mile away.
The ridge-top walk is
smooth and effortless.
You’ll be awed by the par-
allel ridges that rise to the
north and south. Soon the
fire tower breaks through
the treetops. If you are
fortunate, Bob Wolf, the
fire warden, will be pres-
ent. Wolf will invite you
to climb the metal stairs
to the top of the tower and en-
ter a cozy little enclosure where it seems
you can see forever.
The ridgeline is 1,555 feet above sea
level; the enclosure atop the tower is 60
feet higher. On a clear day, you can see
the Catskill Mountains to the north and
the Poconos to the west. The tower is
typically staffed from March through
May and October through November,
when the woods are driest, because there
is no leaf canopy to absorb heat.
Continue along the ridge, often drop-
ping down to a shelf on the north side, with
excellent views in the late fall. Flaming-red
low-bush blueberries decorate the ridge
top. You’ll get beautiful views from the rock
slabs before turning right at a faint orange
blaze on a rock, indicating the Rattlesnake
Trail, which heads down to Mohican. A
speedy half-mile descent leads to the trail-
head. A left turn returns you to the lot.
● GETTING THERE: Mohican Outdoor
Center is located at 50 Mohican Camp Road in
Blairstown. Follow Route 94 to Mohican Road,
1. 1 miles south of Blairstown.
Sun;sh Pond Loop
via Garvey Springs &
● 5. 1 MILES ● MODERATE
THIS SCENIC LOOP TAKES you to Sunfish Pond, a glacial ridgetop lake that
has been designated a National Natural
Landmark. Ascend the orange-blazed
Garvey Spring Trail ( 1. 2 miles) for a
1,000-foot climb, hike the AT ( 1. 4 miles),
then descend the blue-blazed Douglas
Trail ( 2. 5 miles) to your vehicle.
The wide trail up the mountain—an
old graded road—is a gradual climb
through open forest, providing unusually broad views through the trees.
Look for wild game—including bears,
which are prevalent. Large, straight-col-
VIEWS FROM THE TOP
The panorama from Catfish Fire
Tower (far left), looking east toward
Fairview Lake and Long Pine Pond.
Taking a break at Culver’s Gap Fire
Tower (top left). Above: Looking
north toward High Point State Park
Monument on the Monument Trail.
on a log along
the path gets