Super Bowl Sunday! So why can’t I just sit on the couch, watch the pre game chatter, and eat everything in sight? A look at the upcoming week’s weather, and I had to get one more ride in before Mother Nature shows us what winter really feels like. The plan was a McDade Trail ride, but Kyle suggested an alternate route that turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
I met up with Eric and Kyle at Dingman Falls at around 10:30am. At 35 deegrees and sunny, it was perfect weather for a gravel ride. We headed out over the Dingman Bridge and into New Jersey. As described in an earlier post, the Dingman Bridge is a wooden surface bridge. A person stands in the middle, and collects a $1 toll from each passing vehicle. From the bridge, we made the first right onto Old Mine Road and up the Peter’s Valley climb. At the top, a right hand turn puts you on old Old Mine Road, a hard packed gravel road that has seen better days. For 6 miles, you slither down, scoping out dilapidated barns and farmlife from another era.
Old Mine dumps you onto the Walpack Loop. Making a right, we climbed a bit, came to the fork in the road, and hung a hard right. Going up and over the top, we descended down to the beginning and off to the next off road section. A left hand turn put us on Mountain Road. A mix of dirt, gravel and sand, Mountain Road still had plenty of ice from last weeks snow storm. After about 2 miles, we were treated to an awesome sight, “Buttermilk Falls”.
Buttermilk Falls (in the Delaware Water Gap) is a picturesque waterfall right by the road. It cascades spectacularly, 90 feet down the red shale face off the Kittatinny Ridge. It is the only waterfall in New Jersey, apart from Great Falls, with a developed viewing area: the National Park Service has erected an interpretive display and built a wooden walkway to the top—not a bad place to be on a February afternoon. Mountain Road took us through a series of bridges with locked gates across the road.
Mountain Road came out onto Walpack Road just behind the Peter’s Valley Cemetery. As we came back to Peter’s Valley, we turned left onto Kuhn Road and followed it up to old Old Mine and took a a right. Back on gravel for about 2 more miles, Old Mine came back out on the top of the Peter’s Valley climb. We flew down to Rt. 560, and took another left back over the Dingman Bridge. Cruising back to the Dingman Falls parking area, instead of being happy with this ride, I was contemplating how I could connect this over to Van Ness or the McDade Trail to extend what was already a fantastic ride! 21 miles and 1,500 feet of elevation make this doable for almost anyone looking for a scenic ride.