Flat Brook Loop, Delaware Water Gap is a 6.8 mile loop trail located near Layton, NJ that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.
Lots of Bear Activity, Rattlesnakes, Quite Woods, Lake, Steep Ravine What a day despite the high humidity. I started at the Flat brook and took Mountain Rd through the Flat Brook Valley. The only relief from the heat. Along the sides of the path there were many clear streams running down off of the ridge above. After a few miles I decided to bushwhack up to the top of the Kittatinny ridge. I took a 290 degree East baring. This then took me to an unmarked trail in the Blue Mt lakes area. The area was suppose to be a second home development but the Park service took it over. This is the reason for the many unmarked paths in the area. It was in this area that I encounter a famous NJ Black Bear. I took a short reroute to avoid him. This proved to be a mistake because I almost stepped on a Rattlesnake. Good thing he rattled when I got too close. I went around the snake and continued along the ridge to Hemlock Pond. Then I bushwhacked the outlet stream through a very steep ravine back down into the Valley and to the car.
I hiked this trail several times while doing a historical research project in the area. The woodland, ravine and ridge terrain is nicely varied. There are a number of archeological traces of past habitation and work. The black bears are fairly numerous, and snakes are not hard to find, but most of the bears are shy, and timber rattlers will warn you of their presence - as long as you don't clomp around carelessly. Use care in the wet areas that attract copperheads, as they blend into the fallen leaves. Use your walking stick to tap ahead so there are no surprises. This is a big sportsman area, so be aware of hunting seasons to avoid being mistaken for game.