Hamilton Ridge

Hamilton Ridge, Delaware Water Gap (12/1/2007)
This 6.5-mile lollipop hike begins at the Millbrook historical village parking lot at the intersection of Old Mine Road and Route 602. Proceed north on the orange-blazed Orchard trail uphill to its end, making a left on the blue-blazed Hamilton Ridge trail. Take this trail to its western most intersection with the orange-blazed Pioneer trail. Turn right on the Pioneer trail and take it to its end, turning left onto the Hamilton Ridge trail and then proceed back to the parking area via the Orchard trail.

As you will see, during this hike you will pass by two abandoned houses on the Pioneer trail (which used to be Hamilton Road, and which is still labelled as such on Google Earth) within a quarter mile of it's western trail head. I assume these houses belonged to folks who were forced out by the government during the 1970s fiasco regarding the damming of the Delaware river at Tocks Island. I was overcome with a feeling of profound sadness when I came up close to these two houses, one with a chimney still in very good condition. The rooms still contained couches, love seats, sewing machines, magazines, an unopened SPAM tin. In one room, the fragments of children's drawings were still tacked to the wall. Outside one of the houses, a car sits abandonded with a 1950s-style vacation trailer behind it.

To read a fascinating account of the aborted dam project, check out this 11-part series that appeared in The Pocono Record in 2001.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Millbrook historical village

Millbrook historical village

Boundary walls on Orchard trail

Venerable old tree on Orchard

Hamilton Ridge trail is an old gravel road


White-breasted Nuthatch

Powerline bisects the Hamilton Ridge trail

Awesome pine plantation

Love those pines

Really love those pines!

The moon

I'm a lumberjack ...

View east from intersection with Pioneer trail

Ice on Pioneer trail

Barbed wire from abandoned homestead

Large abandoned house


Fireplace in living room

We heard pitter patter upstairs


Easy chair in living room

They were forced off their land

View NE on Pioneer trail

Fresh bear dung!

Another house across the street

Another family forced out


Unopened SPAM on kitchen counter

Sewing machine on kitchen floor

Scientific American from May, 1975

Sofa in living room

Abandoned car (60s trailer behind it, not seen here)

Inside car

Delaware River

Climbed down for a better look

Photo by Laura (obviously)

Photo by me (obviously)

Hunter on PA side of Delaware River

Beautiful tree on Pioneer trail

Boundary wall overlooking Delaware


Our very cold lunch spot

Abandoned adding machine on Pioneer trail

Stone structure (oven?) on Pioneer trail

Well behind the structure? Or oven?

Charlie Brown's Christmas tree

Back on the Orchard trail

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
Web design by Dan Balogh