The hike started out going past a big lake in the middle of the woods, with benches and picnic benches surrounding it. It was half frozen with the cold though.
The trail started to climb very gently and it wasn't long before we saw some nice views - even if they were overlooking only the very busy highway below.
A lot of the trail was thickly surrounded by mountain laurel, which is always fun to walk through. I specifically remember a long tunnel of mountain laurel on our backpacking adventure in April 2011.
Of course it did not take long for things to get a little bit steeper for our climb to the summit of Mt. Minsi (elevation gain 1020 ft in about 2 miles.)
Both of my dogs wanted to bark like jerks at the nice chocolate lab who was trotting along politely with his group of hippie owners. They lacked enthusiasm for this photo as a result!
From the summit we continued along the mountain ridge to Tott's Gap. After the vista, we did not encounter any other hikers, but I kept the dogs leashed because muzzleloader was in season. I really don't care to leave Molly off her leash for hikes much anymore, but Perri is a very good girl and would have been afforded the privilege if it had not been open hunting season.
The sun was setting for the return trip and everything looked even prettier with the evening light.
I am pretty sure this is "Mt Tammany", and the New Jersey AT goes up and over that mountain. An adventure for another day...