Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
881.00 ft (268.53 m)
Trail type
10.35 mi (16.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

There is two ways to access this loop.  From the north off of Route 23 or from the south at a small parking lot on Deckertown Turnpike.  This adventure is from the south.  The parking lot on Deckertown Turnpike can fit about 8-10 cars.  This is the access point for the Appalachian Trail.  From the parking lot, follow the Appalachian Tail (AT, white trail markers) north for .65 miles where you will cross the Iris Trail (red trail markers).  Continue on the AT for 1.3 miles along a ridge with great views. The trail will turn away from the ridge, crosses a stream and meets up with the Iris Trail again.  The two share the same trail for a very short distance until the AT turns off the the left.

Continue on the AT for another .75 miles, passing a blue trail (access to the Rutherford Shelter) and gaining another ridge.  The trail stays on the ridge for 1 mile with some really nice views then descends 1.5 miles to meet the Iris Trail again.  At this point, turn right off the AT onto the Iris Trail following it back in a southward direction.  After 1.8 miles you will reach Lake Rutherford.  After passing Lake Rutherford, it is about .75 miles until you reach a trail junction with the AT that you previously crossed when traveling north on the AT.

Continue straight on the Iris Trail when the AT breaks off to the left.  Hike another mile until the Iris Trail meets the AT again,  Turn right onto the AT and back to the parking lot to complete the loop.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Shelter access and views.


Rocky terrain. Muddy in sections.

Trailhead Elevation

1,344.00 ft (409.65 m)

Highest point

1,596.00 ft (486.46 m)


Backcountry camping
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.