Pochuck Valley to Pinwheel Vista

HARD 6 reviews
#2 of 6 trails in

Pochuck Valley to Pinwheel Vista is a 7.3 mile out and back trail located near Cedar Grove, NJ that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is only recommended for very experienced adventurers and primarily used for hiking and trail running. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.3 miles 1105 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash


trail running




5 months ago

Review will be first, directions under it.

I'm assuming this is supposed to be the Pochuck Boardwalk out to Pinwheel Vista and back? I can't for the life of me understand why this is rated as difficult. The stairway to Heaven part is nothing more than a somewhat steep, rocky hike to summit. The view is nice, nothing spectacular. To be honest the view is just a lot of farmland. Again not bad, but not incredibly memorable. The boardwalk part is pretty cool. I hear it's crowded but I went on a Monday morning so it wasn't too bad. If you live in the area I suggest checking it out. I had about an hour drive to get there and if that's your distance...I'd pass

These aren't necessarily directions but this is what I did and it turned out fine. A few other reviews have mentioned that the directions on this app are wrong. This is true. What I would recommend doing is putting Wawayanda State Park in your GPS and just asking the park employees where the trailhead is. That way you can either start at the boardwalk or start at the part where you'll actually get a view. You also get a free map this way. If you don't want to do that though, just put Glenwood Rd. in Vernon, NJ in your GPS and it will bring you to Rt. 517 where the parking area is for the boardwalk part.

5 months ago

6 months ago

So who's going to update the data?

Anyone have GPS coordinates to a parking area and trail head.

11 months ago

great trail! a little busier at the base by the boardwalk...but a fairly people free steep climb after that and ending in a spectacular view!

1 year ago

Frostbite’s review is correct that the hike is not in Cedar Grove. The trailhead is on Rt 517 in Vernon, NJ. Overall, a beautiful hike of approximately 7.4 miles roundtrip entirely on the AT, except for the quick side trip to the Pinwheel Vista which has an excellent panoramic view. The hike took us 3 hrs & 30 minutes. We stopped and talked to a handful of hikers who were going the whole length from Georgia to Maine.
The first half of the hike traverses the Pochuck Valley on a scenic boardwalk with a wooden suspension bridge. Then the trail goes through a wooded area, along a gravel bike path, and continues back into the woods. Climb over the railroad tracks and across the farmland that takes you to Rt 94. Cross over Rt 94 to the small gravel hikers parking lot. The white-blazed AT appears again at the back of the lot. Soon the trail ascends into the woods of Wawayanda Mountain using switchbacks and rock steps named Staircase to Heaven. At the top, you will see a blue-blazed Trail on the left. Follow the blue-blazes for a few minutes and you will reach your ending point, Pinwheel Vista. Great views! See attached photo.

2 years ago

Note the Overview is wrong. Pochuck and Wawayanda Mountain is not near Cedar Grove NJ. This hike is near Vernon Valley NJ off of 517 in Wawayanda State Park. There is a common hike that includes a switchback called "the stair way to heaven" which takes you up to the AT. I'd consider this a moderate hike under most circumstances; deep snow or ice would make it more demanding. Check the link for more beta.