Stairway to Heaven and Pochuck Valley via Appalachian Trail

MODERATE 111 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Stairway to Heaven and Pochuck Valley via Appalachian Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Vernon Valley, New Jersey that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1122 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This hike starts out in at the AT crossing on Route 517 the Pochuck Valley and starts out flat for about 2.5 miles on boardwalks,a suspension bridge, and a cow pasture. It then crosses Rt. 94 and enters the "stairway to heaven" - a steep set of switchbacks over rocky terrain that wind their way up.

hiking
2 months ago

I absolutely love coming here So much so we got married on the suspension bridge on July 1st. For the rest of my life this hike this trail will have a special meaning to me.

hiking
3 months ago

Although the Pochuck trail is easy, Adding it to the Stairway to Heaven trail is well worth it.

4 months ago

Loved this hike. I've heard it is very crowded on the weekends so we took 1/2 day of work and arrived at 3:00 on a Friday. Not crowded at all. The 8 mile out and back took us 3 1/2 hours. You can make good time on the boardwalk section. The hike to the vista is challenging but worth it. We did see a bear on the way up, so be aware. Beautiful along boardwalk at sunset.

hiking
4 months ago

Love the woods in this area, beautiful hike. Started at sunrise on a Tuesday and only saw two other people on the way back.

4 months ago

Most absolutely beautiful views! Peaceful and aww inspiring!

hiking
5 months ago

Very cool hike, mostly on boardwalk in beginning but few places for dog to "explore" along route. Definitely coming back and with more water next time.

hiking
5 months ago

Good trail. Heavily trafficked. A bit confusing where to go at the top. This was worth it for the view but I wish it were harder and less people were around.

hiking
5 months ago

The boardwalk area is lovely with amazing wildflowers. The Stairway to Heaven is very rocky and gets a bit steep toward the end, but the view at the top is worth it.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice trail through a boardwalk with beautiful wild flowers, forest, a cow pasture and a bouldering hike to a spectacular view of Sussex County.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike with mountain view

hiking
6 months ago

This was our 1st trail and it was a bit tough, specially the stairway to heaven part, however it was worth the efford. The way back was way faster since we weren't taking pics or stopping to admire the scenery. It was interesting to cross the farm, since the cows were there... they were ok though. Would recommend and do again.

hiking
6 months ago

I don't know if it was just an off day, but I didn't get the pay off from this hike that I was expecting. Yes the view at the vista was really nice, but something just felt missing. The boardwalk section, while nice, was sweltering hot with zero shade, and there where so many people, even on a monday afternoon. Now should this be held against the trail, that a lot of people love it? No it shouldn't, but it did impact the experience so its impossible for it not to.

The main gripe I had with the trail is the boardwalk section. From Rt 94 to the vista it is certainly more enjoyable, for me at least. The incline up was way more intense than I was expecting. Maybe it was an off day, but this ascent felt harder to me than Mt Tammany. The view at the vista was great. If started from 94 I would give this trail a 4 stars, but I didn't love the boardwalk section :/

hiking
6 months ago

absolutely wonderful hike. it has a little of everything, some water, boardwalks, suspension bridge, lots of birds, beautiful wild flowers and a great hike up the stairs to the top of the mountain. very nice how the hike up the stairway to heaven just zig zags around, never becoming really too steep. very enjoyable hike. highly recommend

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful scenery. Came across a bear right by the entrance, turtles, bull frogs, snakes, cows and bulls. The landscape changed at every turn. Great and strenuous hike up up the mountain!

hiking
8 months ago

The boardwalk section is crowded, and the peak is not for beginners! But the views are worth the climb.

8 months ago

Water. Bridges. Climb. Vista.

8 months ago

Awesome views

hiking
11 months ago

this was one of the first hikes I ever accomplished and it still is as good as I remember. Made the stairway to heaven climb in 30 minutes and made the descent in 15!
Whole hike took less than 3 hours which was crazy.
A great beginner hike to a harder difficulty and elevation climb!

11 months ago

I will try on every season autumn should be beautiful or a real winter

hiking
Saturday, December 03, 2016

Great!!

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