Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in New Jersey with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hiking through the boulders was super fun and the stairs at the end were crucial.

Started at the Douglas trailhead lot which had a decent amount of parking. Headed up the Douglas trail which was a pretty steep climb but the trail was wide and we took it at an easy pace. Connected with the AT and followed that to an area with a very nice overlook of the valley. Continued on the AT until we got to Sunfish Pond where we scoped out a shady spot for some lunch. Found a shedded snakeskin near our lunch spot which was neat. After lunch, got back on the AT and hugged the shoreline of the pond where we saw a few salamanders and a bunch of frogs. At the far end of the pond we came to the Garvey Springs trail which headed back down the mountain. At the junction with the Rockcores trail we went right which seemed to be a less traveled trail and it definitely paid off. As we made our way down we came across a young black bear digging through a rotting tree stump. Upon noticing us, the bear calmly ambled up the mountainside and out of sight. A short distance further and we were back to the parking lot. All in all, a nice 5 mile loop for a late morning / early afternoon hike!

The giant steps were described to me as a “unique and challenging experience”...that’s about right.

This’ll get your cardio in for the day. Woo! I’m partial to the stairmaster so this hike was right my my alley. Hiked the trail in 2 hours with my bf. Fun scrambling mixed between spacers of flat scenic intermission. Would recommend hiking shoes to prevent rolling an ankle or stubbing a toe on all the boulders. Gorgeous view of the Hudson from both river and peak levels. Would def go again. Good stuff.

Enjoyable and challenging at times, fun trail. We hiked on a Saturday, and met a few other hikers along the way. Weekdays would prob be best if you’re looking for solitude.

Beautiful views. But tough trail. Climbing back up after the Great Stairs is hard!!!!

Great views, but not an easy trail.

not actually a loop. not well maintained

Good hike. Close drive. Lots of scrambling.

Had great cliff views

20 days ago

Did it in the rain so me and a friend had the whole trail to ourselves. Easy trail to navigate and not too challenging, other than the river and a small waterfall there isnt much to see, still a must do if in the area.

Great hike. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Not for your young kids.

Great fun. Some fast down hills and you can ride all the trails in about an hour. Some erosion has taken place either the 2018 rain. The blue trail has some bad erosion on the downhill near the big bridge. The hills can get your heart pumping! I’d compare it to a roller coaster on the boardwalk. Challenging and fun, not to wild.

Very fun, definitely enjoyed the scramble but it's not too difficult as some have said below.

Totally awesome hike! Suitable for all skill levels as long as you leave ample time to rest. For experienced hikers this trail is fantastic location for a quick day hike that’ll leave you satisfied work out wise and view wise.

As for those less experienced at the hiker game. Make sure you have proper foot wear or you will be slipping all over that rock scramble. Leave ample time to complete the hike so you can rest and even stop for lunch while taking in some beautiful views.

Be sure to bring your camera, Lots of snacks and water.
Leave your dog and young children at home. I’ve seen many falls and injuries from these populations.

Happy hiking!

Great trail! Awesome views, challenging & great areas to stop & just take it all in.

Amazing location to hike which is less than 1 hour drive from Manhattan.

One of my new favorite hiking places! We hiked on the red trail which was the river trail, led us right to a stream and then the gorgeous River, lots of falls and streams, and I love how the picnic tables are placed all over the trail on the river, we packed a lunch and literally ate on an island on the stream near a waterfall.. We will ref be coming back!

Also known as the giant stairs... wonderful hike but gets pretty packed

Heavily wooded moderate trail, one of the better ones in central jersey. Definitely a little rocky but the inclines aren’t anything difficult. Extremely muddy when wet but consists of about 5% wooden walkways, mostly over the muddiest portions.

Took the square trail to the red and back to the square with no connectors. Always a great afternoon hike — takes a little under 3 hours for the entire loop if you don’t stop often. Trails are well maintained but can get a little sloppy when wet.

Awesome views, tough rock scrambles and some difficult climbs. Great for a quick workout.

Lovely trail and a good walk. Great for experiencing the seasons! If you're into hiking year round- this trail is great. Awesome views in summer and spring, beautiful in the fall, and great to experience winter. Common place to see dog walkers and joggers as well as waterfowl!

Be careful for recent rain - rock scramble is a considerable portion of the loop and rocks can become very slick. Great local hike!

I love this hike. The 1 mile rock scramble is so much fun, and the steep ascent out is a great workout after the challenging hike. However, this hike is not a leisurely stroll. I’ve seen it make people cry.

Lovely trail along the Lamington (?) River. Good vertical makes this a moderate trail.

This is one of the best trails my husband and I have hiked recently. A super convenient 20-minute drive from the Upper West Side of NYC, this is a great trail if you don’t have time for a longer hike. It took us about 2.5 hours to hike it, including making several stops to see the view, enjoy the waterfall and hydrate! It is difficult, but very rewarding. Make sure you have proper footwear, and plenty of cold water if you go on a hot day like we did!

We highly recommend starting to the south (turning left at the first fork) and descending the rock stairs first. This will allow you to do a really fun ascending rock scramble when you get to the Giant Stairs, and puts the waterfall and a number of amazing vistas close to the end of the loop, which I prefer to have towards the end, rather than right at the beginning when I don’t feel like stopping. Plus, this is a tough trail and would have been much less fun to end it with climbing super steep stairs.

We hiked it on a relatively hot day and got a late start, but next time, we intend to go much earlier so we don’t get caught in the mid-day sun, as much of the rock scrambling is not anywhere near the shade. Thankfully, we both had climbing gloves, as the rocks got super hot and touching them was not much fun!

The trail was moderately busy for a Saturday, and people were very good about letting you pass them if they were moving slow. And a bunch of folks had dogs with them.

Two thumbs up! We will be back for sure.

WOW be prepared to work. not for beginner. This is not your casual walk in the park.

challenging and beautiful. Definitly not kidding about good footwear the rock scramble was intense. but loved the view and the workout. my favorite hike to date!

2 months ago

nice hiking trail can be a bit of a challenge finding trail signs

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