Explore the most popular trails near Vernon Valley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Vernon Valley, New Jersey Map

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.

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

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.

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

Most absolutely beautiful views! Peaceful and aww inspiring!

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.

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.

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.

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

Great hike with mountain view

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.

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 :/

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

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!

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

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!

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

Pretty easy but really nice walk/hike. I loved the variety from boardwalk to cows to mountain vista. Great day!!!

Great hike, would rate this more moderate/hard. Did it after a rain fall, which made for a tricky decent.

I absolutely love this trail. It's great for any level hiker and has great views all around. It's definitely a unique trail system which is why I like it so much. I highly recommend it to anyone! Just watch where you step on the boardwalk...animals do use it as well so they leave little presents around lol.

An absolute must to do! We started on rt 517 at the boardwalk portion and hiked to pinwheel vista. Before we got to rt 94 we actually got the opportunity to hike through the cows which was amazing! Then we stopped for a light lunch at Heaven Hill Farms. Once we got to the Stairway to Heaven portion the terrain had changed drastically. It is rough terrain to the top but absolutely worth every step! I would highly recommend planning as a day hike with plenty of water and snacks.

We found this trail listed on one of the hiking websites as the #1 rated hike in New Jersey. To be clear, this hike is actually two connected trails, the Stairway to Heaven and the Pochuck Valley trail (an 8.2 mile out and back adventure). They are as interesting as they are different, so we will talk about them separately. First up, Pochuck Valley.

The Pochuck Valley boardwalks is a 2.5 mile system of boardwalks, wooden walkways, suspension bridges, pastures, styles, and wetlands. This is without a doubt one of the most unique trails we have hiked in NJ. Yet, without adding the Stairway to Heaven, we would have been left wanting a little something more. Luckily, this trail ends at the trailhead of the Stairway to Heaven.

'The Stairway' was a relatively short, relatively steep, rocky section of the AT that leads you to the .1 mile access trail to Pinwheel Vista. Take a left turn at the tree with an 8 foot pile of rocks at the base... hard to miss. The vista offers a nice view over the valley. Not bad.

Each hike alone would have been okay, but taken together offers a diverse, unique hiking experience. In short, they need each other. Well worth the trip! See uploaded pics for details. Enjoy!

My wife and I loved the boardwalk section. There are lots of wild flowers this time of year. Red-winged blackbirds are everywhere and we saw some turtles too. The boardwalk is a great option for after a heavy rainfall when other trails might be too muddy.

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.

Nice hike. Flat. Good exercise.

Great time, very muddy. Proper footwear a must. Bring extra shoes and sock for the car ride home. Scenery was very enjoyable

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