Easy Hikes

Wood Duck Trail

Location: Route. 565 .1 mile within the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge.

Description: This circuit 4 mile hike on a former railroad bed is an ideal family trek that is flat but elevated over a series of natural habitats. Open marsh, bottomland swamp forest, hardwood forest and shrubby fields greet the hiker with great opportunities to enjoy seeing wildlife such as muskrat, beaver, and even black bear. The Wood Duck Trail is great for birdwatchers in search of rarities such as Barred Owl, Great Blue Heron and Wood Duck. It is a great place for kids to see turtles and frogs too!

Directions: From Grand Cascades Lodge head west on Wild Turkey Way until end. Make right onto Rte. 94 to junction with Rte. 23. Turn right onto Rte. 23 North for an estimated 5 miles until junction with Rte. 565. Turn left onto Rte. 565 for .1 mile. Trail parking on right.

Appalachian Trail (Canal Road section)

Location: Canal Road, Wawayanda State Park, Vernon Township

Description: The Canal Road section of the Appalachian Trail is a four mile gentle stroll that ends at Rte. 94. The AT here represents the most panoramic viewsed of entire trail system while wending through corn fields, forest groves, wetlands and shrubby pasturelands against the of the Wawayanda and Pochuck Mountain ranges. The trail is great for nature observation, botanizing, bird watching and for a short hike. Canal Road is part of Vernon Township's Biking Trail for family oriented road bikes tours.

Directions: From Grand Cascades Lodge head west on Wild Turkey Way until end. Turn right and go north onto Rte. 94. Proceed through light at McAfee and continue north onto Rte. 517 for 4 miles. Turn right onto Maple Grange Road. Cross bridge over Pochuck Creek. Turn left onto Canal Road until end and park in Trail parking lot.

Appalachian Trail (Pochuck Creek section)

Location: Rte. 517, Vernon Township

Description: This handicap friendly 4 mile hike takes you along an elevated wooden trail over the Pochuck Creek marsh and crossing the Pochuck Creek along a suspension bridge. Afterwards, the AT enters the largest protected limestone forest in Vernon Township with several centuries old trees and rare and unusual wildflowers. This section of the AT is hugely popular and frequented by thousands of visitors every year. Many activities take place here including, nature observation, bird watching, trail running, and short and through hikes.

Directions: Grand Cascades Lodge head west on Wild Turkey Way until end. Turn right and go north onto Rte. 94. Proceed through light at McAfee and continue north onto Rte. 517 for 5 miles until you reach the shoulder parking area parallel to road. Park and proceed to trail head on east side of Rte. 517.