Intermediate Hikes

Appalachian Trail to Pochuck Mountain

Description: This 4-mile, 'forgotten portion' of the Appalachian Trail to the summit of Pochuck Mountain is a steadier, easier climb than Wawayanda Mountain but completely in the woods. The mountaintop is mostly flat with mixed hemlock and hardwoods. An interesting vernal pond always seems to have turtles and frogs. You may even find a mink hunting amphibians, or the resident pair of Barred Owl.

Highlands Trail to Buckabear Pond

Description: This 4-mile switchback trail parallels Clinton Reservoir. The tour provides great views of the reservoir and Bearfort Mountain. The uneven terrain traverses under a climax forest with a rich understory of shrubs and wildflowers in spring and summer. You will pass a beaver dam and giant tulip trees amongst splendid solitude at Buckabear Pond - an ideal stop for a quiet lunch. The trail provides great snowshoeing in winter, too. Maps are available thru the NY/NJ Trail Conference or at Crystal Springs Resort shops.

Lounsberry Hollow Trail

Description: Little known and seldom used, this nature sanctuary owned by the New Jersey Audubon Society is a 250 acre portion of Pochuck Mountain is a destination for hikers and nature lovers wwho enjoy solitude and exploration. The preserve has well blazed trail undulates through a number of summits and ravines with rarely seen panoramic views of Vernon Valley from the west looking east. The trailhead is a located on the south side of Lounsberry Hollow Road in Vernon. Directions: From the Minerals Spa Hotel turn right onto Rte, 94. Turn left onto McPeek Road and bearing right at the fork with Sandhill Road. Go north on Sandhill Road until it becomes Rte. 517. After 3 miles turn left onto Maple Grange Road and a quick right onto Lounsberry Road. Trail head is mile on left.

Appalachian Trail Barrett Rd to Pinwheel Vista

Location: Barrett Rd, Vernon Township

Description: This hike starts at Barrett Rd and goes to the Pinwheel Vista. It is a section of the Appalachian Trail. It is a nice alternative to get to the vista without having to climb the strenuous face of the front part of the mountain. This trail is approximately 2.4 miles with rolling hills. Follow the white blazes. You will cross a stream and head south to the vista. When you see the blue blazed trail on the right, take that right and the vista will be a few yards in front of you.

Directions: From Minerals Hotel, follow Rt 94 north to the center of Vernon where Rt 515 and Rt 94 meet. You will see Burger King in front of you at the light. Turn left to stay on Rt. 94 and travel 4.4 miles. At Barrett Rd, turn right and follow for approximately 1.3 miles and you will see a small dirt area on your right to park at. Parking is limited. Follow the white blazes into the woods.

Dagmar Dale (North Loop)

Location: Wallkill River NWR Headquarters, Rte. 517. Vernon Township

Description: This 3 mile circuit trail is a gradual descent to the Wallkill River riparian corridor compete with a sturdy bridge over the waterway. Starting with panoramic views of the Wallkill Valley, the Dagmar Dale trail introduces the nature enthusiast to a bevy of wildlife habitats; beaver marsh, grassy meadows, overgrown shrubby fields and mature forests. The return hike requires the hiker to ascend several hundred feet to return to th e parking lot. The refuge headquarters has plenty of parking, bathrooms and a water fountain. Directions: From the Minerals Hotel turn left onto Rt 94. At next light, turn right onto Rt 517. Go until you reach Lake Pochung Road. Make a left turn onto Lake Pochung Road and go to end. Turn right onto Rte. 565 and a quick left onto the Wallkill River NWR headquarters.

Hamburg Turnpike Trail

Location: Hamburg Mountain WMA, Hardyston Township

Description: This little known trail begs to be discovered! Located off of Mountain Avenue, the Hamburg Turnpike Trail is a former colonial road that begins as a short residential street culminating at a significant woods road that climbs steadily until you reach an elevation of 1400 feet. Crossing mountain streams, remnant hemlock forest and dry ridgetop woods, the trail crosses a series of beaver marshes and across the Silver Grove Lake Wildlife Management Area before entering the vast Pequannock Watershed. NJ Endangered Red Shouldered Hawk, Barred Owl and Goshawk nest near the trail.

Directions: From Minerals Hotel turn left out of the resort onto Rt 94 south. Make next left onto Rt 517. Proceed for a few miles and turn left onto Mountain Road. After about another mile turn right onto Hamburg Turnpike and drive 1/10 of a mile to end to a small parking area on right.

Livingston South Trail

Description:This seldom used trail is well blazed and easily accessed from Breakneck Mountain Road. Starting from a small pond, the trail hugs the ridgetop overlooking Vernon Valley with scattered overlooks and interesting rock formations heading north to a junction with the Appalachian Trail several miles away. The trail is mostly level with no challenging climbs or rocky areas. Several offshoot trails meet with the main Livingston Trail. Consult the Wawayanda State Park map for more information. The map can be obtained by visiting the park headquarters or for more information please visit The NJ State Parks Web Site

Directions: From Minerals Hotel, turn right and go north onto Rte. 94. At 3rd light, make right onto Rt 515 and drive south briefly until turning left onto Breakneck Mountain Road. Drive east and ascend Breakneck Mountain Road until you reach a small woods road on your left.. Turn left and pull into the limited parking area.

Pumphouse Trail

Location: Wawayanda State Park, Vernon Twp.

Description: The Pumphouse Trail is one of many beautiful trails found in Wawayanda State Park. The trail itself is rugged with many short ascents and descents while crossing hemlock forests, ten foot tall rhododendrons and hardwood swamps. Seeing Black Bear or one of many interior nesting songbirds is to be expected in spring and summer. Several offshoot trails crisscross the main stem with one path offering great views of Wawayanda Lake from the south. The trail ends at a remote corner of the park by Cherry Ridge Trail.

Directions: From Minerals Hotel, turn right and go north onto Rte. 94 until you reach Vernon Center (junction of Rte. 515 and Rte. 94). Turn right on Rte. 515 and drive south briefly until turning left onto Breakneck Mountain Road. Follow Breakneck Road for 2.3 miles until you reach an intersection with a gas station and bear left onto Wawayanda Road. At 3.6 miles, bear right at fork to stay on Wawayanda Road and proceed into the park.