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Challenging Hikes in NJ

Trail maps, photos, videos, and info for some trails in New Jersey that are long and/or challenging. These trails are either long (10+ miles), and/or hard – extra rugged terrain or elevation changes, scrambling etc. Recommended for experienced, fit hikers only!!

Mt. Tammany and Sunfish PondChallenging Hikes - Sunfish Pond

Steeply climb to the summit of Mt. Tammany (1527′) for amazing views over the Delaware Water Gap, then follow the Kittatinny ridge along a fire road before heading over to beautiful Sunfish Pond, a glacial lake 1,000 feet above the surrounding area. Return is via the scenic Dunnfield Creek Trail.

11.3 miles; challenging. The hike up Mt. Tammany is short but steep (1250 feet in 1.5 miles, and a little minor scrambling involved).


Splitrock ReservoirSplitrock Reservoir

Summary:This loop combines a section of the Four Birds Trail with the Split Rock Trail to circle Split Rock Reservoir. Enjoy views of the reservoir and Misty Pond from Indian Cliffs. It’s challenging in distance/terrain and is one of the most difficult hikes in NJ.

11 miles; challenging. Even though the loop is on the low end of challenging distance wise, the relentless minor elevation changes of the Highlands terrain gives you a workout.


Stonetown CircularChallenging - Stonetown

Trail Summary: A challenging Highlands loop with outstanding views – and this hike makes you work for them. Climb and descend four mountains – Windbeam, Bear, Board, and Harrison – to take in views of the surrounding mountains as well as the Wanaque and Monksville Reservoirs. Also scramble over Tory Rocks.

10.4 miles; challenging. The first half of this hike is constant up or down, the second has more level areas. These mountains certainly aren’t tall – but they will seem like it as you go up and down, repeatedly.


“Mind the Gap” – Mt. Tammany and Mt. Minsi in One DayMind the Gap

This challenge combines two classic hikes in the Delaware Water Gap, and let’s you see the Gap from both summits in one day. Outstanding views on each trail. At Minsi’s summit we could see where we’d been on Minsi’s summit… which was rather nifty.

8.6 miles total; challenging. It’s not the distance on these hikes – it’s the steepness.


Wyanokie High Point, Carris Hill, Buck MountainWyanokie High Point, Carris Hill, Buck Mountain

Rugged, hilly route to Wyanokie High Point, Carris Hill, and Buck Mountain that includes lots of views of the New Jersey Highlands, the NYC Skyline, Chikahoki Falls, plus a little scrambling.

8.6 miles. On the lower end of challenging only due to not having high mileage. Very rocky, relentless up-n-down (typical of the Highlands area of Jersey), plus some scrambling up Buck Mountain.

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