Cliff Park, Milford Knob, Hackers Falls

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Hike along a cliff with multiple spectacular views of northern New Jersey, the Delaware River, and Pennsylvania, before heading to Hackers Falls.

7.0 miles. Uphill in the beginning but level along the cliff, with a slightly rocky surface. 

Our two cents:

Reward-to-effort ratio is high on this hike. After an initial uphill climb, follow a mostly level ridge with view after over the Delaware River into New Jersey, where High Point Monument might be spotted in the distance.

Use the casual path along the cliff for more views than the actual trail, but take care to stay back from the cliff edges as there are steep drop-offs. This path may have seasonal closures (usually Feb to early August) to protect nesting peregrine falcons.

Those with little ones may want to stick to the wider Cliff Trail (still has several viewpoints).

Updated: 7/2021 – Page refreshed; not re-hiked. Photos added, minor update that Buchanan junction is now unmarked. 10/2019. Re-hiked, minor description changes.


Map:

Maps 122 and 123 of Kittatinny Trails. The 2021 version shows the updated trail area when leaving the Cliff Trail and heading to Pond Loop.

Note: Our interactive map runs along the casual cliff path for most of the route, until after Milford Knob when we follow Cliff (WHITE) back.


Parking: N41.29021° W74.84002°

Rt 80 W to exit 34B for Rt 15 N. Turns into Rt 206 N, take over the Milford-Montague toll bridge into PA. L on Rt 209. R on Raymondskill Road.

Small dirt lot on the left is Hackers Falls lot. If it’s full, try the Raymondskill Falls lot just past it – but both lots tend to fill up.


Restrooms:

Composting toilets in a building at the Raymondskill lot, just a few feet past the lot for this hike and connected by a short trail; also in the Cliff Park parking lot about 5 miles into this route.


Hike Directions:

Overview: Hackers (YELLOW) – Cliff (WHITE) – Buchanan (ORANGE) – Pond Loop (BLUE) – Buchanan (ORANGE) – Hackers (YELLOW)

0.0 – Trailhead is across the road from the parking lot, between fence posts.

Soon, turn RIGHT to start following Cliff (WHITE) [Hackers (YELLOW) goes straight].

Head steadily uphill, crossing a bridge and a few other trails.

0.5 – Tri State Overlook. 

View with PA in the foreground, and NJ on the other side of the Delaware River

The valley below can get low clouds that obscure the view.

Fogged in viewpoint

The clouds will burn off as the morning progresses and they can make for some interesting photos.

Low clouds over a valley with a gnarled tree in the foreground

Continue on the wide Cliff (WHITE), or pick up the narrower casual path that runs along the cliff that will offer more views. There are opportunities to switch back and forth between them.

Note: Casual paths along the cliff are closed for Peregrine Falcon nesting from February to early August – when there are closed signs posted stick to the Cliff (WHITE) trail only.

Closed sign

Looking north, with the smaller cliff-hugging trail on the left.

The cliffs have a dramatic drop off to the fields below.

Cliff face covered in green foliage with farm land below

1.0 – Minisink Overlook.

High Point monument in New Jersey is just visible far in the distance, with fields below.

Zoom into the obelisk monument at High Point State Park in New Jersey. All of that forest in the foreground is also Jersey.

High Point Monument

The fields below. The trail along the bottom is the multi-use McDade Trail.

Wide view looking south over the field and on to the Delaware River. All the green trees beyond is New Jersey.

Large green field in the foreground with green hills in the background.

Looking south with a view of the cliff dropping off to the field below and the Delaware River in the distance.

Cliff face with green field below and river in the distance

Zoom into the Delaware River from the Cliff Trail.

Zoom into the Delaware River

Zoom into the bridge crossing the river New Jersey into New York.

Bridge surrounded by forest

2.1 – Riverview Overlook.

Fence at a viewpoint

Take the casual path that hugs the cliff (keep right) if possible as staying on Cliff (WHITE) misses the views in this next section.

The casual trail along the cliff

2.3 – The casual path rejoins Cliff (WHITE) at a junction with Quarry (GREEN/WHITE). Continue on Cliff (WHITE).

Faint casual path through foliage

2.9 – Continue straight on Cliff (WHITE). [Milford Knob (GREEN) comes in from the right].

3.0 – Milford Knob Overlook. The town of Milford, PA can be seen below but the view is somewhat obscured by trees.

Zoom into the town of Milford below the Cliff Trail at Milford Knob.

Zoom into the town of Milford, PA

There is a casual path to the left but it doesn’t lead to a better view. There was a metal star on the ground last time that wasn’t here now.

Retrace on Cliff (WHITE) to well past the Riverview Overlook. Pass an unmarked trail or two.

4.6 – Turn RIGHT to now follow an unmarked trail downhill. This is easy to miss, at a bend in the trail, with a trail post is on the left that had markers removed from it.

On older maps and the first time we hiked here this was marked as Buchanan (ORANGE). The map on the trail kiosk was different than reality the day when we hiked, though it may be updated now.

You’ll know you missed this turn if you end up at the junction with an ORANGE-WHITE connector trail, 0.35 miles away.

// Shorter option: Cliff (WHITE) continues straight – take that for a direct route back, missing the waterfall and pond and cutting 1 mile off the route. -OR- Turn right at ORANGE-WHITE and take Buchanan to the falls, cutting the pond off the loop. //

4.7 – Turn LEFT to now follow Pond Loop (BLUE) [Pond Loop (BLUE) also goes right, around the other side of the pond, and ends up in Cliff Park parking lot too.]

Pond Loop Trail

4.8 – Turn RIGHT to continue on Pond Loop (BLUE) [Buchanan (ORANGE) goes left, and is a shorter way to the falls, meeting up with this route at 5.5 below]. Cliff Park pond comes into view.

The pond at Cliff Park

5.1 – Pond Loop (BLUE) ends up in a small parking lot with a toilet.

// Optional side trip: Once in the parking lot, turn right and continue around the pond just a bit to a nice wooden bench. A golf course is directly behind. //

Pond surrounded by trees

Walk through the parking lot towards the left of the bathroom to start following Buchanan (ORANGE) on a wide path, past some old buildings.

5.5 – Turn RIGHT to now follow Hackers (YELLOW).

5.7 – A trail sign post states Hackers (YELLOW) continues straight but in marker it’s written Falls with an arrow to the left.

Turning LEFT here or continuing on YELLOW leads to the same spot.

5.9 – Hackers Falls, in October 2019:

Hackers Falls

Hackers Falls, with higher water flow, June 2017:

Close up of Hackers Falls
Hackers Falls seen through trees

When done, continue following Hackers (YELLOW) along the stream on a wide path.

Flat trail with tall trees on either side

6.3 – Turn LEFT at a T-intersection to continue following Hackers (YELLOW).

Continue following the markers for Hackers (YELLOW) back to the parking lot.

Hiked: 10/13/19. Trail Blog “Hiking Cliff Park and Raymondskill Falls in October
Hiked: 6/25/17.