Hike along a cliff with multiple spectacular views of northern New Jersey, the Delaware River, and Pennsylvania, before heading to a waterfall.
7.0 miles. Uphill in the beginning but level along the cliff, with a slightly rocky surface. Take care to stay back from the cliff edges as there are steep drop-offs.
- Shorter: ~4 mile loop – hike Cliff Trail to past Minisink Overlook but then take Buchanan to cut out the whole section to Milford Knob – still get some views and a waterfall, but with less distance.
- Short: 2 mile out-and-back to Tri State Overlook.
- Short; variation: 2 miles round trip out-and-back to Hackers Falls (no views).
- Longer: It’s very worthwhile to check out Raymondskill Falls, which can be reached from this lot.
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 NJ, 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 those with little ones may want to stick to the wider Cliff Trail (still has several viewpoints).
Map: Maps 122 and 123 of Kittatinny Trails. Note: our GPX file runs along the casual cliff path for most of the route, until after Milford Knob when we follow Cliff (WHITE) back.
Books: None that we know of.
Parking: N41° 17.413′ W74° 50.401′
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 2009. Small dirt lot. If it’s filled, try the Raymondskill Falls lot just past it, but both tend to fill up.
Restrooms: At the Raymondskill lot, just a few feet past the lot for this hike; also in the Cliff Park parking lot about 5 miles into this route.
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 wooden fence posts (no signage the day we hiked).
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. Walk a few feet from the trail to the overlook, with a rock overhang.
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.)
1.0 – Minisink Overlook
2.1 – Riverview Overlook. From here, be sure to take the casual path that hugs the cliff (keep right) – staying on Cliff (WHITE) misses the views in this section.
2.3 – The casual path rejoins Cliff (WHITE) at a junction with Quarry (GREEN/WHITE). [Alternate: take Quarry to Milford Knob (GREEN) to meet up at the next section – this involves a downhill and an uphill and we’ve not taken it so don’t know if views are along it.]
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. We expected a broader view but it’s somewhat obscured by trees. When I looked to the left to see if there was a trail to a better vantage – a bear was looking back at me (the first of two spotted this day). So we didn’t stick around long enough to find a different viewpoint. And so much for having a snack break.
[A large metal star was laying on the ground, usually it’s standing upright. It was placed here in the 1930s according to this article: “Milford’s star on the Knob shines again“.]
Retrace on Cliff (WHITE) to well past the Riverview Overlook.
4.6 – Turn RIGHT to now follow Buchanan (ORANGE) downhill. [Cliff (WHITE) continues straight.]
4.7 – Turn LEFT to now follow Pond Loop (BLUE) [Pond Loop (BLUE) also goes right, which leads to the Cliff Park parking lot too.]
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 X below]. Cliff Park pond comes into view.
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.]
Walk through the parking lot towards the left of the bathroom to start following Buchanan (ORANGE) on a wide path, past some old buildings.
[The day we hiked this, a door was slowly banging in one of the buildings – just enough to sound creepy. A few minutes later we spotted a bear wander out of the woods lumbering nonchalantly towards the trail – the largest bear we have ever seen (other than at Glacier NP). HUGE. We backtracked a bit and waited while he crossed the trail, and only continued once we spotted him way off into the woods on the other side.]
5.5 – Turn RIGHT to now follow Hackers (YELLOW).
5.8 – Turn LEFT to continue on Hackers (YELLOW) – this turn was not marked (and the trail also continues straight) but is at a large sign listing prohibited activities.
5.9 – Hackers Falls. When done, continue following Hackers (YELLOW) along the stream on a wide path.
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.