Easy hike through a scenic marshy area on a long boardwalk and over the Pochuck Suspension Bridge.
2.0 miles. Trail surface is easy, on level wooden boardwalks.
Note: There are three popular hikes on the Appalachian Trail in this area:
- Stairway to Heaven: Pochuck Valley to Pinwheel Vista – 7.3 miles, also from this parking area.
- Pochuck Boardwalk – Appalachian Trail – This hike.
- Stairway to Heaven NJ – 2.6 miles.
Our two cents:
Short, easy, scenic, and unique walk but super popular and can be very crowded.
Parking issues; consider a little longer hike by starting at the Canal Road North lot instead of parking along Rt. 517.
#116 of the North Jersey Trails map set.
Porta-johns at the trailhead on Rt 517, as of 11/2019 (They may be seasonal). Gas stations and fast food in Butler (more options), or in Vernon.
41.234733, -74.480867 [Rt 517 Parking SEE NOTES]
893 County Rd 517, Vernon, NJ 07418. Rt 287 to Rt. 23. Follow 23 to the exit for 515N. Left onto 644 (Vernon Crossing). Right on 517.
There is a sign with a hiker symbol, then another to denote the parking. Parking is on the right side of 517, along the shoulder.
Room is limited – somewhere between 10-12 cars perhaps.
–Alternate lot for boardwalk: 41.231694, -74.462111 [Canal Road North]
23 Canal Rd, Vernon Township, NJ 07462 – Should take you to the intersection of Canal Road and Bucky Lane. Small lot is on Canal Rd.
Follow the path until it intersects with the Appalachian Trail. Turn RIGHT onto that. It’s a footpath for a bit before meeting up with the boardwalk.
**NOTE** This Boardwalk trailhead is in a residential area that is experiencing issues with the parking situation. Please be respectful of the residents and their property.
As always, Leave No Trace – trash or otherwise. Parking illegally in the area may generate a ticket.
Weekends/Holidays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. NO PARKING is in effect on Carol Drive, Meadowlark Drive, Ann Place, Cove Court, Vlietstra Drive, Thistle Avenue, Ivy Place and Old Glenwood Circle. Parking on these streets is permit-only for residents.
If parking along Route 517, obey all posted signage and utilize the striped parking spaces.
Overview: Appalachian Trail (WHITE)
0.0 – From parking on the side of Rt. 517, follow a slight path along the road to a trail kiosk and turn onto the start of the boardwalk.
Easy walking on a long boardwalk through a marshy area.
A little further, cross Pochuck Creek on the impressive Pochuck Suspension Bridge.
1.0 – Boardwalk ends, turn around and retrace the route.
Optional: Continue further on, the path becomes a forested trail.
Hiked: 7/31/10. Trail Blog: “Stairway to Heaven: Appalachian Trail and Pinwheel Vista“