New Jersey houses 72 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The adventure through NJ includes boardwalks, a boulder field, a suspension bridge, train tracks, fields of wildflowers, a cow pasture, and hardwood forest. The thru-hiker experiences the
climb up the “Stairway to Heaven,” a series of rock slab steps switch backing up Wawayanda Mountain (try to say “Wawayanda” five time fast), in order to reach one of the best viewpoints of these 72 miles – Pinwheel Vista.
On a NOBO walk, the hiker enters New Jersey (NOBO mile 1289) via a pedestrian walkway along I-80 crossing over the Delaware River. The path ascends from the border of Pennsylvania to the top of Kittatinny Mountain Ridge in Worthington State Forest. As the trail ascends it passes one of the highlights of the NJ section, Sunfish Pond (mile 1296). The white blazes lead the faithful to High Point State Park (mile 1332) and a side trail can direct the hiker to the highest peak in the state (1,803 feet).
Because the A.T. twists and turns, a thru-hiker can actually be hiking south in order to go north. New Jersey is one of those spots. The A.T. actually moves toward the southeast and
follows the New Jersey/New York border for about 30 miles. One major highlight of this section is the spectacular Pochuck Boardwalk and bridge. The mile long boardwalk and 110-foot suspension bridge took 24 years in planning with an additional seven years of actual construction at a cost of over $800,000 (I think they must have used gold nails). This section also provides a wildlife sanctuary that protects a wide number of bird species.
There is increasing black bear activity along the trail in New Jersey – so much activity that metal bear-proof trash boxes are in place at all eight shelters along this section the A.T. The trail eventually enters the state of New York near Greenwood Lake.
Photo Sunfish Pond – http://www.hiketheappalachian.com/index.php?method=thehike&submethod=August
Photo Stairway to Heaven – http://www.njhiking.com/best-hikes-in-nj-stairway-to-heaven-appalachian-trail/