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Appalachian Trail Boardwalk to Warwick Turnpike Shuttle



8.8 mile 14.1 kilometer point to point
89% Runnable


Ascent: 1,784' 544 m
Descent: -1,030' -314 m
High: 1,397' 426 m
Low: 390' 119 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)


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Trail shared by Robert Hanson II

A route using the Appalachian Trail and featuring a boardwalk & the Stairway to Heaven, leading to Wawayanda State Park.

Robert Hanson II

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This is a 9+ mile route along the Appalachian trail that includes the boardwalk and Stairway to Heaven portions of the route as it travels through Vernon, NJ.

Need to Know

We staged cars at either end of the trail since there is parking at both locations, albeit limited on the Hewitt, NJ end. If you do not stage cars or arrange for a shuttle, you'll have to reverse your steps to return to your vehicle.


This is a great day trip that starts at the Appalachian Trail (AT) Boardwalk in Vernon, NJ, goes up the Stairway to Heaven Overlook and ends in Wawayanda State Park. The beginning of this run had very little elevation gain. The majority of the gain starts around mile 2, after crossing an active cow pasture and continues for roughly 1.5 miles up a very steep climb to the Stairway to Heaven Overlook which is slightly off of the Appalachian trail. The trail to the overlook is marked with a large pile of stones and a small sign.

There is a second overlook that is shown as a trail off of the Appalachian Trail (AT) which is marked by a mailbox in a tree designed for Through-Hikers. This lesser traveled trail begins as a right turn, and is an out and back trail that adds about 1.5 miles to our planned journey of 7+ miles.

Overall, this was an incredible outing with some challenging elevation changes and an incredible view from the top of the Stairway to Heaven. Once you leave the more traveled sections, there are a couple of spots to sit and take in views over small lakes in the area along the Appalachian Trail (AT) .

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background


Land Manager: NJ State Parks

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 9 votes


  4.7 from 9 votes
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in New Jersey


88 Views Last Month
4,754 Since Oct 15, 2016



A few steps onto the Appalachian Trail Boardwalk and this view already makes it a perfect morning.
Mar 30, 2017 near Vernon…, NJ
On the Appalachian Trail Boardwalk, enjoy views of Wawayanda Mountain in the distance.
Mar 30, 2017 near Vernon…, NJ
The boardwalk section of the Appalachian Trail.
Nov 28, 2016 near Vernon…, NJ
A view from the top of the Stairway to Heaven Section of the Appalachian Trail.
Nov 28, 2016 near Highlan…, NJ
A staircase over a cattle fence. There are several of these along this section of the trail.
Nov 28, 2016 near Vernon…, NJ
Pinwheel Vista is surely worth the climb up Stairway to Heaven.
Mar 30, 2017 near Highlan…, NJ


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