41° 12' 49.482" N / 74° 26' 42.162" W
Jumping from one of Jersey's best hot dogs to one of Jersey's best hikes, the trek through the boardwalks of the Pochuck Valley and into the punishingly steep climb up Wawayanda State Park's "Stairway To Heaven" is as iconic as it is rewarding.
Often mentioned alongside Mount Tammany in the Delaware Water Gap as a "must-do" New Jersey hike, we recommend starting at the always photo-worthy boardwalks of the Pochuck which wind through the wetlands and offer some gentle rolling terrain before crossing a set of railroad tracks and cutting through a ribbon of singletrack across an occupied cow field. Cross Route 94, and as soon as you hit the forest edge you enter Wawayanda State Park and are welcomed by a relentless uphill push for more than half an hour before reaching the Pinwheel Vista, a view from above that is hard to top anywhere in the state.
We hate to say this, as we have loved this hike for years, but the current wave of social media culture has blown this part of the park up to huge crowds on nice weekends. For a little bit of solitude, and to suffer the climb on your own, weekdays and off season are probably the best bet nowadays.