Hiking Peanut Leap Cascade & Giant Stairs in Palisades Interstate Park

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If you haven’t visited Palisades Park yet, now is the time. Yes, now! Whenever you are reading this!

Of course, checking out State Line Lookout (directions) is one of the best overlooks in New Jersey, but hiking this park should be on your New Jersey hikes bucket list (if you need more ideas, see our whole hiking map).

This guide will walk you briefly through two of the best hikes in the park, which will take you through the woods, along the Hudson, to a waterfall, and walking across giant boulders. Need we say more? The Long Loop hike is just over 10 miles, but you can split it up.

Be careful in the snow, ice, and rain, but otherwise, enjoy! And check our our photo hiking gear guide if you need an update on any of your gear

The beginning of your hike will take you along the edge of the water, with lots of overlooks. Stop and take in the view!

Hiking to Peanut Leap Cascade

Yes — probably the weirdest name for a waterfall ever. But this hike is great!

Start at the aforementioned State Line Lookout parking area. Use this map to get a good idea of the elevation gain.

Hike along any trail that will get you from Bergen County into Rockland County until you get to the descent to the falls. 

After you hike down the switchbacks, you will have done about 1.5 miles.

Need more waterfalls? Check out our map and guide to the best waterfall spots in New Jersey.

Continue on to Giant Stairs

If you’re done for the day, trace your steps back up the hill and continue back to the car. There are several ways you can go to make the trail longer or shorter, or you can trace your route back along the edge. All in all, you will have done about 3 miles if you return after seeing the falls.

If you want to make a day of it, continue your hike on along the Hudson to see the boulder field and continue along the Giant Stairs section of the hike.


Along the way, you will see amazing views of the Hudson, the giant cliffs, and amazing trees. Don’t forget to come prepared with water, snacks and hiking shoes.

Enjoy your hike, and let us know if you’ve been there by tagging your adventures with #NJspots on Instagram!

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