Hiking the Pochuck Boardwalk on the Appalachian Trail

Part of the Appalachian Trail, the Pochuck Boardwalk famous section of the boardwalk hiking trail through the marshy lands of North New Jersey. The trail is located in Glenwood, NJ, butted next to the Wawayanda State Park and starts off County Road 517. This serene and adventurous 1.5-mile section along the Appalachian Trail is a favorite among locals and also thru-hikers making the trek from Georgia to Maine.

Pochuck Boardwalk Hiking Trail in Sussex County, NJ

A Much Different New Jersey Boardwalk…

Leading up to the other famous section of Stairway To Heaven Trail, the Pochuck Boardwalk on the Appalachian Trail is a great place for all hiking abilities. Created and maintained by our friends at the NYNJTC, the boardwalk has gotten a facelift over the last year or so. Visitors will see newly replaced planks and supports along the way.

Picturesque Views Not To Be Missed

The vast fields and wetlands that surround the boardwalk make it a very unique and different experience compared to other Northern New Jersey hiking spots. Away from the granite mountainsides and rocky trails, this boardwalk offers 360-degree views along the way.

Perfect Trail for Bird Watching & Wildlife

With an abundance of resources, cover, and food, the wildlife in this area is more than you will see in other spots along the Appalachian Trail and is a perfect place for birdwatching. With various lookout points, including benches and a suspended bridge, there are many places to watch wildlife in the area.

When You Should Visit Pochuck Boardwalk

If you’re looking to walk along this boardwalk trail, we suggest going off-peak hours to avoid crowds. With the limited space on the boards, there are a lot of people squeezing by during the weekends. An afternoon during the week is a good idea to check out this trail, but if you are a weekend warrior, we suggest getting there VERY early so you can grab a parking spot along County Road 517. There is limited parking so be sure to get there early and respect parking signs.

How To Get There

Your best option is to start at the entrance of County Road 517 (GPS 41.235754, -74.480451, view on our map). You can find about 20 parking spots alongside the road there. If you are too late in grabbing a spot there are a few other places to park — you can find on the below map provided by our partners at NYNJTC.

What You’ll Need

Because this is a great walking section of the Appalachian Trail, it’s not a typical hiking trail, so you may need some different items.

  • Supportive Shoes, Like Sneakers: Because this isn’t a rigorous section of the Appalachian Trail, hiking boots are not required, but we do still suggest good supportive shoes.
  • Shade!: Whether it’s in the form of a hat, sunglasses, or both! There is very limited shade on this trail (only a few passes through a wooded area) so the sun will be bright and hot in the summer months.
  • Sun Protection: As we mentioned above, the sun is always beaming down on this trail, so be sure to have the proper sunscreen and/or sun-protective clothing.
  • Hydration Options: Bring plenty of water or sports drinks along with you, it can get hot out there especially if you’re stopping to take pictures as we did!

Find Other Great Hiking Spots!

Use the NJspots Hiking Map to find other great hiking spots around New Jersey!

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