Sunday, May 6, 2018

Appalachian Trail at Pochuck Boardwalk

Sussex Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.7 Miles

Pros: Unique scenery in interesting environment
Cons: Can be busy with many people

This an interesting hike quite different from the others I typically do. Instead of hiking through forests and vistas, this one is through a swamp on a wooden boardwalk. Its fairly easy and has lots of birds, and views of the mountains in the distance.

I first noticed this section while hiking the Pinwheel Vista/Stairway to Heaven on the Appalachian Trail at Wawayanda State Park several years earlier. I noticed the wooden planks of the trail below from the summit and thought they would be interesting. Later on I did some reasearch and learned this is indeed a popular trail area, where the Appalachain Trail is forced to cross a wetlands valley between Wawayanda and Pochuck Mountains.

I parked on the side of the road on County Route 517, after Meadowlands Drive, where the boardwalk starts on its western side. I crossed the wooden suspension bridge at Pochuck Creek, and continued until the trail went into woods on slightly higher elevation. I continued past Canal Road, and on off off the smaller wooden plank boardwalks. I continued past the railroad, across the field, and then hit Route 94. I went a bit in to the Pinewheel Vista trailhead, and then turned around and went back the same way I came.

Map of the Route

Information Kiosk at the Boardwalk Trailhead

Looking East Towards the Swamp

The Beginning of the Boardwalk

Wooded Area at the Beginning of the Hike

AT Near the Beginning

Boardwalk Winding Through the Swamp

Cattails and Foxtails in the Swamp

Me on the Pochuck Boardwalk

Red Windged Blackbird in the Swamp

Boardwalk Section after the Bend

New Construction in Progress on the Boardwalk

The Wooden Suspension Bridge Crossing Pochuk Bridge

Atop the Wooden Suspension Bridge

Wooden Suspension Bridge from the Other Side of the Brook

Single Lane Boardwalk after the main Boardwalk Area

Continuation of the Wooden Planks

Railroad Crossing along the Appalachian Trail

Looking down the Railroad Track from the Trail Crossing

Wooden Planks Near the Cow Meadows

Wawayanda Mountain in the Background

Wooden Planks Boardwalk

Me on the Wooden Planks

Kiosk on the Appalachian Trail prior to the Wawayanda Mountain Climb

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