The Best Hiking Spots to Visit in Vernon Township this Summer

Don’t forget your hiking boots! Whether you’re looking to escape for the weekend or get away from it all for an even longer vacation, you’ll find all of the hiking and mountain biking trails you need in the nearby Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge and Wawayanda State Park; each just minutes away from the Condos at the Creek resort in Vernon, New Jersey.

Many of the East Coast’s best hiking, boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing areas are at your fingertips here. In fact, you don’t know what you’ll see on a short hike in the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge – from migratory birds to federally protected turtles – so don’t forget to pack your camera to capture your unforgettable adventures.

Open year-round, both the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge and Wawayanda State Park offer an unspoiled look into the natural wonders of New Jersey and harbor hiking and biking trails that you and your family will not want to miss. From nature lovers to hiking newbies; the vast amount of hiking and biking trails situated nearby provide the perfect way to get away from it all and offer a challenge for any skill level.

The Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge is a federally protected wildlife habitat known for its diversity in plant and animal life, as well as hiking trails and fishing spots. The park’s wetland area, situated alongside more than 9-miles of the Wallkill River, is the perfect place to spot frogs, salamanders, and the federally threatened bog turtle, as well as a variety of migrating birds. The refuge includes two miles of Appalachian Trail hiking, as well as additional walking trails. It is also known for its cross-country skiing and is the perfect location for bird enthusiasts and wildlife photographers.

At Wawayanda State Park, outdoor enthusiasts will find more than 60-miles of hiking trails for beginners to serious hikers. The park is open year-round and features the serene Lake Wawayanda, surrounded by picturesque mountains. Twenty miles of the Appalachian Trail runs through the park and those who make it to the top of Wawayanda Mountain are in for a jaw-dropping view. Canoers and fisherman are in for a treat as well, in the serene waters of Lake Wawayanda. The park is home to a variety of local species, including the red-shouldered hawk, barreled owl, and great blue heron. It’s glacially formed, spring-fed lake offers a swimming beach (for those not afraid of cold-water swimming) as well as a boat launch and camping spots.

One of our favorite local hikes is the 9-mile Appalachian Trail Boardwalk to Warwick Turnpike Shuttle hike, which is family-friendly and great for all skill levels. You can follow the steps of the Appalachian Trail, including for 1.5-miles along the 110-foot long Pochuck Boardwalk, a wooden suspension bridge built to elevate this section of the Appalachian Trail over what was once a prehistoric lake. At the second scenic overlook, don’t miss the ‘mailbox in a tree’ built for Appalachian Trail hikers to leave messages during their trip. The hike ends in the beautiful Wawayanda State Park.

We can’t wait to see you this summer and share our favorite places to get away from it all, experience the natural wonders of New Jersey, and enjoy some of the best hiking spots along the East Coast!