The park's backdrop is the beautiful Palisades Cliffs and its trails provide hikers with not only natural beauty but incredible views of the New York City skyline. Trails are open 30 minutes before sunrise - 30 minutes after sunset. New Jersey is home to a wide range of fantastic hiking trails, ranging from beginner-friendly loops to expert level endeavors. The trail featured today is closer to the latter. While it’s not incredibly long, coming in at just 4.3 miles, the Giant Stairs hike at Palisades Interstate Park is quite a challenging adventure. Are you up for it?
Palisades Interstate Park is a Jersey gem that runs north from Fort Lee along the Bergen County coast and up to Rockland County, New York.
The park's backdrop is the beautiful Palisades Cliffs and its trails provide hikers with not only natural beauty but incredible views of the New York City skyline. Trails are open 30 minutes before sunrise - 30 minutes after sunset.
While there are several trails to choose from, suitable for varying skill levels, adventurers will want to explore the Great Stairs.
The 4.3-mile trail is considered difficult due to the rock outcroppings. You'll need to hike nearly a mile over large boulders. This is the largest rock scramble in New Jersey!
You'll find the trail head near the State Line Cafe parking lot. Start by following the Long Path, marked in teal.
You'll come across a scenic overlook and head down towards the water. You'll pass a waterfall (depending on recent rain) and some rope swings on your journey.
You can find a detailed description of the hiking trail and necessary directions at NJHiking.com. You can also find park and trail maps at NJPalisades.org. The Giant Stairs Hike is not suitable for young children or pets but it’s perfect for experienced hikers looking for a thrill. The scenery is spectacular from the State Line Lookout alone and, when the cafe opens again, it’s a perfect spot to get a post-hike snack. To get a sneak peek of what you can expect should you desire to traverse this trail, check out the short (but very sweet!) video below by Unboring Exploring.
Written, Compiled & Edited by
The Bergen Review Media Team