Sussex County's Stairway to Heaven LbNA # 26116
|Placed Date||Oct 6 2006|
Notwithstanding the views of the Kittatinny Ridge, this hike offers (in my opinion), the most magnificent views in New Jersey. The parking area is on Route 94 about 2.4 miles north of Vernon, and 0.7mi north of Maple Grange Road on the northbound side of Route 94. Heaven Hill Farm is a few hundred feet north on the opposite side of the road.
According to the topographic map, this is close to a 1000' ascent, perhaps closer to 900 feet. The trail is protected by approximately 300 stone steps which were arranged by the AT crews and some other groups. It is quite an impressive undertaking, which took about three years to complete!
From the Rt. 94 parking area, follow the typical AT white blazed trail up the side of the ridge until the terrain begins to level off. Watch for a the beginning of a blue blazed trail on your left, where there is a pile of stones on each side of the cutoff entrance. The tree on the right side of the entrance is marked by a triangle of blue rectangles.
From the entrance of the blue cutoff, proceed north for about 22 paces. There is a large boulder, approximately 10' tall on your right, and an unmarked path deviates to the left. Follow the unmarked path another 20 paces to your visual reward at the top of the ridge.
While here, check out the Vernon Valley Great Gorge ski slopes and lodge to the South, Heaven Hill Farm below and Northwest, and far West on the distant horizon, is the High Point Monument.
Proceed north along the rocky edge and begin a slow descent onto a patch of grass. While facing the monument, there are two small pine trees. A four foot perimeter about the base of the White Pine (the one on the right) is where you need to be.