Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cliff Park, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, PA

ABOUT THE PARK:  Cliff Park, Delaware Water Gap NRA, PA   (GPS coordinates for Hackers Trailhead are incorrect on the web site, should be GPS 41.290300 -74.840100 not GPS 41.290300 -74.480100

Cliff Park Trail System (A couple of corrections to the map - there is no restroom at the Hackers Trailhead and the blue Pond Loop trail is .5 miles total, not .5 miles on each side of the pond.)
NY/NJ Trail Conference Northern Kittatinny Maps 122 and 123 each show part of the trails but no details.

GPS Coordinates to Hackers Trailhead on Raymondskill Road:  41.290300 -74.840100

View Larger Map

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.8 miles  (can be hiked in conjunction with McDade Recreational Trail for additional mileage)

This Pennsylvania part of the Delaware Water Gap is easily reached from Route 206 through New Jersey, only about 10 miles beyond Stokes State Forest.  This is a fairly easy hike, mostly on woods roads with minimal elevation changes, but with huge payoffs in scenery that you usually have to work a lot harder for.

Start at the Hackers Trailhead directly across Raymondskill Road from the parking lot.

Follow the yellow Hackers Trail keeping to the left a short distance ahead where the white Cliff Trail leaves to the right.  At .5 miles stay left on the yellow Hackers Trail as the yellow/white Logger's Path goes to the right.

At 1.0 mile arrive at Hackers Falls:

The next two forks beyond Hacker's Falls are unmarked.  Keep to the right at both.  At the T-intersection there are trail markers, turn left to stay on the yellow trail heading towards the pond.

At 1.3 miles turn left on the orange trail which is a fairly unattractive woods road.  Arrive at a clearing at 1.6 miles with a dilapidated barn and trailer straight ahead with piles of old tires.  (No more uglies after this point.)

Just beyond the trailer come out into the Cliff Park Trailhead parking lot where there is a restroom.  Continue through the parking lot to the blue Pond Loop trail.

You can go either way on the blue Pond Loop trail coming out at almost the same spot.
The north side of the blue Pond Loop brings you along the back side of the Cliff Park Golf Course.

If you take the north side, turn left on the orange trail at the end.  If you take the south side, turn left at the blue/orange trail which takes you to the orange trail where the north blue trail comes in on the left.  A short distance ahead turn left on the white Cliff Trail.

At 2.8 miles a short side trail to the right brings you to a fence at the Riverview Overlook.
View North from Riverview Overlook
View South from Riverview Overlook
From this overlook you can backtrack to the white Cliff Trail and continue by turning right on that trail or you can take a much more scenic foot path along the cliffs which is not shown on the map and is umarked.  This trail starts at the north end of the overlook fence.
High Point Monument in New Jersey from the unmarked foot trail along the cliffs.
From the National Park Service website, a little history of what took place along these cliffs:

Whether you take the white Cliff Trail or the unmarked trail, they both converge with the white/green Quarry Path at 3.1 miles.  You may continue north on the white Cliff Trail or for a prettier hike, descend steeply down the white/green Quarry Path.  Just remember you will have to ascend again but it is worth it.

At 3.6 miles turn left on the green Milford Knob Trail.  (Right goes to the Milford Knob Trail parking lot.)  Stay left at an unmarked intersection.  The gravel road then starts to climb steeply.  At the top, turn right when you meet back up with the white Cliff Trail.  A short distance ahead you will see the clearing at the Milford Knob Overlook.
View North and of Milford, PA from the Milford Knob Overlook
Turn around and retrace your steps heading south on the white Cliff Trail.  At 4.7 miles arrive back at the intersection where you can either continue on the white Cliff Trail or take the unmarked foot path to the left along the cliffs.  Either way, come back out at the Riverview Overlook at 4.9 miles.  Continue south along the white Cliff Trail.
At 5.8 miles a short side trail to the left comes out at the fence for the Minisink Overlook.
View south of the Delaware River from the Minisink Overlook.
View of Snyder Farm Silo and McDade Recreational Trail
View of the Route 206 Bridge over the Delaware River from New Jersey
Continue heading south on the white Cliff Trail to the last view at Tri State Overlook at 6.2 miles.

Continue south on the white Cliff Trail as it descends to a bridge.  Cross the bridge, about 100 feet ahead turn left at the T-intersection, cross over Raymondskill Road and arrive back at the parking lot at 6.8 miles.

For additional hiking on the McDade Recreational Trail you will need to drive a short distance as there is no connection for hiking there.  Turn right on Raymondskill Road.  At Route 209 turn left and immediately on the right is a pullout for the McDade Rec Trail.  You won't be able to see the connecting path easily and have to look for it along the perimeter of the pullout.

Alternatively, drive a very short distance farther north on Route 209 to a parking lot on the right with a proper, more visible access trail.

Click here for McDade Recreational Trail hike details.


  1. Hello, can you tell me if the pond is large enough to kayak on and if so, did you happen to spot a place to put a kayak in the water from???

    1. It has been 7 years since I was there, I really do not recall although I seriously doubt it. You would need to contact the park.