Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tillman Ravine - Silver Spray (Hidden) Falls - Buttermilk Falls, NJ

Stokes State Forest - NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Walpack Area Trails/Delaware Water Gap - National Park Service

GPS Coordinates 41.158422, -74.858411

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Upper Parking Area

Northern Kittatinny Trails Map 122 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Tillman Ravine Trails

Tillman Ravine, Hidden Falls and Buttermilk Falls, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  8.8 miles

Descending into Tillman Ravine.

Continuing through Tillman Ravine on the Cemetery Trail.
Walpack Cemetery
Tombstones range from very old to very new.
Can't help but wonder if nobody knew her name.
I would suppose this is who the ravine is named after.
Walking along Mountain Road - resembles more of a rail trail than a road with pretty scenery and maybe just a car or two passing.
Mountain Road
How to find Silver Spring (or Hidden) Falls:  Pass this old wooden fence on the right.
Cross over the creek (the outlet of the falls)
This farm will be visible to the far right and directly opposite on the left ...
... a small clearing that does not look like it goes to a trail but it does.
The trail is not marked but it is pretty well-defined.  Keep left at forks.
Rock hop over the outlet creek.
and continue on to ...
Silver Spray Falls

Leaving the trail from the falls and continuing on Mountain Road to ...
Buttermilk Falls
Not happy about being tied up like a common dog but after the fiasco 4 years ago when I had to drag all 65 pounds of her uncooperative dead weight up the steps to the top of the falls because she got scared and wanted to go back down and I got scared and could NOT go back down, we were not going to repeat that.  I just went up to the first landing for pictures.
The stairs to the top - much steeper and scarier than they look.  Just ask Shawnee.
What a welcome sight after a long, long winter!
Heading back on Mountain Road to the unmarked woods road - there was a chain across the entrance but it was laying almost flat on the ground.
The woods road starts out pretty well-defined.
It makes a nice break spot.
Then the woods road narrows into a footpath.
At the ruins on the left, the woods road becomes more difficult to follow.
You want to end up at this bend with the ravine down below.  The woods road should veer right and go uphill but there was nothing.
Bushwhacked uphill instead but it was a very easy bushwhack - no thorns, dense undergrowth or downed trees.
The topo map showed the woods road running at about 1000 ft. elevation so I headed up and slightly to the left.  Sure enough, at 951 ft. ran smack into a very well-defined woods road.
Nice winter views all long this woods road.
The rest is very easy to follow.
After the gate the woods road becomes even more well-defined.
"Woods Road" on the map.
A swamp along Brink Road.
Brink Road
Brink Road comes out at the paved road and it's a short quarter mile walk back to the parking lot.
Back into Tillman Ravine for a quick rinse before getting in the car - that was convenient!

[  0.00]  Take white triangle trail from parking lot into Tillman Ravine
[  0.50]  Short rock scramble at Teacup
[  0.90]  When white triangle trail turns right keep straight on unmarked which is the Cemetery Trail
[  1.20]  Turn right on Mountain Road
[  1.40]  Cemetery; retrace on Mountain Road and continue on Mountain Road
[  2.20]  Cross creek on bridge
[  2.40]  Woods road on right where hike will continue after falls
[  2.70]  Cross creek on bridge
[  2.80]  Turn left into clearing opposite end of old wooden fence on Mountain Road; trail straight ahead
[  2.85]  Keep left at fork
[  2.90]  Keep left at fork and rock hop over creek
[  3.00]  Silver Spray (Hidden) Falls; retrace
[  3.30]  Turn left on Mountain Road
[  3.75]  Buttermilk Falls; retrace
[  4.25]  Keep straight on Mountain Road at trail to Hidden Falls
[  4.65]  Turn right on woods road
[  4.95]  Woods road veers left as it becomes less well-defined
[  5.00]  Cabin ruins on the left; continue straight towards ravine
[  5.25]  At ravine, veer right and bushwhack uphill veering slightly left (woods road completely gone)
[  5.40]  Left on well-defined woods road
[  5.75]  Rock hop creek
[  6.00]  Turn left at T-intersection
[  6.10]  Continue beyond gate
[  7.25]  Turn left at intersection
[  7.50]  Keep left on woods road when Shay Trail goes right
[  8.50]  Turn left on paved Struble Road
[  8.80]  Back at parking


  1. This is a beautiful area! I have been to Buttermilk Falls several times. It used to be a well kept secret. It's more well known now. Haven't been up there in a while. Your pictures inspired me to go. I especially like your dog. What is his or her name? Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thank you! My dog's name is Shawnee and she just turned 13. Our hikes are becoming shorter and easier to accommodate her age and arthritis but she is still always ready and willing to hike.


  2. So amazingly beautiful. I live in the Pacific North West now but I am from North West Jersey and did hiking just like this when I was a bit younger. Especially around Tocks Island, the Walpak area, and all around the Gap ionclidong the PA side. Boy, sometimes I really miss it.

    1. But I bet you have some pretty awesome hiking places where you are now!

  3. Daniela - Thorough write up and photo blog. Half the joy of Silver Spray is not finding it the first or second time (at least for me - my girlfriend had quite the laughs at my orienteering skills!). However the gps enabled NYNJTC map #122 App, makes it pretty easy now aways! And yes, 'Mrs B - Fred's wife" certainly doesn't sound like it sums up a lifetime.

    1. Thanks, TJ. Well, you made my day. I have the worst sense of direction but I found Silver Spray on the first try without the map app! That is pretty incredible. But I must fess up, had one heck of a time backtracking and getting out of there - had to follow my GPS track back out when things started looking not so familiar.