Tag Archives: Steep

Steep grades in some places.

History’s for the Birds (Jockey Hollow & Scherman Hoffman Sanctuary)

Much less well known than Valley Forge, Jockey Hollow was where Washington’s army spent the winter of 1777, following its victories in Trenton and Princeton. There’s a beautiful, Intermediate hike through some of the National Park that preserves the area, and part of the NJ Audubon Society sanctuary. It climbs a ridge, passes the camp site of the NJ Brigade, and descends into the headwaters of the Passaic River, here a small wild trout stream. (Driving time is about 1:15 from Trenton via 206/I-287; rated Intermediate for elevation change though the hike is fairly steep in spots)


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Cushy It’s Not (Cushetunk Mountain Preserve)

Cushetunk offers two different hiking options. If you park at Old Mountain Road in Lebanon, it’s an intense 2.4 mile loop hike that includes a fairly strenuous scramble along a 0.9 mile ridgeline and an elevation gain of about 450 feet. If you park on Mountain Rd, in Whitehouse Station, the hike is about 7.5 miles and 1,100 cumulative vertical feet. (Driving time is about 70 min, Rated for Experienced hikers for elevation gain, rugged footing, and poor blazing)


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Variety is theā€¦ (Musconetcong Gorge Preserve)

The preserve is great fun, with a fantastic loop hike at its core, which you can extend in various ways. There’s about 600 feet of cumulative elevation gain: some of the climbs are quite steep. There are also a couple of stream crossings. Usually you can just hop over stones to cross, but in high water, you may get your feet wet. (Driving time is about 75 minutes, though the drive, mostly on Rt. 29 is beautiful and stress free; Rated for Experienced hikers because of elevation gain and steepness)


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Most Aerobic Walk (Switchback Trail at Baldpate Mountain)

The Switchback Trail delivers 425 vertical feet by itself, and you can achieve a cumulative elevation gain of nearly 1,000 vertical feet (well, OK, 950) by combining it with other trails. There’s no other walk of which I’m aware that delivers anything like that much vertical elevation gain within an hour’s drive of Trenton. Congrats to the Mercer County Park people for doing this. (Driving time is about 20 minutes; Rated Experienced for elevation gain)


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