Palisades Interstate Park Palisades Boulder Field Trail

Alpine, New Jersey

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
5 Reviews
4 out of 5
This awesome hike begins from the highest point of the New Jersey Palisades and steeply descends 530 feet to the Hudson River. Part of the trail is an obstacle course through a sea of boulders and part of it is a series of stone steps leading downward. Wear sturdy hiking shoes because some of the huge rocks are smooth and slippery—particularly when weather conditions are wet or icy. Although this hike is strenuous in places, it’s well worth any muscle aches you may have afterward, for the views beneath volcanically formed vertical columns are exceptional. No doubt, Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazano was impressed when he discovered the Palisades in 1524, which he referred to as a “fence of stakes.” Heavy quarrying once threatened this area, but when Congress established the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the natural beauty of these basaltic cliffs was preserved for all to enjoy. The cliffs of the New Jersey section, whose present appearance dates back about 12,000 years to the Ice Age, have been named a National Historic Landmark and also a National Natural Landmark.
Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey

by Arline Zatz (The Mountaineers Books)

This awesome hike begins from the highest point of the New Jersey Palisades and steeply descends 530 feet to the Hudson River. Part of the trail is an obstacle course through a sea of boulders and part of it is a series of stone steps leading downward. Wear sturdy hiking shoes because some of the huge rocks are smooth and slippery—particularly when weather conditions are wet or icy.

Although this hike is strenuous in places, it’s well worth any muscle aches you may have afterward, for the views beneath volcanically formed vertical columns are exceptional. No doubt, Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazano was impressed when he discovered the Palisades in 1524, which he referred to as a “fence of stakes.” Heavy quarrying once threatened this area, but when Congress established the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the natural beauty of these basaltic cliffs was preserved for all to enjoy. The cliffs of the New Jersey section, whose present appearance dates back about 12,000 years to the Ice Age, have been named a National Historic Landmark and also a National Natural Landmark.

©  Arline Zatz/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Alpine
Length: 5.5
Elevation Gain: 530 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Day Hike
Season: Dawn to dusk
Local Contacts: Palisades Interstate Park Commission
Topo Map: Palisades Interstate Park: Palisades Boulder Field Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

Trail Photos

Got photos of this trail? Upload Now
View All Photos

Recent Trail Reviews

4/4/2015

This hike is awesome! I started early at 7 am. Started at the interstate area, headed down the stone steps to the base of the waterfall, then headed south along the river across the boulder field. The sun was smiling, and the hawks were flying the whole time. A few hikers passed by, but by no means a festival. There are several options to complete the loop. I chose to stay on the river trail up to the park headquarters, affording a much longer loop. It was well worth the effort. Will post pics shortly.

10/16/2010

This was a very fun trail. And when they say boulder field they mean it. The entire east side of the hike is spent walking over boulders. The waterfall near the end was very nice too, a great place to stop and grab a bite to eat. This trail only took me 2 hours to complete.

View All Reviews

Activity Feed


Joined Trails

Joined Trails

Joined Trails