I am one lucky person! I live about 10 minute drive from one of the most demanding and beautiful hiking trail in New Jersey and New York!
Do you want the demanding physical hiking, with never ending rock climbing and scramble, and it then treats you with steep incline from shore line all the way to the top of the cliff? Wait no longer. You must try the Peanut Leap Trail at the Palisades State Line Lookout!
Before I knew about this trail, I actually have done a frequent hiking at the Bear Mountain, NY. Make no mistake, trails at the Bear Mountain are also very challenging and breathtaking as well: especially the Anthony’s Nose trail. But given that I have to drive 40min one way to get to, and during summer season, you would have to pay $8 to park your car, I have been looking trails nearer and still offer some physical challenge, and I have scored a jackpot!
As always, make sure you are equipped with sturdy footwear, as well as, enough water . This hike takes about 2-4 hours. Once you start, there is no return, and that is the beauty of it! There are a few different ways you can start the trail but after having done various ways, I find the following the best to enjoy both the nature, scenery, and physical challenge.
After parking at the State Line Lookout parking lot, follow Old 9W Route north, and you will find Trail E on your right. Make sure to catch the beautiful scenery as well as hawks flying majestically nearby.
After walking serene Trail E for 15 minutes, you will get to the edge of the cliff where it allows a few peeks into the beautiful scenery.
Continue down the staircase, and cross two little bridges over two streams and you are greeted with nice warning sign.
When you see the sign, make right and continue down the path. After a steeper staircase that lead you to the bottom, your reward is paid by the beautiful waterfall (especially right after rain, or in Spring season when snow is melting) and serene Hudson River.
After enjoying a little break, continue your journey by turning right, and follow the shore line. After 10 minutes, you will be greeted by your first Giant Stairs (big rock scrambles). Then second, third, and finally the fourth one where it affords a beautiful view of the cliff where you started your hiking from. If you are lucky, you will catch beautiful daisies blossoming, or even a little snake!
As you continue this journey, you will see many fellow hikers. Many popular trail review sites like this one, actually takes people to the other way which is less challenging since you won’t end up walking up the Forest View Trail. Trust me. You will get hooked with this path as your body will want more! After going through all of the rock scrambles, you will soon reach the ground. Continue the path, and you will see the sign for Forest View Trail.
If you thought Giant Stairs was so challenging, wait until you make the ascend on the Forest View Trail. Peanut Leap Trail doesn’t let you down! This continuous ascend will take you all the way to the top and back to the parking lot through Trail A.
Just about when you think you have completed the vigorous ascent, you will be greeted by the green bridge. Get some rest since the ascend hasn’t ended yet!
After little bit more ascend, you will be greeted with a beautiful scenery and finally a chance to get back to the parking lot. When you do see the road, cross it and it will lead you to Trail A. Stay right and this will lead you right to the parking lot.
I do this trail whenever I get a chance, including weekends, and whenever I take time off from work. This is an incredible gift for those that live near. I tell my family and friends that this is like having very expensive gym near me, and that whenever I get to go, it equates to me making $100 back from both health benefits and its exquisite physical challenges.
What are you waiting for! Don’t lose a second! Go for it!