If you are looking for a great day out in the New York, New Jersey border area, we have come up with the perfect summer outing triptych. It is just the right combination for a fun-filled midsummer day. Three places to visit all close to one another, offering unique but complimentary experiences.
1. Stairway To Heaven Trail – We started off early with a hike on the Pochuck Valley to Pinwheel Vista, or the Stairway To Heaven trail as it is known as. This trail might be my very favorite trail in New Jersey. I love it for a few reasons. firstly it is diverse in terrain, flora and fauna. We have been a few times now and each time we see different animals birds and flowers. The boardwalk is incredible, picturesque and an easy path for young and old to stroll on. There are also numerous interesting bridges along the way. We have hiked all the way to the cow pasture on this hike, and look forward to hiking further when the weather is mild. This trail is part of the Appalachian trail and so you encounter dedicated and inspiring long distance hikers. There is limited parking on the roadside, but so far we have always been able to park. It may be different on weekends. You can use a stroller on the first part of the hike, until you get to the numerous stairs over the suspension bridge. It you check out the link above there is a video of the hike.
We park our car on RT517 between Meadowlark Dr and Carol Dr, Glenwood / Vernon Township.
2. Ochs Orchard – After the hike we headed over to Ochs orchard for berry picking. A quintessential New York State family owned farm located in the small town of Warwick. Depending on the time of year you go, your will find a great variety of U-pick options. We were able to pick blueberries and raspberries, with ripe strawberries also on offer. It is a picturesque country drive to Ochs Orchard and when you arrive at the u-pick area you will be treated to a beautiful view of the valley. We found the produce super, with good pickings that are well priced. The berries we picked were devoured by the time we reached home!
3. Bellvale Farms Creamery – Perched on a hill, perfectly placed in a country setting is Bellvale Farms Creamery. Serving homemade ice-cream with milk sourced from the farm’s 125 (very well loved) registered Holstein cows! Bellvale Farms was presented with the Sustainable Agriculture Award from Orange Environment. They received this prestigious award for its “Commitment to sustainable farming practices including diversifying grain crops. Bellvale Creamery located on the top of Mt. Peter is a must-stop, even for hikers on the Appalachian Trail, which passes through from New Jersey into Harriman State Park. Their ice cream is truly fabulous, homemade, with very yummy flavors The girls said this was the best ice-cream they have ever eaten!