Appalachian Trail Adventures

To the stressed students and persons of Montclair, the Appalachain Mountains are calling! Unwinding en route to the “Stairway to Heaven” is all the rage.

De-stress with Appalachian Trail .

Photo Courtesy of Amanda Post.

Springtime brings out the busiest in people, whether you’re a student, full-time worker or both! Now is a time when it seems as though the student population is in chaos as they work down their lengthy to-do lists. With summer vacation on the mind but out of reach and the looming thoughts of final assignments clouding your brain, why not kick off your summer with an Appalachian Trail adventure?

Though I still have much work to do myself, last weekend I took a day trip to Vernon, N.J., located in Sussex County to hike the “Stairway to Heaven” trail (not affiliated with Led Zeppelin), which totally helped clear my mind before the start of finals.

Though the Stairway to Heaven trail poses a challenge, it still caters to all levels of experience. Divided in two parts, you are able to choose between hiking the boardwalk-style trail that leads to the “Stairway,” or skip the boardwalk and go directly up to the peak of “Stairway to Heaven,” known as Pinwheel Vista. Of course one can always walk the trail in its entirety, too.

The Appalachian Trail is about 7.4 miles long but with the view of the mountains and flower fields are worth the trudge. If you’re a first timer, I suggest that you hike the entire route because the boardwalk has scenic views that will amaze the eye to the great beauty New Jersey preserves.

Make it an all day event and pack a lunch to picnic at Pinwheel Vista once you’ve reached the top. It’s likely you’ll find other friendly hikers doing the same. If you forgo packing a lunch, fear not! The trails are near to Warwick, N.Y., which has many small quality restaurants that are popular among the hungry hikers.

Spending time in the forest and around these views can be mood altering, and will absolutely help a stressed student – and all other stressed peoples – unwind. But be warned, hiking may just become your next obsession!

For more information regarding directions and trail routes, visit

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