Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain
Directions to trailhead
From I-95 take the exit 3a-b for Scotch Rd. Drive north on Scotch Road for 1.5 miles. Turn left onto County Rd 546/Washington Crossing-Pennington Road and proceed 1.9 miles. Turn right onto Bear Tavern Road. Drive .7 mile and take the first left onto Church Road. In .8 mile and take the first left onto Brick Yard Road to parking on left.
Start off the hike with a little warm-up loop around an attractive pond, located in Washington Crossing State Park. Continue beyond the barrier at the parking area (not the end of the gravel road going into the park) and proceed between two ponds, a smaller one on the right, and a larger pond on the left. About ¾ of the way around the larger pond come out onto a field with a faint path that leads to the right towards Church Road. Follow that path, cross Church Road and head into the Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain on a trail marked with red squares. Beware of posted hunting days as this are is sometimes closed for hunting except on Sundays.
In a quarter of a mile cross a footbridge over Fiddlers Creek and continue to the right following the creek as an unmarked trail to the left leads to a hunter’s blind. At the first intersection with an orange-blazed trail, keep following red. At the second intersection with orange, turn left on the orange trail and cross over an unmarked trail. At the next junction, turn right on the blue-blazed trail.
Be careful to follow the blue trail to the left when an unmarked trail goes straight. One mile into the hike, the blue trail ends at a power cut. Follow the trail in the power cut to the left, shown as an orange trail on the map but not actually blazed. The trail is easy to follow and ends in .2 mile at a large parking lot. Keep left through the lot towards the information board. Trails are not blazed in this area but take the trail to the right of the information board heading west. This will be a wide, easy trail along the ridge, blazed in white, although you will not see a blaze until .3 mile along when an orange trail leaves on your left. This orange trail will be the return route but for now stay on the white-blazed trail which will bring you to an abandoned farm.
As you approach the old farm buildings, an arrow appears to direct you to turn left into the farm area. You should, however, veer right as that arrow is for those coming in the opposite direction indicating that direction of travel on the trail. You may visit the farm area now but you will be walking directly through it later in the hike. The trail will now become paved for just a bit then gravel. Leave the gravel road and pick up the red-blazed trail to the right. This trail will take you downhill and back up again over 1.2 miles.
When the red trail appears to end at an intersection, turn left. The trail to the right is unmarked and is not on the map. It dead ends down the hill at a gate to a quarry. Just a few steps after turning left continue straight ahead when a yellow trail goes to the right.
At the next intersection, turn right on the white trail, the same white-blazed trail you were on earlier but the very end of it, bringing you to an open mountaintop meadow with views of the Delaware River to the south. Make your way across the meadow over to the paved road that runs through the former Kuser Estate (now a visitor center) between two split rail fences.
At the end of the paved road continue beyond the “no vehicles allowed” sign and follow the road as it veers left. Watch for a blue-blazed trail just around the bend and follow that trail to the right.
In .35 mile when you come to an arrow instructing you to make a sharp right turn to stay on the blue trail, turn left instead on a well-defined unmarked trail. In just a tenth of a mile, this trail brings you back to the abandoned farm with a small pond on your right. Proceed uphill between two brown buildings towards a while cinder block building up ahead, the first building you saw earlier in the hike at the confusing arrow. Just beyond this house turn right on white-blazed trail. You’ll now be repeating the white-blazed ridge trail in reverse until you reach the orange trail you noted earlier in the hike, now on your right.
Turn right on the orange trail. This trail will descend steeply downhill. Shortly after you pass the foundation of an old house with the fireplace and chimney still standing, stay on orange as blue goes left, then a short distance later, turn right on red. Stay on red now as you meet up with the section you hiked previously along Fiddlers Creek, then across the footbridge, then over the hill back to Church Road where you car awaits you on the other side of the road.
While in the area, you might want to drive a short distance to Goat Hill Overlook, a hike of under a mile with great views of the Delaware River.
[ 0.00] Cross paved Church Road and take red trail into Ted Stiles Preserve
[ 0.25] Cross footbridge over creek, keep right along creek when an unmarked trail goes left
[ 0.40] Keep right on red when orange goes left
[ 0.50] Turn left on orange, cross over unmarked trail
[ 0.55] Turn right on blue
[ 0.70] Turn left on blue/red when red comes in from the right; right on blue when red leaves to left
[ 0.80] Keep left on blue when unmarked goes right
[ 1.00] Turn left at power cut on unmarked trail shown as orange on map
[ 1.20] Turn left in parking lot towards information board; take trail to right of information board (unmarked at this point but is the white trail)
[ 1.50] Keep straight when orange goes left; first white marker comes into view
[ 1.70] Keep straight on white when unmarked crosses over
[ 2.30] Keep right at abandoned farm buildings; trail becomes pavement briefly then gravel
[ 2.40] Turn right on red leaving gravel road
[ 2.60] Keep left on red when white goes right
[ 3.55] At T-intersection turn left (right not on map - dead ends at gated quarry); continue straight when yellow goes right; at T-intersection turn right on white
[ 3.65] Keep right through orchard at former Kuser estate towards split rail fence; turn left on paved road
[ 3.90] Go beyond "no vehicles allowed" sign, follow road to the left
[ 3.95] Turn right on the blue trail
[ 4.30] At arrow indicating sharp right turn on blue, turn left on an unmarked footpath
[ 4.40] Old abandoned farm buildings from earlier in the hike, pond on right, veer right uphill towards white building
[ 4.55] Turn right on path which is white trail (look behind you to see markers)
[ 5.10] Keep straight on white when unmarked crosses over
[ 5.35] Right on orange when white goes straight
[ 5.70] Pass chimney and fireplace ruins on right
[ 5.75] Keep left on orange when blue goes right
[ 5.80] Keep left on orange when unmarked goes right (not on map)
[ 6.05] Turn right on red
[ 6.15] Turn right on red/blue, stay left on red when blue leaves to the right
[ 6.20] Straight on red when orange goes left
[ 6.30] At multi-trail intersection, left on red/orange briefly, then keep right on red when orange goes straight
[ 6.55] Cross footbridge over creek
[ 6.75] Cross over paved Church Road and take path through field towards parking lot
[ 6.80] Parking lot at ponds