At the far end of the large parking lot take the trail to the left of the wetlands keeping right towards the kiosk at the fork. From the kiosk proceed uphill steeply for a short stretch,...
At the far end of the large parking lot take the trail to the left of the wetlands keeping right towards the kiosk at the fork. From the kiosk proceed uphill steeply for a short stretch, then turn left on the blue-blazed trail. At another fork, keep left on blue. At the next fork. .4 mile into the hike, again keep left and note that the blazes change from dark blue paint to light blue plastic diamonds. The trail now follows along the Delaware River. Cross a long, sturdy wooden bridge in another .3 mile.
About a mile into the hike turn right on the orange trail. The rest of the blue trail, the most scenic part, will be the return route. The orange trail ascends to and follows along a ridge where there are plenty of river views from up high in the winter. In .35 mile, turn right on red when red also goes to the left. Pretty soon you will notice informative identification signs on trees.
At 1.75 miles a faint trail comes in from the right. This is the yellow trail on the map although there are no blazes at this intersection. Continue straight on red. In another .15 mile blue crosses over. Stay with red but note this intersection for the return route.
After a few steps, a short side trail on the right leads to a vernal pool with an interpretive sign. Retrace to the red trail, turn left on red back to the intersection with blue, then turn right on blue.
The trail is now rockier and more uneven as it descends along rock outcroppings and comes closer to the river. An overlook deck is reached in about half of a mile. This deck offers great open views of the Delaware River both north and south.
Continuing on, stay with blue when an orange trail goes left in .35 mile and cross the bridge in another tenth of a mile. Keep right at the fork where light blue diamond markers become dark blue painted blazes. Stay on blue when a trail leaves to the north parking lot in .2 mile then just before the trail becomes paved, turn right and descend steeply to the kiosk, then the wetlands and back to the parking lot.
Turn By Turn Description:
[ 0.00] Take the trail from the far end of the parking lot at the wetlands
[ 0.05] Keep right at fork towards kiosk
[ 0.15] At top of steep climb keep straight on PPL blue trail when paved trail to visitor center goes right
[ 0.20] Keep left on blue when right goes to the PPL north parking area
[ 0.40] Keep left on blue when right goes to the PPL north parking area; blazes change from dark blue paint to light blue plastic diamonds
[ 0.70] Cross bridge
[ 0.95] Turn right on orange when blue continues straight
[ 1.00] At top of ascent keep left on orange when orange also goes right
[ 1.20] Tree with "wrong way" painted on it; keep straight on orange
[ 1.35] At T-intersection turn right on red when red also goes left
[ 1.60] Tree identification signs start
[ 1.75] Keep straight when yellow comes in from the right (faint trail, no markers)
[ 1.80] Keep straight on red when blue crosses over
[ 1.85] Short side trail on right to vernal pool; retrace, left on red
[ 1.90] Right on blue when blue crosses over red
[ 2.10] Continue straight on blue when red goes left
[ 2.45] Overlook deck
[ 2.80] Continue straight on blue when orange goes left
[ 2.90] Cross bridge
[ 3.35] Keep right at fork, blazes change from light blue diamonds to dark blue paint
[ 3.55] Keep straight on blue when left goes to PPL north parking lot
[ 3.60] At intersection with paved trail, continue right downhill on Lower Meadow Trail
[ 3.70] Pass kiosk on right, keep left at fork
[ 3.75] Back at parking lot
Follow the Tekening Trails on top of bluffs and along the banks of the scenic Delaware River. Options exist for longer hikes via connecting Lower Mount Bethel Township multi-use trails.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.