Pochuck Swamp

Pochuck Swamp, Appalachian Trail (5/10/2008)

This out-and-back was our first visit to the Pochuck Swamp along the Appalachian Trail. The highlight of the hike is the incredibly impressive, sturdy boardwalk that winds its way around the swamp for approximately 3/4's of a mile. You can follow its serpentine path on Google Earth at 41.23508 N, 74.47523 W. The swamp is alive with birds, frogs, snakes, turtles, chipmunks and squirrels ... and people. It's an attraction, and for good reason. Approximately 850 feet from the eastern end of the boardwalk is the equally impressive suspension bridge over Pochuck Creek.

We parked at the AT parking lot on Route 94 (the same one to use when hiking east to the Stairway to Heaven). Heading west along the AT, we passed through a cow field, where cows are free to roam ... and crap. Watch your step. Continuing west, we crossed a railroad track, crossed a bridge over Wawayanda Creek, then another strudy bridge on Canal Road, before eventually reaching the boardwalk. Since most of the hike is level, we decided to do a bit of climbing west of Route 517, where the boardwalk ends, to the eastern ridge of Pochuck Mountain. Alas, there were no views so we turned and headed back, eating lunch on one of the several benches on the boardwalk.

This 6+ mile hike took us about 4 hours. The only somewhat challenging part was the steady uphill climb just west of Route 517.

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Climbing to the cow field on Route 94

Surrounded by cow patties [photo by Laura]

Wildflowers abound

Narrow boardwalk west of Route 94; Wawayanda Mountain in rear


Blooming honeysuckle

Macro shot of Sumac

Interesting animal track

Bridge over Wawayanda Creek

Crazy Laura

Bridge on Canal Road

Towering shagbark hickories

Laura taking ...

... this photo [photo by Laura]

Boardwalk and suspension bridge

Climbing the suspension bridge


Beautiful Pochuck Creek


Red-winged blackbirds were all over

850-foot boardwalk east of bridge


One segment of boardwalk west of bridge

Turkey vulture

Our lunch spot

Shy Oriole?

Turtles sunning themselves

And snakes

Getting a better view

Pochuck Swamp

Second segment west of bridge


Wawayanda Mountain in rear


Tight AT on Pochuck Mountain

Near top of eastern ridge of Pochuck Mountain


Red-winged blackbird




Snakes are still there

Ashley and John

Bumble bee

Bridge on Canal Road

Frogs off the AT

Canal just off Canal Road

Signs of busy beavers

Macro of frog [photo by Laura]

Interesting mushroom


[Photo by Laura]

Heading back to Route 94

The cows of the cow field

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