Spending a day in Vernon

One of the best areas to visit in New Jersey is the Vernon area. A quick drive through Warwick leads to beautiful suburbs, farm life, and serene bliss. The scenery is incredible while driving, but off the roads, down multiple hiking trails, the views are even more stunning. The Appalachian Trail, which starts in two locations, one by Heaven Hill Farms and one by Pochuck Farms, is a great place for an afternoon hike.

 The trail starts off on boards like one would find at the boardwalk, then there is a bridge to cross over a river, and eventually you hit dirt to walk on a dirt trail. The New Jersey section of the Appalachian Trail covers many miles, however it is easy to follow and one can turn around anytime to head back to his or her car. It is a great spot to take pictures and enjoy fresh air. The Stairway to Heaven is also located nearby, which is a more advanced hike. There is a large rocky hill to climb to up to the top, and it is about 2.9 miles long. 

After a nice, relaxing hike, you may want to cool off. Grab some ice cream at either Dairy Swirl or Dairy Queen. Dairy Swirl is much better in my opinion, as all the ice cream is homemade and so smooth. Dairy Swirl serves many flavors and even caters to allergies, if the store is not packed and one can find the time for a stop. To eat an actual meal, try The Lamppost or Irish Cottage Pub for a filling meal at a low price. They both serve common restaurant food like chicken and fries, although Irish Cottage Pub also serves classic Irish dishes like corned beef.  Granny’s Pancake House is the most amazing breakfast joint, with the kindest old ladies working there providing smiles and delicious smiley face pancakes.

For all the shoppers, Rockaway Mall is right around the corner surrounded by eateries. The mall is extremely clean and contains tons of stores ranging from clothes, books, home decor, and more. 

 In addition to the mall, there are the Warwick shops, which line two streets. These shops are on the expensive side, however there is something for everyone. Gifts for loved ones, a place to eat, or even vintage clothes and books can all be found. 

After a long day of taking in the calm atmosphere that makes up  Northern Jersey, it is just a quick drive over the mountain back into West Milford.