Ralph Stover State Park High Rocks Hike

Ralph Stover State Park High Rocks Hike

In This Guide
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
  • How to Get to High Rocks
  • High Rocks Hike Trail Maps
Distance2.7 miles (4.3 km)
Hike Time1:30 Hours (Total)
DifficultyEasy
Total Ascent (?)220 feet (67m)
Highest Elevation408 feet (124m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park ContactRalph Stover State Park
Park Phone610-982-5560

The High Rocks hike at Ralph Stover State Park is a local’s favorite. The High Rocks trail follows along a (fenced) 200 foot sheer rock face cliff overlooking Tohickon Creek, eventually reaching the creek itself. As you hike along High Rocks, you might notice ropes leading off the cliff edge, it’s a popular spot for climbers. And as you look down into Tohickon Creek (Lenape for “Deer-Bone-Creek”), keep your eyes open for whitewater kayakers. It’ss a popular whitewater kayaking spot when spring rains flood it. Occasionally they release water from Lake Nockamixon, another popular time for kayakers. It’s a fun hike on many levels, and offers that quintessential Bucks County scenery that people drive miles for.

The park has an interesting history. The High Rocks section of Ralph Stover State Park was donated in 1956 by James A. Michener, author of books such as Alaska and Texas. You can walk the trails that he once enjoyed. The original park dates to 1931.

Getting to the Ralph Stover State Park High Rocks Hike

There are a few ways to start this hike. These hike directions start at a big lot with bathrooms. Be sure to use the address below. Map programs could take you to the other parking areas.

Use this GPS address: 5987 State Park Rd, Plumstead Township, PA, 18947, USA.

Gear for the Hike

Hiking gear helps on the primitive trails here, but you certainly don’t require it, you can get away with casual or fitness clothing too.

Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.

La Sportiva Spire

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Good for light and more hardcore hikes. Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Rei Flash 22

REI Flash 22 Pack

This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.

See Colors & Prices

Joby On Triee

Joby Smartphone Tripod

Make your photos stand out by using this lightweight, do-anything tripod. The Joby attaches your smartphone to trees, rocks, whatever you can find on the trail. Folds down compactly too.

See the Joby Options

Don’t waster your money on hiking gear that’s no good, I’ve done that for you already! Full HikingGuy Gear List

* No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Also → Big Sale at REI On Now:

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Ralph Stover State Park High Rocks Trail Maps

Click To View Map

Ralph Stover State Park High Rocks Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Here’s what I use to navigate my hikes. I recommend a combination of paper and electronic options with backups.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.

HikingGuy Discount on Gaia GPS

Fenix Nav

Garmin Fenix Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Topo Map

Topo Maps & Guide Books

Don’t be caught out if your batteries die. Take a topo map with you on the trail. Some people also print my guides out for use on the hike.

I also highly recommend taking a map and compass navigation course. It’s a few hours, it’s fun, and it could save your life.

Map and Compass Navigation Basics Classes

Don’t just rely on a cell phone, especially if you are hiking in the backcountry.

ralph stover state park high rocks hike 3d map
The hike follows the cliffs above Tohickon Creek and then gently descends. Once you get to the creek, you go back the way you came.
ralph stover state park high rocks hike elevation
There’s a little climb in the beginning, then you gently descend along the cliff down to Tohickon creek.

Ralph Stover State Park High Rocks Hike Directions

Video Directions

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Turn by Turn Hike Directions

high rocks hike parking
The parking lot is pretty big. Use my trailhead address to get to this parking area. There’s a sign at the road into the lot, but no ‘official’ Google address for it.
high rocks hike bathrooms
There are bathrooms in the parking lot, as well as a picnic area.
high rocks hike start
The High Rocks hike starts at the bridge on the far end of the parking lot. Ignore the closed sign, it’s only for cars. Unless you weigh over 10 tons.
high rocks hike bridge
The bridge is pretty cool. Head across it and make sure to look over the side at the creek.
high rocks hike paved road
Go through the gate on the other side of the bridge and walk up the paved road.
high rocks hike side trail
Right after you start up the road, there’s a trail leading to the creek on the right. Stay on the road.
high rocks hike road
The road goes through a residential area. Keep your eyes open for cars.
high rocks hike right turn
At about 0.5 miles, look for the hidden trail start on the right, after the sign.
high rocks hike trail start
The start of the trail is easy to miss. This is what it looks like. There should be a yellow blaze but it might be faint.
high rocks hike trail
After a minute or two the trail becomes much more defined.
high rocks hike trail yellow blaze
Look for a yellow blaze as you continue.

A note about the blazes. There’s a white blaze, yellow blaze, and red dot blaze. The trails here used to be marked much better, but these days they’ve been spotty. In general you want to follow the yellow blaze, but these directions are more precise. Stick to these directions or the GPX file if in doubt.

high rocks hike trail goes left
At about .7 miles stay left on the upper cliff. The trail to the right goes down to the creek. Not for us on this hike.
high rocks hike trail
The trail is well defined. Continue hiking straight. You’ll see some yellow blazes again.
high rocks hike trail junction
Continue straight through the junction.
 Argillite Overlook sign
The trail comes to a sign for the Argillite Overlook. Follow the arrow and make the hard right to the overlook.
fence on high rocks hike
The hard right brings you down to the fence by the cliff.
fence on high rocks hike
Head up to the edge of the fence.
high rocks hike views
The views off of High Rocks are great. Take it all in.
fence on the side of cliff
Continue hiking along the fence on the side of the cliff.
high rocks hike trail sign
As you hike this stretch, there are lots of view opportunities. Heed the signs and don’t go over the fence.
Tohickon Creek
You’ll start to see Tohickon Creek from the High Rocks Vista as you hike along the cliff.
rock climbing ropes
Keep your eyes on the ground. You’ll see ropes from the folks doing rock climbing.
trail turns left away from the cliff
Eventually the trail turns left away from the cliff. Follow the trail.
high rocks hike trail goes right
Soon after, the trail dead ends. Hike to the right.
high rocks hike trail descends
The trail meanders through the woods and starts to descend.
high rocks hike trail splits
When the trail splits just after 1 mile, stay right along the cliff.
high rocks hike trail
Continue down the trail as it continues downhill.
high rocks hike trail goes right
At about 1.1 miles, bear to the right.
high rocks hike trail
Continue hiking downhill.
high rocks hike trail left turn
At about 1.2 miles, the trail splits again. Stay to the left this time.
high rocks hike trail right turn
Just after 1.3 miles, bear right at the split.
high rocks hike trail
The trail is well marked and continues downhill.
high rocks hike trail hard right
Almost there! At about 1.5 miles you reach a big clearing. Make the hard right to head down to the creek.
trail to Tohickon Creek
The trail goes steeply down to Tohickon Creek.
Tohickon Creek
You made it! This is Tohickon Creek. Look for fish in the crystal clear water. In addition to bass, catfish, and perch, the state stocks the creek with trout.
cris hazzard at Tohickon Creek
Take a break, soak it in, and go back the way you came. Hope you enjoy the hike!

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.