Ralph Stover State Park High Rocks Hike

Ralph Stover State Park High Rocks Hike

In This Guide
  • How to Get to High Rocks
  • High Rocks Hike Trail Maps
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions
  • What You Need To Do the Hike
Distance2.7 miles (4.3 km)
Time1:30 Hours (Total Time)
Total Climbing690 feet (210m)
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park NameRalph 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. Here’s what I would bring:

My Top Gear Picks

Garmin inreach review

Do you have the right hiking gear? Will it stand up to the test? I waste lots of money testing hiking gear every year so that you don’t have to. My gear picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail. I don’t do sponsored or paid reviews, I just the share actual gear that I use all the time that’s made the cut. Here are my top picks:

  1. Garmin InReach Mini Emergency Beacon – Hiking out of cell phone range? Make sure you have one of these two-way satellite texting devices in case your hike doesn’t go as planned. You can read my full review here.
  2. Injinji Sock Liners With Darn Tough Hiking Socks – This combo is a great way to avoid blisters out on the trail. I have some insider-hiking tips for avoiding blisters here. Pair them with modern, high-tech hiking boots (for women and men) and your feet with thank you.
  3. Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – It’s a little pricey, but man do I love this thing. Not only does it have all the topo maps and navigation tools on my wrist, but it also acts as a long battery life, rugged, outdoors version of an Apple Watch. Track your workouts, sleep, heart rate, all that stuff.

I have lots of other great, sponsor-free, trail tested gear picks on my “best gear” page.

See My Full Gear List

Ralph Stover State Park High Rocks Trail Maps

Fenix 5x Hiking Review

I highly recommend bringing a good paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x Plus and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.

Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

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

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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!

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