A Look at the Top Outdoor Destinations in New Jersey

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

With mountains, forests, and coastal scenery, New Jersey’s landscape presents visitors with plenty of options for outdoor fun. Let’s take a look at some of the top outdoor destinations this state has to offer.

Washington Rock State Park

Washington Rock State Park is a historic park with incredible panoramic views. George Washington took advantage of these views during the Revolutionary War to watch for the British Army. Today, the park offers laid-back trails overlooking lush forests and historical sites, making it one of the most popular parks in the state.

Bass River State Forest

Bass River was New Jersey’s first state forest. Its many hiking, biking, and equestrian trails are especially popular in the summer. Lake Absegami is a destination for boating and canoeing, and coastal trails provide excellent views of the sparkling blue water. 

New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve

The New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve comprises around 22% of the total landmass of New Jersey and is the biggest open space on the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard between Boston, MA, and Richmond, VA. This huge reserve has much to see, including wild animals and native plant life. It consists of more than 1.1 million acres of pine forests, rivers, and parks and is known for its gorgeous orchards and blueberry fields. 

New Jersey Palisades

The New Jersey Palisades are a large string of cliffs along the Hudson River that present a dramatic viewpoint from both land and water. The Palisades Interstate Park, comprising 2,500 acres of the Hudson River shoreline, is where these geologic marvels can be visited. The park, just a short drive from Manhattan, has miles of trails and riverfront viewpoints. 

Island Beach State Park

Island Beach State Park is a stunning park on the Barnegat Peninsula in Ocean County. With ten miles of sandy beach shoreline, this park is an idyllic summer destination. In addition to enjoying the laid-back Barnegat Bay beaches, visitors can also explore marshes, dunes, and maritime forests. Anglers love the Fisherman’s Walkway, a large fishing pier in the park that is open 24 hours. 

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

New Jersey contains a substantial section of the lengthy and iconic Appalachian Trail, which passes through mountains and forests in the eastern part of the U.S. Starting at the Delaware Water Gap and continuing through Pochuck Valley, hiking the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey takes around four days to complete.

Delaware Water Gap

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is centered around the Great Falls of the Passaic River in Paterson, a 77-foot waterfall. This destination includes an easy half-mile trail that leads to the waterfall and areas with scenic views that are ideal for a family picnic.