The Best Outdoor Activities in New Jersey
Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.
Explore the Great Falls of the Passaic River
New Jersey / Great Falls of the Passaic
Getting to the Great Falls of the Passaic River is a relatively straight shot. It is located off exit 57B on Route 80 which is also accessible from highway 287.
Explore Kugler Woods Waterfall
New Jersey / Kugler Woods Parking Area
Drive 5.2 miles north on Route 29 from the center of Stockton, NJ and you will come across a very small parking lot on the left side of the road.
Hike to Buttermilk Falls
New Jersey / Buttermilk Falls Trailhead NJ
The parking lot is a big dirt lot, so if it's raining or has rained, be prepared. The immediate falls are located mere steps from the parking lot, so on holiday weekends, be prepared for crowds.
Explore the Ken Lockwood Gorge
New Jersey / Ken Lockwood Gorge
One of New Jerseys best kept secrets has to be the Ken Lockwood Gorge. If you are looking for a relaxing, beautiful, and nature packs place then this area is perfect for you.
Hike to Ramapo Lake and the Van Slyke Castle
New Jersey / MacEvoy Trailhead
Begin at the MacEvoy Trailhead (blue blazes), at the end of the parking lot. A moderate uphill climb and stream crossing will take you up towards Ramapo Lake.
Hike Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
New Jersey / Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Nestled within the more urban and suburban communities in Northern New Jersey, you can escape back to nature at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
Hike Mt. Tammany, NJ
New Jersey / Delaware Water Gap, NJ
This is a short but strenuous hike to a bluff overlooking the Delaware River and surrounding mountains and hills.
Hike Hacklebarney State Park's Trout Brook Riverbanks
New Jersey / Hacklebarney State Park Parking Area
This is a relatively easy hike through Hacklebarney State Park that is great for families with younger children, rock scrambling, photography, and just hanging out in nature.
Hike to Chikahoki Falls
New Jersey / Hewitt-Butler Trail
This is a fairly easy hike that is great for the whole family to see the fall foliage and experience a great waterfall.
Hike the Stairway to Heaven
New Jersey / Stairway to Heaven
This popular hike starts out on the Appalachian Trail (AT, white blazes). You begin on a boardwalk that crosses over a marsh, then you leave the boardwalk and enter a forested area. At around 1.
Hike Pyramid Mountain to Tripod Rock
New Jersey / Pyramid Mountain
This is a fun hike that is great for the entire family. The trails are really well maintained and Tripod Rock is a pretty amazing feature to check out.
Hike Bearfort Mountain
New Jersey / Bearfort Mountain Parking Area
Bearfort Mountain is a great weekend morning hike that borders NJ and NY. Parking can be tricky as the entrance to the lot looks like it is Greenwood Lake Marina's boat storage area.
Camp at Wharton State Forest
New Jersey / Wharton State Forest Campground
There is plenty of potential for activity in New Jersey's largest state park. Wharton offers Mullica River for boating, as well as three other rivers for canoeing.
Hike to Huyler's Landing/ Closter Dock Loop
New Jersey / Huyler's Landing Parking, Palisades Interstate Park
The easiest way to access this loop hike is by parking at the Palisades State Park Headquarters. This is just off exit 2 from the Palisades Interstate Parkway.
Hike to Sunfish Pond
New Jersey / Sunfish Pond Trailhead
At the end of the parking lot, cross over the bridge and follow the Appalachian Trail (AT, white blazes) to a V-intersection.
Hike the Apshawa Preserve
New Jersey / Apshawa Preserve
This is a pretty straightforward loop-hike that has you crossing a few bridges, a stream and getting some incredible views if you are up for it.
Kayak to Herring Island
New Jersey / Bay Boulevard Launch Point
Starting at the small beach at the end of Bay Blvd, paddle heading south. You will need to pass through the boat canal so keep an eye out for speeding boats.
Hike Black River County Park
New Jersey / Black River Trail
From the parking lot head to the Black River Trail (blue blazes). Head toward Kay's Cottage, where after 1.
Explore Ringwood Manor State Park
New Jersey / Ringwood Manor State Park
On my way to the drive-in, I saw a sign for Ringwood Manor estate and wanted to adventure around.
Hike through the Sourland Mountain Preserve
New Jersey / Sourland Mountain Preserve Parking Area
The Sourland Mountain Preserve stretches from Hunterdon County all the way into Somerset County. The trails referenced here are on the southwest side of the preserve in Hunterdon County.
Explore the Sussex County Sunflower Maze
New Jersey / Sussex County Sunflower Maze
I stumbled upon the Sunflower Maze by accident when I was driving through NJ and was quickly distracted by the enormous yellow flowers.
Hiking in Musconetcong Gorge Preserve
New Jersey / Musconetcong Gorge Preserve
Start out on Ridge Trail (yellow blazes), found at the rear of the parking lot. Shortly, you will come to a stream crossing, followed by a set of wooden steps.
Bike the Columbia Trail: Califon to High Bridge
New Jersey / Columbia Trail
There are multiple places to pick up the Columbia Trail (High Bridge, Califon, Long Valley, Flanders) but this post is for biking or running from Califon to High Bridge and back.
Hike to the Devil's Tea Table
New Jersey / Warsaw Rd. Pull-Off
Apart from the rock, there's more trail to follow for a stunning overview and a great spot to hang out and relax. The view is a must-see, it is so much better in person.
Camp at Jenny Jump State Forest
New Jersey / Jenny Jump State Forest
The park's 11 miles of trails include a hike up Jenny Jump Mountain for beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Hike the Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve
New Jersey / Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve
An 8-mile network of maintained trails traversing this Preserve, Mountain Lakes North, John Witherspoon Woods,parts of Tusculum (private) and Community Park North makes a variety of loop hikes possib.
Camp at Worthington State Forest
New Jersey / Worthington State Forest
Hike to some of the best views in northern New Jersey on over 26 miles of trail.
Camp at Wawayanda State Park
New Jersey / Wawayanda State Park
Bring along your friends for this one – the park offers only group campsites, three in all, which can take a range of 15 to 35 people.
Hike the Coppermines Trail
New Jersey / Coppermines Trailhead
Start out on the Coppermines Trail (red blazes), across Old Mine Road. For a short excursion, head left on an unmarked trail for 0.
Camp at Stokes State Forest
New Jersey / Stokes State Forest
The variety of hiking trails is a main attraction here, including a stretch of the Appalachian Trail that runs up Sunrise Mountain, and the opportunity to explore Tillman Ravine.
Camp at Bass River State Forest
New Jersey / Bass River State Forest
Featuring the 67-acre Lake Absegami, Bass River State Forest is a great place to spend a weekend on the water – swimming, canoeing, boating, and fishing are all possible here.
Surf the Jersey Shore's Winter Waves
New Jersey / Jersey Shore
Head to the Jersey Shore to hunt for some of the best winter waves.
Stroll through the Cranberry Bogs at Double Trouble State Park
New Jersey / Cranberry Bogs Trail
This is a very easy hike, and a great day trip to take if you're looking for something simple and relaxing, but still want beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Hike the Baldpate Mountain Loop
New Jersey / Baldpate Mountain Parking Area
The parking lot on Pleasant Valley Road provides access to the trailhead for this 1.25 mile loop hike. Starting at the trailhead, take the Ridge Trail (white) going West.
Camp at High Point State Park
New Jersey / High Point State Park NJ
You'll need at least a weekend to sample all that High Point State Park has to offer.
Hike Monument Trail
New Jersey / High Point State Park
This trail in High Point State Park is a great spot for a quick hike with the family.
Camp at Spruce Run Recreation Area
New Jersey / Spruce Run Recreation Area
There are 67 tent and trailer sites here, open from April 1 to Oct 31. You'll have access to fire rings, picnic tables, showers, and toilets from these sites, as well.
Hike Alpine White Trail (Stateline Lookout)
New Jersey / Long Path, Closter
Starting at about 520 feet, the White path takes you along the Stateline Lookout which is a small stone building overlooking the Hudson River.
Mountain Bike Dry Run Creek Trail
New Jersey / Dry Run Creek Trail Parking Area
This short trail runs alongside a small creek, and is a perfect spot for mountain biking and running. There is a small parking lot right at the trailhead, making this spot very convenient to access.
Relax at Lake Horicon
New Jersey / Lake Horicon
Lake Horicon Park is located at the corner of Union Avenue and Lake Street in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
Hike to the Hidden Lockatong Waterfall
New Jersey / Lockatong Nature Preserve Turnoff
If you're on Kingwood Stockton Road, there will be a dirt road with a Lockatong Nature Preserve sign before it (going north on Kingwood Stockton Road, the sign will be on your left.
Photograph the NYC Skyline from JFK Boulevard East
New Jersey / JFK Boulevard East, Weehawken, NJ
The Big Apple. NYC has arguably the best skyline in the world.
Camp at Belleplain State Forest
New Jersey / Belleplain State Forest Visitor Center
A fun place for all things nature, from a easy nature walk to camping! Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Lake Nummy is available for swimmers.
Camp at Blue Knob Park Campground
New Jersey / Blue Knob State Park Campground
Blue Knob Campground is the perfect place for a retreat anytime of the year. A mix of forest, mountain, and streams, this natural setting is truly alluring.
Hike the Iris Tail - Appalachian Tail Loop
New Jersey / AT Parking - Route 23
Start this hike from the Appalachian Trail parking area off route 23, south bound side, south of the park office. Follow the Blue Dot trail until is intersects with the Iris Trail.
Hike the Dyckman Hill/Huyler's Landing Loop
New Jersey / Undercliff Picnic Area
There is two ways to access this loop hike. The first is from the Englewood Picnic area just off Exit 1 from the Palisades Interstate Parkway.
Visit the Princeton Battlefield Park Suspension Bridge
New Jersey / Princeton Battlefield State Park Parking Lot
To find this bridge, you essentially park at the Princeton Battlefield Park and walk all the way down towards the woods (you'll pass an old house if you're going the right way).
Hike to Quaker Bridge via Atsion
New Jersey / Atsion Ranger Station
Looking at a map of New Jersey, you'll notice that the biggest green patch of forest on the map is Wharton State Forest, in the southern half of the state.
Hike the Dyckman Hill/Carpenter's Grove Loop
New Jersey / Allison Park
This loop hike can be started from several different places. I chose to start from Allison Park which overlooks the Hudson River in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.