Here Are The Best NJ Hiking Trails When You Need To Take A Hike

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If there’s ever been a time to get back to nature and in the great outdoors on an NJ hiking trail, it’s now. Thankfully, the weather is warm, and lucky for us, there are a ton of accessible hiking trails all over the state to discover. We’ve rounded up several of the best hikes in NJ below so you can find a new area to explore or revisit a family favorite. Getting outdoors and into beautiful scenery will boost your mood, help you maintain social distancing and fight the boredom—and a good way to find calm among the chaos and just breathe. Looking for a toddler-friendly hiking trail in NJ? Check out a local mom’s guide: My Top 5 Toddler-Friendly Hiking Spots in Northern New Jersey. Want to explore nature some more? We’ve got 12 Scenic Biking Paths in New Jersey for you to check out, along with 19 Of The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey, too. Keep in mind that in NJ, most buildings at each trail are closed due to COVID. Before you head over for your hiking day, be sure to check the website of the specific trail you plan on visiting for more details and recent updates.

featured image via @dennismaidaphotography

Psst! Snap some photos of your little cuties exploring and tag @njmom or #njmom in your posts for a chance to be featured.

Grab your canteen, we’re going hiking around New Jersey:

Hike and bike around Estelle Manor Park via @sarah_ceres_

Atlantic County

Estell Manor Park
Estell Manor Park is home to 20 miles of trails in Atlantic County. Not only is this a great place to bring the family for some NJ hiking and biking, but there’s also a lot of history to learn. A 1.8-mile boardwalk begins at the Nature Center and is fully accessible for park visitors.
109 NJ-50
Mays Landing, NJ 08830

Bergen County

Celery Farm Nature Preserve
Small and quaint, Celery Farm in Bergen County is a 107-acre freshwater wetland, where you can find streams and meadows with all kinds of birds, animals, and insects—perfect for a game of I-Spy.
498 Franklin Turnpike
Allendale, NJ 07401

Palisades Interstate Park
Along the Hudson River, you can find thehiking trail section of the Palisades Interstate Park – with its beautiful views of Manhattan and the Hudson. Both trails are for hiking and biking.
State Line Lookout 
Closter, NJ 07624

Burlington County

Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
Located in Burlington County, the State Forest is home to the Batona Trail, Cranberry Trail, and Mount Misery Trail. There are 3,000 miles of bogs, forests, and wetlands for you to explore with the family. The State Forest is 36,000 acres of pure and serene hiking areas.
Ranger Road
Vincentown, NJ 08088

Cumberland County

Maurice River Bluffs Preserve
Bring along your binoculars and fishing pole for this hike, because you’ll be able to make plenty of pit stops for bird watching and fishing on the river. Dogs are allowed on this 4.4-mile trail, just be sure to keep them on the leash.
Silver Run Rd
Millville, NJ 08332

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Splash through the forest at South Mountain Reservation via @tissanya

Essex County

South Mountain Reservation
The South Mountain Reservation has 19 miles of NJ hiking trails and 27 carriage roads for jogging and horseback riding, leading deep into discovering a 25-foot NJ waterfall at Hemlock Falls. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Fairy Trail NJ, where the tiny fairy houses will enchant your littles along the trail and in the trees.
11 Cherry Lane
West Orange, NJ 07052

Hunterdon County

Teetertown Preserve
This Preserve is home to several miles of blazed trails, each ranging from .6 to one mile, and all open to hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. One of the most amazing aspects of the Preserve is the narrow dirt road that leads to a ravine, giving families a feeling of solitude and alone time.
30 Pleasant Grove Rd.
Port Murray, NJ 07865

Voorhees State Park
Located in the hills of Hunterdon County, Voorhees State Park consists of hiking trails, totaling about 10 miles, of rough and graveled to rocky and steep terrain. There are two overlook areas where families can stop and take in the scenic views of two reservoirs – Instagram anyone?
251 County Rd.
Glen Gardner, NJ 08826

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Preparing to take on Cheesequake State Park’s winding trails via @stefan_urkell

Middlesex County

Cheesequake State Park
Bring your four-legged friends to one of five trails available to hike or bike at Cheesequake State Park. The Yellow Trail may be the best option for families; it points out interesting sites and features along the way.
300 Gordon Road
Matawan, NJ7747

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Enjoy moments of peace and serenity as you explore the nature of Allaire State Park via @tr_oc_photos

Monmouth County

Allaire State Park
Allaire is a historic place to take the family for a day with walking trails, picnic areas, and a restored village. There are 20 marked trails for hiking and mountain biking.
4265 Atlantic Ave.
 Wall Township, NJ 07727

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The beautiful grounds and pods of Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown

Deep Cut Gardens
Explore 54 acres of beautifully manicured gardens and greenhouses, filled with seasonal blooms and plants native to New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Your little will also love watching the fish at Deep Cut Gardens’ Koi Pond. Be sure to check out our own experience at Deep Cut Gardens for more ideas on what to see while you’re there.
152 Red Hill Road
Middletown, NJ 07748

Manasquan Reservoir County Park
With marked and unmarked trails, canoeing, kayaking, and a playground, families can spend an entire day here outside. The park itself spans 1,204 acres and surrounds the Manasquan Reservoir, a peaceful spot to end an exciting (but exhausting) day
311 Windeler Rd.
Howell Township, NJ 07731

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Splash through the flowing river and waterfalls at Black River County Park via @the_secret_path

Morris County

Black River County Park
Part of the Morris County Park System, the Park is 510 acres and includes four marked trails, one being an NJ hiking trail with waterfalls. Black River County Park has cultural sites too, making it a little different than most other trails. Hike in the Black River Gorge and stop by the ruins of Kay’s Cottage.
North Road
Chester, NJ 07930

Columbia Trail
This 16.5 miles trail is one of the best hikes in NJ, spanning across both Morris County (8.2 miles) and Hunterdon County (8 miles.) It boasts a flat, multi-use linear trail with natural and gravel tread, good for a ton of activities like bike riding, hiking, cross country skiing, and horseback riding.
Columbia Trail
Long Valley, NJ 07853

Hacklebarney State Park
Cutting through the State Park is the freshwater Black River. The Park itself has 9 trails – each differs in skill level. Some are narrow and rocky, while others are gravel. Hike and then stick around for some incredible views of Hacklebarney Falls.
119 Hacklebarney Rd.
Long Valley, NJ 07853

Mahlon Dickerson Reservation
The Reservation is home to about 10 blazed trails, including the picturesque Pine Swamp Loop Trail, which leads to the end of the Pine Swamp. The park spans 3346 acres and allows families to hike, bike, and ski year-round.
157-137 Weldon Rd.
Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849

Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area
Nestled in Morris County, the Natural Historic Area runs about 30 miles through Kinnelon, Montville, and Boonton. It’s got cool features like unusual glacial markings, dramatic rock outcrops, views of the Manhattan skyline, wetlands, and waterfalls. Your kids will love Bear Rock, one of the largest in the state, and Tripod Rock – a giant boulder resting atop three smaller boulders.
472A Boonton Ave.
Boonton, NJ 07005

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Hiking buddies at Cattus Island County Park via @norabiggins

Ocean County

Cattus Island County Park
Cattus Island County Park is not your typical environment for hiking, you won’t see any bears or bald eagles – but you’ll see ospreys and reptiles who thrive in NJ’s watershed region. The park spans 530 acres with over 7 miles of trails lining the Barnegat Bay.
1170 Cattus Island Boulevard

Toms River, NJ 08753

Passaic County

Appalachian Trail
This Appalachian Trail in NJ spans 74 miles and begins at Abram S. Hewitt State Forest, heads west through Wawayanda State Park, High Point State Park, State Park, Stokes State Forest, and ends in New Jersey at Worthington State Forest.
Hewitt, NJ 07421

Rifle Camp Park
Hike the yellow-blazed trail for picturesque views of the New York City skyline. Rifle Camp Park sits on the edge of Garret Mountain, a section of First Watchung Mountain. That means there’s plenty of space to spend time in nature and hike too.
395 Rifle Camp Rd.
Woodland Park, NJ 07424

Ringwood State Park
Ringwood State Park has four parts – Ringwood Manor, the NJ State Botanical Garden, Shepherd Lake, and Bear Swamp Lake. Don’t forget to check out the blooms at the Botanical Garden.
1304 Sloatsburg Rd.
Ringwood, NJ 07456

Somerset County

Lord Stirling Park
Lord Stirling Park offers boardwalk trails, two observation towers, two observation blinds, and over eight miles of trails. An extra 500 acres has been set aside as an Equestrian area where no foot traffic is allowed.
190 Lord Stirling Rd.
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Sourland Mountain Preserve
Located on a mountain, Sourland Mountain Preserve has something for everyone, including the 5 Mile Ridge Trail,1.4 Mile Maple Flats Trail and .5 Mile Pondside Trail. Be sure to wear your hiking boots because these trails can get pretty rocky.
421 E Mountain Rd
Hillside, NJ 08844

Sussex County

High Point State Park
Looking for some incredible views? Look no further than High Point State Park, which promises stunning views at NJ’s highest point. Climb and explore the Atlantic cedar swamp or Lake Marcia. Visit the High Point Monument, a memorial to NJ veterans. Check it out to see why NJ natives say it’s one of the Garden State’s best hiking areas.
1480 NJ-23
Sussex, NJ 07461

Wawayanda State Park
Explore the Stairway To Heaven NJ Trail at Wawayanda State Park, a 2.9-mile trail that boasts stunning wildflowers, scenery, and wildlife. Dogs are also allowed on this trail, so be sure to bring Sparky along for the ride.
885 Warwick Turnpike
Hewitt, NJ 07421

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Wander amongst the trees and birds at Hawk Rise Sanctuary via @antoinettemphotos

Union County

Hawk Rise Sanctuary
Once a landfill, NJ has reclaimed this area to be a peaceful landscape for hiking with 1.5 miles of trails. With over 120 species of birds that have at the Sanctuary, kids will love stopping at the observation tower to see what birds they can find. The area feels incredibly remote once you enter the grounds.
1811 Lower Rd.

Linden, NJ 07421

Watchung Reservation
Family-friendly and historical, the Watchung Reservation is a place where you’ll see lots of wildlife and pristine nature spots. There are four short trails and one trail that is 10.8 miles long, allowing everyone to hike, from hiking veterans to beginners.
452 New Providence Rd.

Mountainside, NJ 07092

For a complete list of hiking trails in NJ, please visit http://www.nynjtc.org/.


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About Author

Athena is a former nursery school teacher turned marketing wizard at NJMOM, who lives for fashion and globetrotting. As an aunt to 9 little humans, she loves finding cool new activities to do together that will keep everyone smiling. On any given weekend day, you can find Athena eating all the Greek food at her fave local NJ restaurant, Local Greek, in Princeton. Which, not so ironically, is owned by her big fat Greek family.

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