10 Scenic Places To Hike In New Jersey

10 Scenic Places To Hike In New Jersey


Most of us know what it feels like to sit around with friends wondering, "What can we do that doesn't cost money but will be a fun way to spend the day?" Despite the fact that many of us spend our days snacking while binge watching Netflix, one great (and free!) summer activity is exploring the hiking trails around the area. Although the term "hiking" might seem intimidating to some people, there is an abundance hiking trails throughout New Jersey. If you find yourself looking for something to do on a nice summer or fall day, check out one of these remarkable hiking views!

1. Mount Tammany - Knowlton Township, NJ

  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Distance: 3.5 miles
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views, forests

Being that this park is near the Delaware Water Gap, hikers always enjoy a beautiful scene of the water all-year-round. This particular hike hoops around Mount Tammany, which provides people many panoramic views throughout the trail. This trail also allows hikers to walk alongside the scenic and pleasant Dunnfield Creek.

2. Sunfish Pond - Hardwick Township, NJ

  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views, glacial pond, Appalachian Trail

This trail is especially scenic in the Fall as the leaves are changing colors and the water looks fresh and blue. There are certain rocky areas throughout the trail that make hiking a tad more difficult, but with a trekking pole or even just a stick, those rugged terrains will be much easier to overcome.

3. Pinwheel Vista - Vernon NJ

  • Time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 7.4 miles
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views, boardwalk, wildlife, wildflowers

This particular hike can be very easy in some sections, such as the flat terrain on the lengthy boardwalk. However, some sections can be difficult due to the rocky scrambles and steep elevation gain. Hikers enjoy seeing turtles and many types of birds throughout the trail, especially near the pond areas around the boardwalk.

4. Ramapo Valley County Conservation (Lake Loop) - Mahwah, NJ

  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 3.8 miles
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views

This easy hike is perfect for those who enjoy taking long walks across a semi-flat terrain. The trail loops around Ramapo Lake and provides various perspectives of this beautiful body of water. Due to the fact that this trail lies in the middle of a large conservation, it may be somewhat difficult to differentiate between the many trails that the park offers. Because it can be confusing to navigate, it is advised to bring a map of the park along with you throughout the hike.

5. Beaver Brook Trail - Marcella, NJ

  • Time: 3.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 6.2 miles
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views, pond, wildlife

If you enjoy seeing pure nature and wildlife, this is the perfect trail for you. Hikers have seen coyotes, bears, and beavers wandering in the forests of this park. There is also a plethora of beaver lodges and dams throughout the park. The terrain is known to be rockier than the average hiking trail, so make sure to wear proper footwear.

6. Norvin Green State Forest (Stonetown Circular) - Ringwood, NJ

  • Time: 5.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Distance: 9.6 miles
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views, reservoir, historic sites

Due to the rugged terrain and long distance, this hike is one of the most difficult ones in New Jersey. The peaks of the Windbeam, Bear, and Board Mountains offer a beautiful view of two scenic reservoirs. Hikers may choose to take on a shorter path by only climbing one or two mountains. This trail is popular for it's super lush and green forests. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers used many areas in this forest as a reliable hideout.

7. Bearfort Ridge - Hewitt, NJ

  • Time: 3.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 6.8 miles
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views, streams, swamp, secluded lake, Hemlock Forest

The rocky scrambles in this trail make the hike moderately difficult and time-consuming for some people, but the view is worth the wait! Surprise Lake offers a beautiful view for hikers in the middle of the trail, which encourages them to continue onto higher elevation for an even better view. On the way back, hikers may choose to take a woods road for a flatter (but more slippery) terrain.

8. High Point State Park - Sussex, NJ

  • Time: 4.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 7.9 miles
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views, farmlands, forests, monumental views

High Point State Park offers the highest point in New Jersey and has views of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey from the peak of its historic monument. Many families choose to park their cars closer to the monument and do a shorter hike. In the summertime, children are often swimming and playing in Lake Marcia.

9. Terrace Pond Loop - Hewitt, NJ

  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 4.3 miles
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views, forests, pond

The rock formations and scrambles in this trail provide a great view of the forest while the lake is a peaceful and serene place to relax and enjoy a mid-hike snack. There are many cliffs around the perimeter of the the forest that people use to jump off into the lake. During a hot summer day, many hikers enjoy taking a swim in the crisp, fresh lake water.

10. Palisades Interstate Park - Alpine, NJ

  • Time: Varies based on trail (between two to six hours)
  • Difficulty: Easy, moderate, and strenuous trails available
  • Distance: 12 miles (entire park)
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Features: Views, rocky terrain, forest, Hudson River views

This lengthy-trail offers many different possible routes to take, the longest being twelve miles long. However, most people choose one path to hike depending on the views they wish to see along the way. The Palisades Interstate Park offers incredible views from its sharp cliffs. The entirety of the park includes lush forests, which means that there is always a scenic route in sight! Hikers enjoy the Hudson River views from the Shore Trail. If you're feeling adventurous, you can check out the rocky scrambles of the Giant Stairs in the Northern section of the park.

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7 Signs You're From the 732

Only the best part of New Jersey.

If you're from New Jersey, you know how badly the state's looked down upon by outsiders (thanks a lot, Jersey Shore). But you know that all of those false accusations aren't true- the Garden State is your home and only you're allowed to make fun of it. Although Jersey's small, there are different regions and everyone thinks that their's is the best. Here are seven signs you're from the 732, AKA the best part of Jersey:

1. You know that Central Jersey is a place.

One of the biggest arguments is whether or not Central Jersey exists. I live in the middle of New Jersey, so it's pretty funny when people say it's not a real place. I'm not from South Jersey, and definitely not from North Jersey. Also, it's close to both Philadelphia and New York, not just one or the other. Perfect location.

2. Everywhere you go, you see a Wawa.

Legit everywhere, and you go there 24/7. All hail the holy grail.

3. Surf Taco means a lot to you.

Every time I come home from being away at school the first place I go to eat with my friends is Surf Taco. Even when I am home, Surf Taco's always on my mind. Who doesn't love a good taco with chips? P.S. I highly recommend their Teriyaki Chicken Taco, you won't regret it.

4. You go to all the summer concerts.

There's really nothing more fun than summer shows outside, and you already know that PNC Bank Arts Center and Stone Pony Summer Stage are the hot-spots. 'Tis the season of tailgating and enjoying a good show with your friends.

5. Two words: Pork. Roll.

I don't care what Chris Christie has to say, it's pork roll. Quite honestly, Taylor Ham just doesn't sound right. And what's better than a pork roll egg n' cheese on your favorite bagel? Nothing.

6. You live close to the beach...

Spring Lake, Manasquan, Asbury, you name it. You know these areas and where all of the good food spots are in each of them. Living so close to the beach makes for the perfect summers, but with summer comes the bennies.

7. ...So you can easily spot a benny.

If you're from Jersey and you don't know what a benny is, you most likely are one. Bennies usually come in packs; they bring lawn chairs and tents to the beach, wear socks and sandals, and have the "Jersey accent" because they're either from New York or close to.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

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My Take On New York City

Travel diaries of my first trip in!


I rushed home from Global Political Economics, dumped my backpack on the couch, threw on my favorite black jeans (Madewell to be exact) while the PA sun gleamed through the white shades on my apartment windows. It was around 10:00 am on a low, 70-degree day in early October. After wasting fifteen minutes trying to plan an outfit, I settled on complementing the black denim with a linen, yellow scoop tee from Anthro, matching yellow platform slip on sandals and think, dark, tortoise hoops – also Antho. I rushed to the bathroom, curled my blonde hair, touched up my makeup, threw some clothes in an overnight bag, grabbed my wallet and keys, and rushed out the door… for I was headed to the city.

New York City.

As I left Pennsylvania, I began to re-track my route to school, back in late August, headed north, I approached my first toll booth. The foreign concept of needing a "ticket" to travel on the highway was something that quickly grew to be irritating. After making it over the bridge, I approached the Bronx, almost to my first destination, Fordham University. I was traveling to visit my friend from high school. She would be showing me around the city for my first time. Having always been a city girl, people are always shocked when I tell them that.

Campus was pleasant. For its location in the Bronx, the tall black gates, cobblestone entrances, abundance of trees, marble steps and polished stone buildings completely hid the evidence that you were in fact still in the Bronx. I parked my white Volkswagen three floors up in the garage, grabbed my stuff and scurried over to a Starbucks across campus, where my friend was in a Biology Lab. As I finished off my grande pumpkin spice chai tea latte, my friend approached me in excitement. Next stop? NYC.

The duration of the train ride consisted of thoughts accelerated by excitement, consumed by images of New York City shown in Gossip Girl, Friends and the most fabulous Christmas movie, Elf. Because it was my first time, all I could think of when it came to the city were the glamified TV shows and movies that took place there, which frankly, only added to my excitement.

Grand Central, seen in the first episode of Gossip Girl, Serena van der Woodsen, bags in hand. To say the least, it took my breath away. The old-fashioned architecture and grand, old clocks. I felt like I was in a fancy airport and if you're in New York City, a visit to the station should be required. Next came Rockefeller Center, NBC Studios and Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show. In the center, flags waved in the brisk air as employees began tending to the half-assembled yet remarkable ice skating rink. I dreamt of the Christmas tree and skating on the rink in late December as it snowed. Before I knew it, we were in line with our tickets to Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show.

With tall men dressed in expensive suits monitoring that no one take photos, it began to hit me that we were about to experience a taping of a show, with celebrities. I quickly found myself in the very front row, watching Jimmy Fallon charm the audience with his impeccable sense of humor and the perfect questions for his special guests. To top off the show, Lil Wayne performed one of his newly released hit tracks. It was wonderful.

To Times Square we went! After walking just a few short blocks, we suddenly became absorbed into lights, billboards, colors and tall, tall buildings. It was beautiful. Times Square is one of those places that in a similar way to the top of mountains in national parks, can leave you speechless. It is the heart of our culture and offers so much more than just to provide a check off your tourist landmarks list. After walking the streets, we turned to corner and approached the Empire State building.

I had been to the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Prudential in Boston but never been to the Empire State building. Up 80 floors, I stepped off of a five-minute elevator ride and into a 360-degree view of America's favorite city. The glitz and the glamour hidden within the dark streets while people, celebrities, families, businessmen, and models occupied the mysteriously lit up rooms within each skyscraper which served no other purpose than to simply remind us all that it truly is the city that never sleeps. Not a star is in sight but instead of looking up, you find yourself looking down. Hustle and bustle, were two of the first words that popped into my head when I first saw the spectacular view. With another elevator ride up six more floors, I found myself stepping out between tall glass doors and into the skywalk observatory. Protected by fences and cement walls that reached just above my shoulders, I peeked out into the open from a higher view of the gorgeous, lively, city of lights. Despite the fact that I could've sworn I felt the building sway… it is a must-do, even for those afraid of heights!

P.S. If you're looking for some good Italian food, check out Tony's Di Napoli – DELICIOUS


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