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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

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The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Every time I go on a trip I always forget at least 1 things.


There are all sorts of things that we forget to pack when we go on vacation. How can you remember all the little details when a fun-filled trip awaits you? Not to worry! Here is a short list of items that can be easily forgotten. Pull this list up when packing for your next trip and be relieved when you haven't forgotten a thing.

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