10 Scenic Places To Hike In New Jersey

10 Scenic Places To Hike In New Jersey

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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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Things To Do in Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is a big city with a booming night life and beautiful scenery.

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I recently took a long weekend trip to Vancouver. Here are some things I did and some ideas and suggestions for those visiting the city for the first time.

Cocktails

You can't come to Metropolitan Vancouver and not go out for drinks at least one night. There are so many restaurants and cocktail lounges around the city, it would be a shame to neglect to try some Canadian alcohol. The first night I was in town, I went to Juniper Restaurant and Bar in Chinatown.

They had a wide selection of different mixed drinks, and I was impressed with the flavors of all the different cocktails I tried. Most restaurants around the city sell alcohol, so do some research and try the different alcohol selections in the different parts of the city.

The drinking age in Canada is 19, so it was strange for me to go out and order cocktails for myself. Some places ask for two forms of Government issued ID, so be prepared by bringing your Drivers License and passport.

Clubs

The Roxy

During my time in the city, I never went to any clubs. My hotel was on the same block as several of the popular ones, and they seemed like a pretty big deal. I am used to the clubs in my college town, so I was not prepared to walk myself into a real uppity downtown club.

Some of them have dress codes and other rules so be sure to do some research before planning your whole night around being there. One down the block from my downtown hotel was called The Roxy Cabaret. I heard if you are wanting just one club to give you the full Vancouver experience, that was the one to try.

Markets

Granville Island Public Market Entrance

The most popular market in Vancouver is the Granville Island Public Market, very obviously located on Granville Island. The market has art galleries, the market itself which includes anything from artwork to fruits and meats, little shops, and restaurants.

There is a lot of entertainment there. Sometimes they host music festivals and other events during the summer, so expect to spend several hours there if you are wanting to get the full market experience.

During the summer, North Vancouver hosts The Shipyards Night Market. If you are wanting a taste of North Vancouver, including food, drinks, and culture, this is the summer event to go to. I ate some tasty Greek dessert and drank a sparkling vodka while listening to a live band. It was a great way to enjoy the beautiful evenings on the shore.

Whale Watching

Killer Whales

Vancouver is known for its beautiful landscapes and its salmon fishing. While I was there, we went whale watching in Steveston, British Columbia located right outside of Vancouver. During our 4 hour trip, we saw bald eagles, sea lions, killer whales, all with the backdrop of the beautiful North Shore Mountains.

Make sure to bring warm clothes and food. It was a really beautiful trip but the breeze from the fast-moving boat was a little chilly. It was also a long trip, so it was nice to have something to snack on to make sure I wouldn't get sea sick.

Eat

Vegetarian Poutine

Morgan Fischer

Vancouver is a cultural center. There are so many different people there from all over the world. The majority of the people I met there had accents because they were not originally from Canada.

That means the city is filled with every type of food you can think of. You can get anything from Thai to Italian to barbeque and everything in between. Look up different culture areas of the city and try new food in each one.

I also suggest trying Canadian food. Poutine especially. Poutine is simply french fries with brown gravy and cheese curds on it. There are even restaurants that just serve poutine, but spice it up with different toppings and such. The one I would always walk by was Mean Poutine that was located downtown. There was always a line out the door so it must be good!

Finally, Just Ask a Local

Vancouver residents obviously know the best things to do in the city. All the people I interacted with were extremely nice and helpful. I even had a waitress write down a whole list of places to go get the best cocktails around the city.

Do not be shy while you are there. Talk to your waitress or the person helping you at the store. Ask them about the city and see where they think you should go. You never know a hidden treasure you may find or an adventure you may experience because of their advice!

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