Sounds like New Jersey in the fall, doesn’t it? But don’t forget that New Jersey is home to some pretty great hiking trails also. It’s a great time of year to get out, the temperatures are cooling off finally!
We have picked some trails with some views, some interesting rock formations, diverse plant life and trees decked out in fall’s very best colors.
So, take a look. Enjoy! And see you on the trails!
As the temperature cools and the leaves start to change, there’s no better way to embrace the season than to get outside and explore nature. New Jersey is home to miles upon miles of beautiful hiking trails. Below are a few of the best trails, where you can immerse yourself in all of the reds, oranges, and golds that you can handle.
Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area
Standout Trail: Pyramid Mountain staff members recommend a 3.5-mile, moderately challenging trail that begins in the parking area, passes through a scenic overlook, and culminates at Tripod Rock. Plus, the return loop has a stretch along the Taylortown Reservoir.
Location: Montville Township
Why It’s Great: The trail boasts stunning views of the New York City skyline, waterfalls, wetlands — and an up-close look at Tripod Rock. It’s a glacial erratic and, as a 160-ton boulder balanced on three smaller stones, it’s a striking feat of nature.
(photo credit: Morris Parks Staff)
Worthington State Forest
Standout Trail: A 7.8-mile trek follows the park’s Dunnfield Creek trail from the parking area for the first 3.5 miles, reaches Sunfish Pond, and returns on the Appalachian Trail.
Location: Hardwick Township, Warren County
Why It’s Great: You can enjoy breathtaking views of Delaware Water Gap and Sunfish Pond, a stunning glacial lake.
(photo: Flickr/David Lipscomb)
Ramapo Mountain State Forest
Standout Trail: The trails are adaptable, but we like the five-mile route that takes hikers along Ramapo Lake and passes through the ruins of Van Slyke Castle. Take the MacEvoy Trail for about 1.5 miles, turn off onto Castle Point Trail, and use the Todd Trail to loop back around to the MacEvoy Trail.
Location: Bergen and Passaic counties
Why It’s Great: The trails are flexible, so hikers can mix-and-match routes based on their interests and ability. And Ramapo boasts New York City skyline views — as well as the ruins of Van Slyke Castle.
(photo: Flickr/Tim Macdonald)
Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area
Standout Trail: A scenic 7.5-mile hike covers Buttermilk Falls, Crater Lake, and Hemlock Pond. Begin at Buttermilk Falls, head onto the Appalachian Trail until you reach the Crater Lake Trail, you’ll then use the Blue Mountain Lakes Trail to link back up with the Buttermilk Falls Trails and return using that route.
Location: Layton, Sussex County
Why It’s Great: Buttermilk Falls is NJ’s highest waterfall and a favorite destination of visitors to the park.
(photo: Flickr/Nicholas Rinaldi)
Hacklebarney State Park
Standout Trail: Take the Main Trail to the Upper Trail, and then use the Lower Trail to hike along the Black River before looping back.
Location: Morris County
Why It’s Great: This trail takes hikers along many streams as well as the Black River, which is a plus as proximity to water causes leaves to change color earlier in the season.
(photo:Flickr/Steven Reynolds )
Palisades Interstate Park
Standout Trail: Take the Long Path, which starts at the stunning State Line Lookout, and moves through the park, hitting many other places of interest along the way.
Location: Bergen County
Estimated Duration: 4 hours
Why It’s Great: State Line Lookout features a breathtaking panoramic view of the Hudson River.
(photo: Flickr/Augie Ray)
Cheesequake State Park
Standout Trail: A 4.5-mile hike explores Hooks Creeks Lake, Perrine Pond, and terrain ranging from forests to salt marshes. For this hike, take the Yellow Trail to the Blue Trail until you reach the Green Trail, which will complete the loop.
Location: Middlesex County
Estimated Duration: 3 hours
Why It’s Great: This park boasts a rare combination of vegetation, from salt marshes to wetlands to forests, all of which are easily accessible to hikers through various trails.
Norvin Green State Forest
Standout Trail: This four-mile trail will take you to one of the best views in New Jersey, Wyanokie High Point. Begin on the Otter Hole Trail, until you come to the Hewitt-Butler Trail, and follow this trail to the Wyanokie Circular Trail. Continue on the Wyanokie Circular Trail until it splits from the Mine Trail, at which point you should follow the Mine Trail to the Roomy Mine Trail. Stick to this trail until you once again reach the Mine Trail. From here, follow the Hewitt-Butler Trail to the Otter Hole Trail until you come back to your starting point.
Location: Passaic County
Estimated Duration: 3 hours
Why It’s Great: Wyanokie High Point features breathtaking skyline views, and also overlooks the Wanaque Reservoir. You’ll also see an old copper mine, as well as many streams and unique rock formations.
(photo: Flickr/Miguel Vieira )