With the beautiful summer weather in August and September, there is no better time to get outside and take advantage of the wide array of activities and places to visit in and near New Jersey. These are some of the “must see” places if you are looking to walk, bike, or hike in New Jersey this summer.
The Great Falls of the Passaic River is a great place to take a short hike of 1.5 miles if you are in the Paterson area. With a width of 280 feet and a height of 77 feet, there are few waterfalls on the East Coast that can match in size and sound. The view and proximity to the falls you get from the bridge is something you do not want to miss out on this summer.
The Sandy Hook Multi-Use Pathway in Monmouth County is one of the most scenic bike trails in New Jersey with beautiful views of Raritan Bay, the New Yourk City sjyline and the Verazzano Narrows Bridge. Spanning 8.5 miles, the wide and flat bike path passes through a bird observatory, wildlife observation decks, an old mortar battery, plenty of beaches along the Sandy Hook Peninsula, a lighthouse dating back to the colonial era, and a photogenic cannon installation at the end of the trail. This trail is perfect for bicyclists of all abilities and ages.
If you are looking for a more challenging trail that also comes with a great view, look no further than Apple Pie Hill. Hike the Batona Trail approximately 4 miles from the Carranza Memorial to Apple Pie Hill, one of the highest points in South Jersey in the Wharton State Forest near Tabernacle, NJ. Climb the Fire Tower for a stunning view of the Pine Barrens and on a clear day both the Philadelphia and Atlantic City skylines.
The Terrace Pond Loop in Wawayanda State Park in Passaic County, NJ is a moderately challenging 4.8 mile trail combining forest trails and rocky scrambles overlooking beautiful Terrace Pond.
The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail is a 70 mile long path passing through Hunterdon, Mercer, and Somerset counties that can be accessed either by bicycling or walking. The trail passes 19th century bridges, cobblestone roads, and small waterfalls. The historic towpath along the main canal from Bakers Basin Road (Trenton) to New Brunswick has a natural surface for hiking, jogging, horseback riding, and biking. From Mulberry Street to Bakers Basin Road, the trail is crushed stone. The path is mostly flat and connects to many towns, and can be accessed at many points along the trail. If you want to take a break from walking and bicycling along the trail, canoe and kayak rentals on the Raritan Canal are available in Princeton and Griggstown.
Looking for a longer, more challenging hike in New Jersey? Mount Tammany in Warren County includes a steep uphill climb to a breath taking view of the Delaware Water Gap – particularly in the fall when the trees begin to turn. Follow the Kittatinny Ridge to beautiful Sunfish Pond.
Whether it is walking, biking, or hiking that you are interested in, there are plenty of spots in New Jersey for all ages and abilities!
Special thanks to our Research Associate, Ben Levy, for writing and contributing this article!