In observance of National Park Week, we will be sharing National Parks in NJ that are a great place to visit with a hot cup of coffee and your camera. Who else is ready for an adventure?
National Park Week for 2017 begins April 15th and ends on April 23rd. It also coincides with Earth Day, which is April 22nd. What are some of the perks of taking the time to recognize this event? For starters, admission to National Parks during this week is FREE. Yes, you read that correctly. Now is the perfect time to gather your friends or family and take a hike in one of NJ’s national parks. Check out some of what NJ has to offer!
The Appalachian Trail
Spanning some 2,100+ miles, the Appalachian trail runs from Georgia through Vermont and up through the NorthEast. In NJ, the Appalachian trail touches some scenic wooded and wild lands. A handful of spots along the trail touch the highest points in NJ, which means the views are spectacular. Worthington State Forest and Stokes State Forest are great areas to find this and other connecting trails to explore.
Delaware Water Gap
Hiking along the Delaware River that cuts through NJ and PA, you’ll find people fishing, tubing, rafting, and enjoying the river. Rock walls that jut hundreds of feet up greet the outdoorsy person of all calibers – from beginner to expert. Off the beaten path, various waterfalls, overlooks, and private groves of evergreen trees create amazing picture opportunities for the nature lover along all parts of their journey. Spend an hour, two, or an entire day in the Water Gap – there is camping and, if someone in your group cannot resist, the Crossings Outlets for the more indoorsy members of your friend or family circle is not far from the water gap.
If you travel south enough in the Garden State, you’re bound to encounter NJ’s pine forest. This forest was established by Congress in 1978 as the first National Reserve in the country. (NPS.Gov) With over one million acres of expanse, this deep and dense forest is home to many a tale. The Jersey Devil being one of them. Many stories of old mob crimes and executions also have arisen from the shady pines. Want an insider tip? Take a summer day cruise along County Road 539 which runs down to Atlantic City. It is beautiful and has much less traffic than the Garden State Parkway (with more trees, too!)
Not in the mood for a lot of walking/hiking? Here are some other National Parks in NJ that are less walking and/or more learning and education based.
- Ellis Island
- Morristown National Historical Park
- Thomas Edison’s Home
- Paterson Great Falls
What are some of your favorite National Parks? Are any in NJ? Feel free to share them with us!