By: Evelyn G. and Isha T.
Hi, we’re Isha and Evelyn and we both love hiking. Both of us hiked and backpacked over the summer and have continued to hike in NJ during this school year. Have you been feeling down in the dumps? We suggest going on a walk or even better a HIKE! Get ready to feel the breeze, taste the fresh air, and enjoy a crumbly nature valley bar or two … or three while looking at this…
This article will outline everything you need to know about Hiking in New Jersey.
First, while NJ is far from the Rockies it's underestimated when it comes to rewarding hikes. Here are some of the most rewarding hikes or best-rated views but don’t forget it's the journey that matters not the destination. Number 1 we have Mt Tammany which goes along the NJ side of the Delaware Water Gap. It is a short but rocky trail, summing up around 3.5 miles. This route follows the red dot trail up and the blue dot trail down. Also highly recommended is Stairway to Heaven. Which is there and back 7.3 miles. The trail starts flatter and then turns into more rocky areas. Some features of this hike include several boardwalks, a suspension bridge, over railroad tracks, and even through a cow pasture! Mooooooo! Finishes with rock slabs creating the “Stairway to Heaven''!
New Jersey Appalachian Trails have the best fall foliage. From anywhere between 2-20 miles. High Point State Park – Monument Trail - The highest point in NJ, see NY, PA, and much of NJ from the peak. It’s also the senior's trailblazer day location.
While solo hikes are magical in their own ways, family hikes are great activities, especially with younger siblings. Huckleberry State Park, a nature preserve in Orange County, has trails ranging anywhere between 3-6 miles. It is right next to an apple orchard with great picnic spots mid-hike. Watchung Reservation in Union County (a short drive from KPS), has trails ranging from 2-7 miles. Its trails include great picnic spots and even a half-mile fairy trail. Jockey Hollow, in Morristown, has lots of historical trails and revolutionary-era buildings. It includes original cabins and a replica of a colonial garden. South Mountain Reservation, where the 9th, 10th, and 11th graders hiked on trailblazer day, is located in West Orange. It includes a section of the 36-mile Lenape Trail.
Spotted Lanternflies are going away as winter comes but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye out for New Jersey’s latest invasive species. If you find one, be sure to kill it but if you find a large group, you can submit a report to NJ Department of Agriculture (https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/1d6503488aab4deab3dc9a2a874483a6). If you hike through an area with tall grass or other plants, be sure to use bug spray and check for ticks afterward, especially if you brought a dog with you. Wearing long pants and tall socks or shoes can also help stop ticks.
Things to remember to bring and do on hikes:
Carry out all trash
Respect other hikers
Watch for poison ivy
Check for ticks
Bring lots of water
Now that you know all about hiking in NJ, get out there! Breathe the fresh air, and take a break from your busy schedule.