The Best Outdoor Activities in New Jersey

Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.

Explore the Great Falls of the Passaic River

New Jersey / Great Falls of the Passaic

Getting to the Great Falls of the Passaic River is a relatively straight shot. It is located off exit 57B on Route 80 which is also accessible from highway 287.

556 Saves

Hike to Buttermilk Falls

New Jersey / Buttermilk Falls Trailhead NJ

The parking lot is a big dirt lot, so if it's raining or has rained, be prepared. The immediate falls are located mere steps from the parking lot, so on holiday weekends, be prepared for crowds.

398 Saves

Explore Kugler Woods Waterfall

New Jersey / Kugler Woods Parking Area

Drive 5.2 miles north on Route 29 from the center of Stockton, NJ and you will come across a very small parking lot on the left side of the road.

384 Saves

Explore the Ken Lockwood Gorge

New Jersey / Ken Lockwood Gorge

One of New Jerseys best kept secrets has to be the Ken Lockwood Gorge. If you are looking for a relaxing, beautiful, and nature packs place then this area is perfect for you.

363 Saves

Hike Mt. Tammany, NJ

New Jersey / Delaware Water Gap, NJ

This is a short but strenuous hike to a bluff overlooking the Delaware River and surrounding mountains and hills.

353 Saves

Hike the Stairway to Heaven

New Jersey / Stairway to Heaven

This popular hike starts out on the Appalachian Trail (AT, white blazes). You begin on a boardwalk that crosses over a marsh, then you leave the boardwalk and enter a forested area. At around 1.

353 Saves

Hike Hacklebarney State Park's Trout Brook Riverbanks

New Jersey / Hacklebarney State Park Parking Area

This is a relatively easy hike through Hacklebarney State Park that is great for families with younger children, rock scrambling, photography, and just hanging out in nature.

342 Saves

Hike to Ramapo Lake and the Van Slyke Castle

New Jersey / MacEvoy Trailhead

Begin at the MacEvoy Trailhead (blue blazes), at the end of the parking lot. A moderate uphill climb and stream crossing will take you up towards Ramapo Lake.

340 Saves

Hike Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

New Jersey / Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Nestled within the more urban and suburban communities in Northern New Jersey, you can escape back to nature at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

331 Saves

Hike to Chikahoki Falls

New Jersey / Hewitt-Butler Trail

This is a fairly easy hike that is great for the whole family to see the fall foliage and experience a great waterfall.

327 Saves

Hike Bearfort Mountain

New Jersey / Bearfort Mountain Parking Area

Bearfort Mountain is a great weekend morning hike that borders NJ and NY. Parking can be tricky as the entrance to the lot looks like it is Greenwood Lake Marina's boat storage area.

307 Saves

Hike Pyramid Mountain to Tripod Rock

New Jersey / Pyramid Mountain

This is a fun hike that is great for the entire family. The trails are really well maintained and Tripod Rock is a pretty amazing feature to check out.

296 Saves

Camp at Wharton State Forest

New Jersey / Wharton State Forest Campground

There is plenty of potential for activity in New Jersey's largest state park. Wharton offers Mullica River for boating, as well as three other rivers for canoeing.

197 Saves

Hike to Huyler's Landing/ Closter Dock Loop

New Jersey / Huyler's Landing Parking, Palisades Interstate Park

The easiest way to access this loop hike is by parking at the Palisades State Park Headquarters.  This is just off exit 2 from the Palisades Interstate Parkway.

195 Saves

Explore Ringwood Manor State Park

New Jersey / Ringwood Manor State Park

On my way to the drive-in, I saw a sign for Ringwood Manor estate and wanted to adventure around.

157 Saves

Explore the Sussex County Sunflower Maze

New Jersey / Sussex County Sunflower Maze

I stumbled upon the Sunflower Maze by accident when I was driving through NJ and was quickly distracted by the enormous yellow flowers.

153 Saves

Hike the Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve

New Jersey / Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve

An 8-mile network of maintained trails traversing this Preserve, Mountain Lakes North, John Witherspoon Woods,parts of Tusculum (private) and Community Park North makes a variety of loop hikes possib.

146 Saves

Hike the Apshawa Preserve

New Jersey / Apshawa Preserve

This is a pretty straightforward loop-hike that has you crossing a few bridges, a stream and getting some incredible views if you are up for it.

143 Saves

Hike to the Hidden Lockatong Waterfall

New Jersey / Lockatong Nature Preserve Turnoff

If you're on Kingwood Stockton Road, there will be a dirt road with a Lockatong Nature Preserve sign before it (going north on Kingwood Stockton Road, the sign will be on your left.

142 Saves

Hike to Sunfish Pond

New Jersey / Sunfish Pond Trailhead

At the end of the parking lot, cross over the bridge and follow the Appalachian Trail (AT, white blazes) to a V-intersection.

142 Saves

Hike through the Sourland Mountain Preserve

New Jersey / Sourland Mountain Preserve Parking Area

The Sourland Mountain Preserve stretches from Hunterdon County all the way into Somerset County. The trails referenced here are on the southwest side of the preserve in Hunterdon County.

138 Saves

Kayak to Herring Island

New Jersey / Bay Boulevard Launch Point

Starting at the small beach at the end of Bay Blvd, paddle heading south. You will need to pass through the boat canal so keep an eye out for speeding boats.

137 Saves

Hike Black River County Park

New Jersey / Black River Trail

From the parking lot head to the Black River Trail (blue blazes). Head toward Kay's Cottage, where after 1.

136 Saves

Hike to the Devil's Tea Table

New Jersey / Warsaw Rd. Pull-Off

Apart from the rock, there's more trail to follow for a stunning overview and a great spot to hang out and relax. The view is a must-see, it is so much better in person.

135 Saves

Bike the Columbia Trail: Califon to High Bridge

New Jersey / Columbia Trail

There are multiple places to pick up the Columbia Trail (High Bridge, Califon, Long Valley, Flanders) but this post is for biking or running from Califon to High Bridge and back.

127 Saves

Hiking in Musconetcong Gorge Preserve

New Jersey / Musconetcong Gorge Preserve

Start out on Ridge Trail (yellow blazes), found at the rear of the parking lot. Shortly, you will come to a stream crossing, followed by a set of wooden steps.

121 Saves

Camp at Jenny Jump State Forest

New Jersey / Jenny Jump State Forest

The park's 11 miles of trails include a hike up Jenny Jump Mountain for beautiful views of the surrounding area.

120 Saves

Camp at Worthington State Forest

New Jersey / Worthington State Forest

Hike to some of the best views in northern New Jersey on over 26 miles of trail.

119 Saves

Camp at Wawayanda State Park

New Jersey / Wawayanda State Park

Bring along your friends for this one – the park offers only group campsites, three in all, which can take a range of 15 to 35 people.

111 Saves

Hike the Coppermines Trail

New Jersey / Coppermines Trailhead

Start out on the Coppermines Trail (red blazes), across Old Mine Road. For a short excursion, head left on an unmarked trail for 0.

95 Saves

Stroll through the Cranberry Bogs at Double Trouble State Park

New Jersey / Cranberry Bogs Trail

This is a very easy hike, and a great day trip to take if you're looking for something simple and relaxing, but still want beautiful scenery and wildlife.

94 Saves

Camp at Stokes State Forest

New Jersey / Stokes State Forest

The variety of hiking trails is a main attraction here, including a stretch of the Appalachian Trail that runs up Sunrise Mountain, and the opportunity to explore Tillman Ravine.

93 Saves

Camp at Bass River State Forest

New Jersey / Bass River State Forest

Featuring the 67-acre Lake Absegami, Bass River State Forest is a great place to spend a weekend on the water – swimming, canoeing, boating, and fishing are all possible here.

88 Saves

Camp at High Point State Park

New Jersey / High Point State Park NJ

You'll need at least a weekend to sample all that High Point State Park has to offer.

85 Saves

Surf the Jersey Shore's Winter Waves

New Jersey / Jersey Shore

Head to the Jersey Shore to hunt for some of the best winter waves.

84 Saves

Hike the Baldpate Mountain Loop

New Jersey / Baldpate Mountain Parking Area

The parking lot on Pleasant Valley Road provides access to the trailhead for this 1.25 mile loop hike. Starting at the trailhead, take the Ridge Trail (white) going West.

81 Saves

Hike Monument Trail

New Jersey / High Point State Park

This trail in High Point State Park is a great spot for a quick hike with the family.

80 Saves

Hike Alpine White Trail (Stateline Lookout)

New Jersey / Long Path, Closter

Starting at about 520 feet, the White path takes you along the Stateline Lookout which is a small stone building overlooking the Hudson River.

68 Saves

Camp at Spruce Run Recreation Area

New Jersey / Spruce Run Recreation Area

There are 67 tent and trailer sites here, open from April 1 to Oct 31. You'll have access to fire rings, picnic tables, showers, and toilets from these sites, as well.

68 Saves

Photograph the NYC Skyline from JFK Boulevard East

New Jersey / JFK Boulevard East, Weehawken, NJ

The Big Apple. NYC has arguably the best skyline in the world.

62 Saves

Hike the Dyckman Hill/Huyler's Landing Loop

New Jersey / Undercliff Picnic Area

There is two ways to access this loop hike.  The first is from the Englewood Picnic area just off Exit 1 from the Palisades Interstate Parkway.

59 Saves

Visit the Princeton Battlefield Park Suspension Bridge

New Jersey / Princeton Battlefield State Park Parking Lot

To find this bridge, you essentially park at the Princeton Battlefield Park and walk all the way down towards the woods (you'll pass an old house if you're going the right way).

43 Saves

Relax at Lake Horicon

New Jersey / Lake Horicon

Lake Horicon Park is located at the corner of Union Avenue and Lake Street in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

42 Saves

Camp at Belleplain State Forest

New Jersey / Belleplain State Forest Visitor Center

A fun place for all things nature, from a easy nature walk to camping! Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Lake Nummy is available for swimmers.

38 Saves

Camp at Blue Knob Park Campground

New Jersey / Blue Knob State Park Campground

Blue Knob Campground is the perfect place for a retreat anytime of the year. A mix of forest, mountain, and streams, this natural setting is truly alluring.

36 Saves

Mountain Bike Dry Run Creek Trail

New Jersey / Dry Run Creek Trail Parking Area

This short trail runs alongside a small creek, and is a perfect spot for mountain biking and running. There is a small parking lot right at the trailhead, making this spot very convenient to access.

35 Saves

Hike the Dyckman Hill/Carpenter's Grove Loop

New Jersey / Allison Park

This loop hike can be started from several different places.  I chose to start from Allison Park which overlooks the Hudson River in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

31 Saves

Kayaking the Shrewsbury River

New Jersey / Shrewsbury River (Tocci Ave)

You start at Tocci Ave in Monmouth Beach. (There is a park with a baseball field so often times on weekends there are baseball games. Depending on the time of day it can be difficult to get parking.

22 Saves

Hike the Iris Tail - Appalachian Tail Loop

New Jersey / AT Parking - Route 23

Start this hike from the Appalachian Trail parking area off route 23, south bound side, south of the park office. Follow the Blue Dot trail until is intersects with the Iris Trail.

22 Saves

Hike to Quaker Bridge via Atsion

New Jersey / Atsion Ranger Station

Looking at a map of New Jersey, you'll notice that the biggest green patch of forest on the map is Wharton State Forest, in the southern half of the state.

18 Saves