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15 Amazing Outdoor Hangout Spots in New Jersey

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  • Post published:03/23/2021
  • Reading time:5 mins read
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If you’re looking for spots to hang your hammock, get outside (safely!) with friends and family, or just chill for the day, this is the article for you.

Check out this list of outdoor hangout spots, which has everything from fields with a city view, to short hikes that will take you to a waterfall.

This state park that overlooks New York City is more than just historical – it stretches along the Hudson River with tons of places to pack a picnic. There is also a walking path along the water to check out!  Explore more of Hudson County with our guide.

Next time you’re in Princeton, take a detour to this historic state park and hang out in the shade of some ancient trees. And while you’re there, hike on back to the Instagram-famous suspension bridge.

HOBOKEN'S WATERFRONT (Hudson County)

Grab your takeout after strolling through downtown Hoboken and walk along Pier 13, or sit down for a while in Maxwell Place Park and watch the city from afar.

Image by Sue Fajgier. Follow her on Instagram.

This four-square mile park  may be small, but it has trails, bike paths, and a lake to explore. See the full guide here.

This Union County arboretum is the perfect spot to explore on your lunch break or as a weekend getaway. The trails are easily walkable, the gardens magnificent, and there are many spots to take a rest (or picnic!). Read more in our arboretums guide.

Image by Sue Fajgier. Follow her on Instagram.

This nice, easy 1.1-mile hike takes you to one of the prettiest overlooks of the Delaware River and Lambertville. The preserve has additional trails within these 213 acres. It’s said George Washington and British General Cornwallis both used this vantage point to survey battles — and now you can hang your hammock here and pretend you’re doing the same.

If you need a new place to explore, check out this spot, located in South Orange .There’s something to do for the whole family, whether you want to get your hiking boots dirty, have a picnic, or set up your tripod. Check out our full guide.

Orchid house at Duke Farms.
Image by Sue Fajgier. Follow her on Instagram.

Former home of Doris Duke, this 2,700-acre park is devoted to the enjoyment of plants and animals native to New Jersey, along with a dedication to sustainable practices. The Farm features an orchid greenhouse, a restored coach barn, a sculpture gallery in the old hay barn, the foundation of an unbuilt mansion, and Doris Dukes’ private meditation garden. Bicycles can be rented in season. Check out our full guide.

GARRET MOUNTAIN RESERVATION (Passaic County)

Check out the “castles” and hiking trails in this park located in Woodland Park. And after you do so, find a nice spot to relax! See more things to do in Passaic County.

Image by Sue Fajgier. Follow her on Instagram.

This 619-acre county park really does have something for everyone. The park is home to  Longstreet Farm (which has live farm animals), Historic Holmes -Hendrickson House, the David C. Shaw Arboretum, picnic areas, fishing, tennis courts, two playgrounds, ice skating, sledding and 10 miles of hiking trails.

Nestled a few miles east of I-78 and the Parkway is an outdoor gem — South Mountain Reservation in Millburn/West Orange, New Jersey. This 2,000+ acre park in Essex County is not only home to several miles of nature trails (including this amazing waterfall), but also a zoo, mini-golf, playground, and a reservoir with a paved walking trail. Read the full guide.

The largest developed park in Middlesex County, this 675-acre park features a 30-acre stocked lake which can be use used for fishing and non-gas-powered boats. There’s also a small animal haven with exotic and farm animals on site, in addition to a dog park and athletic playing fields. There are also several miles of nice hiking trails.

The Watershed Reserve protects the floodplain along the Stoneybrook River. This reserve contains the remnants of two historic farmsteads. In addition to 10 miles of hiking trails, there is also an Education Center, an organic farm and a beautiful active buttery house.

Image by Sue Fajgier. Follow her on Instagram.

This 2,200-acre park features a 17-acre lake that is used for fishing, boating, and ice skating. Boat rentals are available in season. There’s over 9 miles of trails and the park is popular for its overnight campgrounds. See the full guide.

Image by Sue Fajgier. Follow her on Instagram.

A small park to explore with an education center focused on teaching forest stewardship. Park includes 8 miles of trails and also learning stations.

Sue Fajgier contributed to this story. Follow her on Instagram.

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