Best State Park Hikes in South Jersey

Best State Park Hikes in South Jersey

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Now that New Jersey state parks are open for passive recreation, check out these sandy hikes in South Jersey to mix up your hiking game!

Make sure to wear appropriate face coverings and maintain social distancing when visiting these spots. 

State Parks & Forests

Explore The Best Parks

CAPE MAY POINT STATE PARK

Let’s start at the southern-most state park! Take a loop around the point (1.7 miles) to see the Cape May lighthouse from all directions. 

Take a little detour to the beach to check out the abandoned Battery 223 Bunker on the shore — part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

WHARTON STATE FOREST

Dip your toe into the Pinelands and explore Wharton State Forest! There are tons of hikes, but these ones will get you started.

Hike along the Batsto River on the Batsto White Trail (4 miles). This loop will send you right through the forest!

A fan favorite, hike the 8.6 mile Batona trail that leads to the Apple Pie Hill fire tower. The tower is closed to visitors, but you can still check it out from the ground!

 
 
 
 
 
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Want more fire towers? Explore our map.

While you’re in the area, be sure you visit Batsto Village. There are also lots of mountain biking trails, too! (Yes, we have a map for that!)

BARNEGAT LIGHTHOUSE STATE PARK

While there technically are no “hiking” trails here, you can walk the length of the point (1.9 miles out and back) to see the most Instagrammed lighthouse in New Jersey — and you won’t be disappointed!

ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK

This park is so expansive we have an entire guide on it!

Check out areas 4, 13, 16, 17, and 21 for dune treks out to the ocean, and 7, 16, and 20 for nature trails to visit the bay. There is also a nice trail to the bay right by the entrance to the park.

Whether it’s the bay or the beach, ISBP has something for everyone! There are also canoe/kayak drops at areas 15 and 21, so make sure to check out the paddling trails too!

While you’re out on the barrier islands, check out Long Beach Island.

DOUBLE TROUBLE STATE PARK

Park at Double Trouble village and start exploring! Take the 2.5 mile Sweetwater Trail to explore most of the park, and branch off to the Sworden’s Pond trail for a scenic view.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You can also take the Mill Pond trail (1.2 miles) to visit the reservoir.

And check out our guide on neighboring park Jake’s Branch for more hikes in the area.

BELLEPLAIN STATE FOREST

Take a stroll deep in the Pinelands in Belleplain State Forest. The 7 mile East Creek Loop will show you everything the Pinelands has to offer.

If you’re looking for a shorter option, try the Pickle Factory Pond Trail (1.8 miles).

RANCOCAS STATE PARK

If you are looking for a state park close to Philadelphia, this park fits the bill! 

Take the Rancocas State Park Loop (4 miles) to complete your loop of the park!

For marshy alternatives, try the Blue and Orange Loop (3.8 miles) or the Whispering Woods and Little Brook Loop (3.4 miles).

BRENDAN T. BYRNE STATE FOREST

If you’re looking for a long hike in South Jersey, this state forest is the place for you.
And the Batona Trail is your best friend! Do sections of the 53 mile point to point trail to see large swaths of the Pinelands all at once (and the wildlife inside!). A shorter option is the 6 mile Cranberry Trail or the 9 mile Mount Misery Trail, with views of the wetlands in the forest. On your way back, check out Whitesbog Historic Village and the cranberry bogs!

CORSEN'S INLET STATE PARK

This park is one of the last undeveloped tracts along the state’s oceanfront! And if you’re headed down to your beach house, this is the perfect park to check out.

Walk the Yellow Trail (2 miles) for marsh and beach views, and continue along on the Red Trail to the end of the inlet.

And look up! You will be able to see many different kinds of birds here.

Did we miss any of your favorite hikes? Let us know in the comments!

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