Best State Park Hikes in Central Jersey

Now that New Jersey state parks are open for passive recreation, check out these stunning hikes in Central Jersey that you may have overlooked before!

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

State Parks & Forests

Explore The Best Parks


There are several amazing trails to check out in this park, which you have probably driven past on the Parkway dozens of times! Check out the three best spots in Cheesequake State Park to get started.

If you’re looking for something more forested, the Red Loop (1.2 miles) is for you!

If you want to take a stroll through the more sandy areas near the lake, check out the Yellow (1.2 miles) or Green (2.2 miles) trails. Keep an eye out for wildlife — especially birds, including bald eagles!


The main attraction at Washington Rock State Park is the overlook — as you can tell from the above picture, you can see for miles on a clear day! 

But there is one small nature trail with a variety of trees that is worth the visit.


Hike or boat this historic park! You can walk down the nearly 38 miles of trails from New Brunswick to Trenton, or you can canoe/kayak down the canal too. There are even spots for biking as well!

There are many entrance points, but check out the Prallsville Mill and Lock Trail (14 miles) near Lambertville, New Jersey if you want a unique look at the canal.

You can also walk along the towpath near Princeton. While you’re there, stop by downtown!

Where’s your favorite spot to walk this state park? There are dozens to choose from!


A local favorite, check out the Monmouth Battlefield Trail (1.4 miles) to circle the entirety of the park.

While you’re in Monmouth County, visit Historic Walnford, Deep Cut Gardens, the Manasquan Reservoir, and Atlantic Highlands to make the most of your trip!


If you only have time for a quick walk, try the Red Trail (1.9 miles) for a nice stroll through the forest.

If you’re up for something longer, take on the Green Canal Trail (3.9 miles) for views of the canal and the pond.

And for the bikers, park at Allaire State Park and bike the 10.5 mile Edgar Felix Bike Path, which starts in the park!

Try and time your visit for when the Historic Village of Allaire is open — you won’t be disappointed!

Did we miss any of your favorite hikes? Let us know in the comments! And check out the best hikes in North Jersey state parks, too!

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