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Best State Park Hikes in North Jersey

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  • Post published:05/12/2020
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Now that New Jersey state parks are open for passive recreation, check out these stunning hikes in North Jersey that are sure to take your breath away!

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

State Parks & Forests

Explore The Best Parks


Our northernmost state park has some amazing trails — some that even overlook New York!

Check out Monument Trail Loop for an easy 3.5 miles, overlooking High Point Monument, Lake Marcia, and the border of New York.

You can continue along the ridge into New York, or hike a different 6 mile trail to the Appalachian Trail in this park, too.

If you want something a little different, check out the White Cedar Swamp Trail (2.6 miles). Make sure to take a deep breath and smell the cedars!


The best trail in this park, hands down, is Stairway to Heaven. This 2.9 out-and-back is one of our favorites — we even did a meetup last year with Hike the World

You can see for miles from the top. You can even see the trailhead of one of our other favorite trails: the Pochuck Boardwalk (part of the Appalachian Trail). Although not technically part of Wayawanda State Park, it’s definitely worth the trip!


Credit: William Hartz

For another shot at seeing the New York border (in fact, getting extremely close to it!), hike the 7 mile Bearfort Ridge loop trail. With a 1,200 elevation gain, this hike is no joke!

Take the 4.4 mile Surprise Lake Loop hike for more views and a 950 elevation gain. This state forest does not disappoint. 


Allamuchy Mountain State Park has some amazing views if you know the right trail! 

Check out the Highlands Trail (1.5 miles) if you want a quick trail to get a view like the one above! You can also loop the Highlands Trail back many ways (along the yellow trail, for example) if you want more length on the way down).

The entire yellow loop is 3.6 miles and takes you through the forest. 

If you want something a little more calm, check out the Morris Canal Greenway Trail (1.5 miles), which takes you alongside historic Waterloo Village.


This state park is a fan favorite for waterfalls and fall foliage! So take a stroll through the giant trees to see why people rant and rave about Hacklebarney State Park.

The 2 mile Hacklebarney Loop Trail is a good one to start with if you’re starting out in the park! It will take you along the Black River through a Hemlock forest.

The Red, Yellow and White Loop (2.7 miles) is another favorite in the park, which features some waterfalls along the river.

NJspots reader favorite Black River Rock Ruins & Waterfall is also located nearby!


If you want a lake view, this park is your chance! Walk along the Kittatinny Glacial Trail (3.1 miles) for beautiful views of New Wayawanda Lake.

Raccoon Trail (2.3 mile) is another shorter option that gives an amazing look at the lily pads on the lake.


This state forest is one of the best kept secrets in New Jersey, in our opinion. Take these hikes in the Jenny Jump Mountain Range for some peaceful hikes through the woods.

The Jenny Jump Loop (2.5 miles) will walk you right along Jenny Jump Mountain. Say that three times fast!

For a more rocky out-and-back option, take the Ghost Lake Trail (3.8 miles) to Shades of Death Road. We promise it’s safe!

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

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