Hiking isn’t just a warm weather activity. In fact, winter is an excellent time to walk your favorite trails or try a few new ones. If you’re looking for a hiking spot in New Jersey, you may want to explore a few of these places.
Apshawa Preserve - West Milford, New Jersey
Apshawa Preserve offers the ideal vantage point to view the New York City skyline in the distance. The 576-acre preserve features more than five miles of blazed trails ringed with sugar maple and oak trees. Enjoy scenic views of the Butler Reservoir and several waterfalls as you hike the preserve.
Jockey Hollow, Morristown National Historical Park - Morristown, New Jersey
Indulge your love of history with a visit to the Jockey Hollow area of Morristown National Historical Park. The former winter headquarters of the Continental Army is a popular place to get a little exercise and bone up on your history at the same time. Several historic buildings, including the Wick House, are open to the public. (Some buildings may be closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) During your visit, take a hike on one of the shorter trails, or try the 7.4 mile Grand Loop Trail.
Delaware Water Gap - New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Just an hour or less from many Central New Jersey towns, the Delaware Water Gap offers an abundance of trails ideal for a variety of skill levels. The Raymondskill Creek Trail on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River leads to the tallest waterfall in the state. A lower viewing area is available if you don’t want to make the steep climb to the upper platform. On the New Jersey side, the Blue Dot/Red Dot Loop takes you to the top of Mount Tammany, where you’ll find impressive views of the water gap.
Bass River State Forest - Tuckerton, New Jersey
If you prefer flatter terrain, take a drive down south to Bass River State Forest in the Pine Barrens. Known for its sandy soil and four-foot-tall oak and pine trees, the Pine Barrens hosts diverse mix of plants and wildlife. Eight easy trails start near the second Lake Absegami beach parking lot and range in distance from 1 to 3.2 miles. When you’re ready for a longer hike, the 50-mile-long Batona Trail is an excellent option. The trail meanders through forests, across streams and passes by the ruins of Butler, Four Mile and other abandoned towns.
Wachtung Reservation - Mountainside, New Jersey
Wachtung Reservation is not only close to home but is the ideal place for family hikes. Explore the Deserted Village of Feltsville, one of the stops on History Trail, or bring a birding guide and see how many species you can identify. If you don’t want to hike the entire six-mile-long trail, end or start your journey at the Lake Surprise or Deserted Village parking areas.
Hacklebarney State Park - Long Valley, New Jersey
Nestled in a valley created by glaciers, Hacklebarney State Park offers several trails that pass by the Black River and through stands of Hemlock trees. If you’re lucky, you may spot deer, fox or even a black bear during your hike. Trails range in length from .6 miles to 2.7 miles, making Hacklebarney an excellent place to visit when you don’t have time for a day-long hike. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all trails are one-way. A map at the trailhead indicates trail directions.
Sourland Mountain Preserve - Hillsborough Township, New Jersey
The Sourland Mountain Preserve encompasses 4,000 acres dedicated to recreation and nature preservation. Nine miles of trails cross the preserve, including a few that are a little hilly or rocky. In fact, the rocky soil is the reason that the area was never cleared and turned into farmland centuries ago. Today, the Preserve is a serene place to spend a few hours or a day hiking, biking or cross-country skiing.
The homes at Country Classics’ new communities in Central New Jersey offer plenty of room to store your hiking boots and other gear. Take a look at our website for all the details about our current availability.