There are many rail-trails in and near New Jersey that are great for easy hiking and biking for the whole family.
Rail-trails are multi-use paths created from converting former railroad lines or from canal “towpaths” where mules once dragged barges down the canals.
We usually bike rail-trails, but all of these paths are also good for easy hiking (or, for long distance hiking/running, plus snowshoe/ski in winter).
Route info, trail maps, photos, and videos for:
- Delaware Canal Towpath – D&R (NJ) and the D&L (PA). Central NJ and PA.
- Columbia Trail – Hunterdon and Morris Counties.
- Henry Hudson Trail – Monmouth County.
- Sussex Branch, Paulinskill Valley, and The Great Valley Rail Trail – Sussex County.
- Lehigh Valley Gorge – D&L. PA – several hours from NJ.
Be sure to check out the bike icons on our trailhead locator for locations!
Rail-trails are often tree-lined and shaded, with a mostly level surface of packed dirt or gravel – though the Henry Hudson is paved. We use hybrid bikes, but some might be ok with a road bike (such as Henry Hudson).
Many of these trails pass through towns so it’s easy to combine a nice meal (and some ice cream!) with a day of hiking or biking. Lambertville, Frenchtown, and New Hope are just some of the popular spots to stop for a bite to eat.
Don’t own a bike? Rent one!
Many bike shops offer rentals, often very near to the rail-trails so you can just ride over.
Recommended Book: Rail-Trails Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York