Best Hikes in NJ

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Detailed guides for some of the best hikes in (and near) New Jersey.

Also try our Hike Finder Map for a map overview of hikes covered on this site, and NJ Hikes for a list of all the hike guides on this site.

Listed in alphabetical order:

Apshawa Preserve

Butler reservoir, waterfalls, a dam, ruins… and even a brief glimpse of the NYC skyline. Passaic County.

Atsion to Quaker Bridge

Some of the prettiest sections of the Pine Barrens along the scenic Mullica River. Wharton State Forest, Burlington County.

Bearfort Ridge/Surprise Lake

Scenic ridge and lake views, rugged trail surface, minor scrambling, and a rhododendron tunnel. Abram S. Hewitt State Forest – Passaic County.

Black River Trail – Cooper Mill

Pretty hike in the Black River Gorge with a side trip to the ruins of Kay’s Cottage. Morris County.

Buttermilk Falls, Crater Lake, Hemlock Pond

Start at NJ’s highest waterfall, then hike the Appalachian Trail to Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond. Delaware Water Gap NRA – Sussex County.

Cheesequake State Park – Green Trail

Pleasant hike over rolling hills and through beautiful marshlands using numerous boardwalks. Middlesex County.

Four Birds Trail – Wildcat Ridge

A rugged trail through a very pretty area, with views from a hawk watch. Morris County.

Giant Stairs

The Giant Stairs

Unique but challenging scramble over a long section of huge boulders that have tumbled from the Palisades with views over the Hudson River into New York. The Palisades – Bergen County.

Grand Loop Trail – Jockey Hollow

Easy trails, along streams and rolling hills in part of Morristown National Historic Park. Morris County.

Hacklebarney State Park

Gorgeous park that has the Black River as it’s centerpiece and is stunning in the fall. Morris County.

View from Wyanokie High Point

High Point, Chik Falls, Otter Hole Loop

Awesome viewpoint with 360° views (+ NYC skyline on a clear day); waterfalls. Norvin Green State Forest – Passaic County.

Jenny Jump – Ghost Lake

This hike offer views of the surrounding mountains and valleys before arriving at Ghost Lake. Warren County.

Monument Trail and Cedar Swamp

Climb the monument to the highest elevation in NJ, and hike through an Atlantic white cedar swamp. High Point State Park – Sussex County.

Mt. Tammany

Mt. Tammany

Hike steeply uphill to a fantastic overlook of the “Gap” and of Mt. Minsi across the river in PA. Worthington State Forest / Delaware Water Gap – Warren County.

Ramapo Mountain  Ramapo Lake and Van Slyke Castle

Ramapo Lake and the Van Slyke Castle ruins, plus views of the surrounding area and the NYC skyline. Bergen/Passaic County.

Stairway to Heaven

A short but very steep hike to Pinwheel’s Vista.  Sussex County.

View from Pinwheel Vista

Stairway to Heaven: Pochuck Valley to Pinwheel Vista

Hike over boardwalks and a suspension bridge before climbing the “Stairway to Heaven” – one of the best viewpoints in New Jersey. This is the full version of the hike above. Sussex County.

Sunfish Pond

Hike through some of the prettiest forest in New Jersey to a glacial lake 1,000 feet above the surrounding area. Worthington State Forest / Delaware Water Gap – Warren County.

Terrace Pond Loop

Loop combines pleasant forest walking with rocky scrambles and passes by pretty Terrace Pond. Wawayanda State Park – Passaic County.

Torne Mountain and Osio Rock

View after view before Osio Rock’s 360° panorama of Wanaque Reservoir (+NYC skyline on a clear day). Norvin Green State Forest – Passaic County.

Tripod Rock - Pyramid Mountain

Tripod Rock – Pyramid Mountain

This pretty route includes interesting glacial erratics and two overlooks. Morris County.

Wawayanda State Park – Cedar Swamp, Lake Lookout

Shady hike through plentiful rhododendron, a cedar swamp, and past Lake Lookout and Wawayanda Lake. Sussex County.

Wells Mills County Park

A great intro to the terrain of the Pine Barrens and Atlantic white cedar swamps. Ocean County.

Best Hikes Near NJ

These are great hikes that every Jersey hiker should try and are close enough to NJ (just over the border into New York and Pennsylvania) to include on this list. 

Lemon Squeezer – Appalachian Trail

Squeeze and scramble through a narrow rock crevice, plus Island Pond and the Valley of Boulders. Harriman State Park, NY.

The Lemon Squeezer - Appalachian Trail

Mt. Minsi

Wonderful views of Mt. Tammany and the Delaware River from this short but steep route. Pennsylvania side of the Delaware Water Gap.

Pine Meadows Lake Loop

A lot of nice, scenic hiking packed into in a doable loop. The lake makes a terrific break spot. Harriman State Park, NY.