Short Hikes in NJ

This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these at no cost to you.

Short Hikes in NJ

Hike guides, photos, and videos for easy or short trails in New Jersey.

These hikes are either under 4 miles and/or easy – suitable for novice hikers or anyone looking for an easy day hike.

These are just a few of the many short walks in New Jersey and are suggested routes… it’s usually very easy to trim them down into even shorter loops if you prefer.

For info on getting started hiking in NJ, check out our Hiking 101 page. For a great book full of easy hikes in New Jersey, check out “Best Easy Day Hikes Northeast New Jersey”.

Short Hikes in North NJ

Allamuchy Pond Trail – Warren County (2.8 miles)

Apshawa Waterfall – Passaic County (3.2 miles)

Bearfort Mountain – Surprise Lake – Passaic County (2.0 or 2.5 miles – short, but not easy)

Franklin Pond Nature Trail – Sussex County (.25 miles)

Hacklebarney State Park – Morris County. (3.4 miles)

High Point State Park – Sussex County. Monument Trail Loop (3.7 miles)

Wooden bridge with autumn trees around it

Allamuchy Pond Trail

Mahlon Dickerson – Morris County. Pine Swamp Loop (3.8 miles)

Merrill Creek Reservoir – Warren County (2 miles, some .5 miles)

Paterson Great FallsPassaic County (1 mile or less)

Pochuck Boardwalk – Appalachian Trail – Easy, level boardwalk. Sussex County (2.0 miles)

Point Mountain Reservation – Hunterdon County (3.7 miles)

View of farmland in the valley below a viewpoint

Point Mountain Reservation

Ramapo Mountain State Forest – Ramapo Lake, (1.2 m); Van Slyke Castle (3.2 m)

Ramapo Valley County Reservation – Hawk Rock viewpoint (2 miles)

Schooley’s Mountain – Morris County (Rocky; 2.4 or less)

Stairway to Heaven Short but steep. Sussex County (2.6 miles)

Stony Brook Falls – Sussex County (Two waterfalls in an easy 1 mile)

Waterfall over stepped rock face

Stony Brook Falls

Tenafly Nature CenterBergen County (Various, under 3.4 miles)

Tillman Ravine – Stokes State Forest (2 miles or less)

Torne Mountain/Osio Rock – Passaic County. Short but steep/rocky. (2.7 or 1.6 miles)

Tourne County Park – Morris County (Top of the Tourne, under 2 miles)

Van Campens Glen – Warren County (1 to 2 miles)

Van Dyke Farm – Middlesex County (1.4 miles)

Voorhees State Park – Hunterdon County (Various loops, 0.5 to 1.2 +)

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge – Sussex County (2.7 or 3.0)

Wallkill River NWR

Short Hikes in Central NJ

Cheesequake State Park – Middlesex County. Green Trail (3 miles)

Davidson’s Mill Pond Park – Middlesex County (2.5 miles)

Duke Farms – Somerset County (Easy strolls of any length)

Farrington Lake Trail – Middlesex County (2 miles)

Fiddlers Creek Preserve – Mercer County (2.2 or 1.2 miles)

Forest Resource Education Center – Ocean County (several around the Interpretive Center)

Goat Hill Overlook – Hunterdon County (1 mile; scenic view)

Delaware River, bridge, and fall foliage

Goat Hill Overlook

Hartshorne Woods – Monmouth County (.7, 1.5 or 2.5 miles)

Helyar Woods – at Rutgers Gardens, Middlesex County (2.5 miles)

Holmdel Park – North Section – Monmouth County (3.2 loop or easy trails .5- 1.9 miles)

Institute Woods, Rogers Refuge, Princeton Battlefield – Mercer County (3.6 or less)

Ireland Brook Conservation Area – Middlesex County (1.0 and 1.9 loops)

Institute Woods

Institute Woods

John A. Phillips Preserve – Several trails from .5 to under 3 miles

Julian Capik Preserve – Middlesex County. Small trails, less than 3.5 total

Kugler Falls – Hunterdon County (.5 mile; waterfall)

Lockatong High Falls – Hunterdon County (1.8 mile; waterfall)

Manasquan Reservoir

Manasquan Reservoir – Monmouth County (easy gravel/paved trail)

Monmouth Battlefield State Park – Monmouth County (3.5, many less than 2 miles)

Mountain Lakes Open Space Princeton – Mercer County (3.0 or less)

Musconetcong Gorge Preserve – Hunterdon County (3.1 miles)

Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve – Somerset County (2.5 miles, or less)

Perrineville Lake Park – Monmouth County (Lakeside Loop = 1.5 miles)

Plainsboro Preserve – Middlesex County (Several short trails, <3 mile loop)

Plainsboro Preserve

Rutgers Ecological Preserve – Middlesex County (short loops)

Shark River Park– Monmouth County (easy trails from .5 to 2.9)

Six Mile Run -Canal Road – Blue Trail – Somerset County (3.6)

Tamarack Hollow Preserve – Middlesex County (under 1 mile each; 2.1 total)

Tatum Park – Monmouth County (loops from .6 to 2.3 miles)

Thompson Park - Monmouth

Thompson Park – Monmouth

Thompson Park – Middlesex County (2.4 mile loop, can cut shorter)

Thompson Park – Monmouth County (2 under 1.0, others)

Thompson Park Conservation Area – Middlesex County (Gravel Hill = 2.5 miles)

Turkey Swamp County Park – Monmouth County (Alder around lake = 1.6 miles)

Washington Valley Park – Somerset County. Blue Loop (2 miles)

Bass River

Bass River State Forest

Short Hikes in South NJ

Bass River State Forest – Burlington County. (3.0 miles plus several 1-1.5 mile roundtrip)

Belleplain State Forest – Cape May/Cumberland County (several less than 1 mile).

Black Run Preserve – Burlington County (short trails, or 3.5 loop)

Cattus Island Park – Ocean County (3 easy loops under 2 miles)

Commercial Township Wetlands – Cumberland County (3.6 or less)

Franklin Parker Preserve – Burlington County (White loop = 3 miles)

Pine tree with blue blaze and pine needle covered Tindley trail

Jakes Branch County Park

Jakes Branch County Park – Ocean County – Tindley Trail (3.8 or 1.6 miles)

Maurice River Bluffs – Cumberland County (2.6 miles)

Parvin State Park – Salem County (3.3 miles)

Peek Preserve – Cumberland County (several trails, 3.1 miles total)

Bright blue Parvin Lake with a line of autumn trees

Parvin State Park

Rancocas Nature Center – Burlington County. (several very short trails)

Rancocas State Park – Burlington County. (short trails + a 3 mile loop)

Saddler’s Woods – Camden County (1.1 miles)

Tall Pines Preserve – Gloucester County. (paved; 2.4 or .5 mile)

Woods of Wenonah – Gloucester County. (several less than 1 mile)

Wharton State Forest – Batsto Lake Trail – Burlington County. (4.1 or 1.8 miles)

Wharton State Forest – Tom’s Pond Trail – Burlington County. (2.7)

Bonus:  Nearby Short Hikes

Just over the border into Pennsylvania:

Dingmans Falls – Delaware Water Gap NRA, P.A. (1 mile; Accessible)

George W. Childs Park – Delaware Water Gap NRA, P.A. (1.4 mile; Some is accessible)

Promised Land State Park – Pike County / The Poconos (Two 1-mile hikes)

Raymondskill Falls – Delaware Water Gap NRA, PA (0.5 mile)

Raymondskill Falls

Raymondskill Falls