good hiking trails in nj

Discover New Jersey’s Top Hiking Trails

New Jersey may be known for its bustling cities and industrial landscapes, but it’s also home to some of the most scenic hiking trails in the Northeast. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking for challenging backpacking trails or a casual walker in search of peaceful paths with beautiful waterfalls, the Garden State has something special for you. In this guide, we’ll explore the best hiking trails in NJ, offering everything from the serene settings of the Pine Barrens to the majestic waterfalls of the north.

good hiking trails in nj

Key Takeaways for Hikers in NJ

  • Diversity of Trails – From waterfall hikes to forested paths and sandy stretches in the Pine Barrens, New Jersey offers a remarkable variety of hiking experiences.
  • Accessibility – Many of the best trails are just a short drive from major cities, making it easy to plan a quick escape into nature.
  • Scenic Views – Whether it’s the lush greenery of the forests or the dramatic waterfalls, the scenic beauty of New Jersey’s trails is unbeatable.

Why Hike in New Jersey?

Hiking in New Jersey is more than just exercise; it’s a chance to reconnect with nature and discover the surprisingly diverse landscapes that this compact state offers. With trails suitable for all levels of experience and scenic views that rival any postcard, hiking in NJ can be a deeply rewarding and rejuvenating experience.

Best Hiking Trails in NJ with Waterfalls

  • Buttermilk Falls Trail – Located near Layton, Buttermilk Falls features one of the tallest waterfalls in the state. This trail provides a relatively easy hike and is ideal for those looking to capture stunning photos or enjoy a serene afternoon surrounded by the sound of cascading water.

Nice Hiking Trails in NJ

  • South Mountain Reservation – Extensive trail networks and picturesque views make this a popular choice for families and casual hikers. It’s an accessible escape into nature, nestled just a short drive from Newark.

Best Backpacking Trails in NJ

  • Batona Trail – Stretching nearly 50 miles through the Pine Barrens, this trail is perfect for a multi-day backpacking trip. The soft sand paths and unique ecosystem create a magical and challenging adventure for more experienced hikers.

good hiking trails in nj

Best Hiking Trails in Central NJ

  • Washington Valley Park – Offering a mix of rocky climbs and forested paths, this park in Bridgewater Township is a favorite among central New Jersey hikers seeking both exercise and tranquility.

Best Hiking Trails in Pine Barrens NJ

  • Wharton State Forest – Explore the heart of the Pine Barrens on trails that meander through this vast forest. It’s ideal for seeing wildlife, from birds to deer, and experiencing the quiet beauty of this unique natural area.


Q1:Does New Jersey have good hiking?

Yes, New Jersey has a great variety of good hiking trails that cater to different skill levels and preferences, including scenic waterfall hikes, tranquil forest walks, and challenging backpacking paths.

Q2:What is the most beautiful mountain in New Jersey?

The most beautiful mountain in New Jersey is often considered to be High Point Mountain, which is the highest point in the state and offers expansive views of the surrounding countryside, forests, and distant mountains.

Q3:What are the longest hiking trails in New Jersey?

The longest hiking trail in New Jersey is the Appalachian Trail, which spans about 72 miles through the state. Another long trail is the Batona Trail, which stretches nearly 50 miles through the Pine Barrens.

Q4:Where to walk around in NJ?

For walking in New Jersey, some popular spots include Liberty State Park in Jersey City, which offers views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, the scenic boardwalks along the Jersey Shore, and the tranquil paths of Duke Farms in Hillsborough.

Q5:Why is Buttermilk falls, NJ closed?

Buttermilk Falls in New Jersey may be closed temporarily due to various reasons such as weather conditions, maintenance, or construction. For instance, access might be restricted due to structural damage to nearby infrastructure, such as bridges, which is currently under investigation.


New Jersey’s hiking trails are a testament to the state’s natural beauty and its ability to offer peaceful retreats from city life. Each trail offers unique sights and challenges, making NJ a perfect destination for hikers of all levels. Whether you’re looking for a strenuous backpacking journey or a leisurely stroll by a waterfall, New Jersey’s trails provide the perfect setting for your next outdoor adventure. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your essentials, and set out to explore the best hiking trails in NJ. Happy hiking!