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New Jersey Hiking Trail Finder
This site is designed to provide access to informative New Jersey hiking and backpacking websites. Hiking enthusiasts like you have created excellent web pages on New Jersey's hiking trails -- then posted those pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.
- Allamuchy/Stephens State Park this link is on the official NJ State DEP site, unfortunately it provides very little information. Allamuchy/Stephens State Park is a sprawling complex north and south of I-80, and gerrymanders in and around Byram, Stanhope, Andover, Green, Hackettstown, and perhaps Netcong. It also encompasses Waterloo Village. The most popular trailhead is on Waterloo Road in Byram, where a well-maintained rail trail sees hundreds of visitors on any given summer weekend. The trail we recommend is the Ranger Trail, marked with red tags it is the second left as you head north on the railbed. It is a 2.6 mile loop with some moderate ups and downs, and it gives an outstanding introduction to the effects of glaciation in the region, complete with glacial erratics, rocks strewn about, balanced rocks, etc. In a couple of spots the trail crosses exposed pre-cambrian shield.
- Appalachian Trail Here's an interesting account of an AT thru-hike by a wireless radio operator. Good description and helpful observations for hike preparedness.
- Appalachian Trail This is a more general info page on the NJSkylands.com website. Map, photos, comments, and a good overview. Even a Q & A type thing. Excellent capsule page on the NJ AT.
- Batona Trail Pinelands trail; introductory description courtesy the wildnj.com site. Did you know that the name of this trail, "Batona," comes from BAck TO NAture? It's not that important I guess, but sounds kind of neat.
- Coastal Heritage Trail runs south from Perth Amboy to Cape May Point, then west to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, is far from complete. This is the official site maintained by the National Park Service.
- Boonton Falls Trail short hike "hidden" behind the busy main street community of Boonton (Morris County).
- Delaware Water Gap NRA selected hiking trails with helpful descriptions, some map links, courtesy the National Park Service. A little better than average for an NPS hiking site.
- Delaware Water Gap NRA Julie Hackler & David Fink are on a cross country odyssey; this is a write-up of their hiking and other experiences at the Delaware Water Gap. Gives the highlights of the park, and some comments on the trails. Site is an enjoyable read, only mildly informative.
- Farny Highlands Trail popular hiking trail through Northern Morris County; Splitrock Reservoir, etc. Site hosted by the Morris Land Conservancy.
- Farny Highlands Trail another Farny page, with some additional info, nicely done guide page by the Borough of Mountain Lakes Environmental Commission.
- General Adirondack Mountain Club Northern NJ Chapter. Society homepage. 800+ member organization promotes day hikes, various activities. Good bunch.
- General Appalachian Mountain Club NY-NJ Chapter. Society homepage.
- General Harriman Hikers Club. This is a group for singles of all ages that meets every Sunday in Mahwah, NJ, then trudge off to Harriman State Park, NY. Hence the name. They also hike in the state parks of northern New Jersey and southern Hudson Valley. This is usually a group of about 30 single, divorced, separated, etc. men & women. Some hikes are followed by a dinner at a restaurant, that sort of thing. Nice group, hiking since 1974.
- Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge pretty good guide to trails w/ directions and descriptions.
- Hamburg Mountain Trails an attempt at describing the maze of unmarked trails w/topo map and description. Semi-useful instructions on locating the outstanding rock climbing/bouldering location in this area managed by the New Jersey State Division of Fish & Game. Written by Slackpacker.com's Rick Bolger.
- Highlands Trail Link updated The Highlands Trail is a cooperative effort of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, conservation organizations, state and local governments, and local businesses. When completed, it will extend over 150 miles from Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River in New York south to Phillipsburg, New Jersey, on the Delaware River. The route will connect major scenic attractions in both states. Site hosted by NY/NJ Trail Council.
- High Mountain Park Preserve is a haven of natural beauty
in Wayne Township. The Preserve is one of the largest tracts of forested open space in the New York metropolitan area and protects over 460 species of plants. Website has description, directions, topo map; can't miss.
- Mahlon Dickerson Reservation -- Pine Swamp Trail enjoyable, easy hike in Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, Jefferson Twp., Morris County. Good description & maps courtesy Daily Record. In late 2002 a couple went hiking in the Dickerson Reservation, and became so confused and desperate that they resorted to using a cel phone to affect a "rescue." Newspapers were quick to report that the pair did indeed have flashlights, but were just too confused. While you can't fault anyone for becoming confused by the trail network in the Dickerson Reservation, this proves once again that flashlights should only be used as a last resort, and that the hiking populace in general is unaware of the problems flashlights create. Your field of vision is limited. Land features go unseen...ridges, valleys or other features that might provide guidance are invisible to the flashlight user. Let your eyes adjust to the available light; you will not see things as brightly but you will see so much more. Fact. Turn on the flashlight only for obstacles, then turn it off immediately.
- Mullica River Wilderness Personal trip narrative on the Saddlesores.org website. Not a lot of technical where-to/how-to, but a fun read just the same. For a little more on the wheres and hows, here's a
- Palisades Interstate Park site by the park commission with excellent trail descriptions, photos, maps, tips, parking & transportation info.
- Pyramid Mountain near Boonton, NJ, is host to numerous hiking trails in the rugged New Jersey Highlands along the western edge of the Newark Basin lowlands. Pyramid Mountain rises to 920 feet above sea level. Beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline in the distance to the east is one of the rewards for climbing one of the steep trails to the top of the mountain. Great informative site by Jozef Purdes.
- Pyramid Mountain while the site above informs, this one is a fine reflection from Gregory J. Rummo.
- Sourland Mountain This is a bit of an unusual site for us to recommend...it's actually a couple of records of hikes taken by a botanical club...includes the directions, basic information and such. Real neat point of view. It's on a great NY/NJ website maintained by Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.
- Sourland Mountain Official site by Hunterdon County Parks & Rec Dept. Ho-hum. Basic info, rules & regs, printable brochure, and a link to a very nice online trail map.
- Sunfish Pond Ever been to Sedona? Apparently some of the same nut jobs have found their way to Sunfish Pond.
- Mt Tammany popular "red dot" route in Delaware Water Gap National Rec Area. Another excellent page by Tom "hikenet" Caggiano.
- Mt Tammany excellent photos/slide show of the Tammany/AT circuit. Not a lot of text, but well done & the photos really do tell the story. Definitely check out this pare prior to your hike. You have to scroll down the page a little to find Tammany; site also has info on Carris Hill, Pyramid Mountain, and a few other popular spots. Enjoyable New Jersey website worth clicking around; by Jerry Vannest. (If you do hunt around this site, you'll see where Jerry weighs in on children and hiking. He finds them to be a nuisance, and you know, at times he's right. A lot of kids are a nuisance on the trail. So I'll weigh in here with my own comment on kids hiking. I think you'll find that not all kids are obnoxious when they hike. But I would say that 99% of the ones who act like jerks on the trail have parents who are jerks. The "top of the mountain test" is the way to tell. Every pre-teen boy hiking with his parents will, upon reaching the summit, immediately pick up a rock to throw off. This is a natural thing, and no real fault of the child. The fact is that humans need to learn things, and this is one lesson each little boy has to be taught. So, the "test" is this: Upon picking up the rock, do the parents A) immediately stop the boy and caution him about possible hikers/climbers below, or B) check to see if they have cel service, oblivious to junior's mischief. When I was 14 I climbed Tammany solo for the first time (the summit was scarred by a fire a few weeks prior, if that dates it for you) and an intoxicated Hell's Angels type was hurling 100 lb chunks of stone off the cliff. I'm guessing that if he had intelligent parents, they never took him hiking. My point is that responsible parents should take their children hiking, and quietly teach them to spot the wild columbine, jack-in-the-pulpit, and what have you. The irresponsible parents should stick to theme parks. -- RB)
- The Tourne small park in the Denville/Mt. Lakes area with surprisingly nice trail opportunities. Another page hosted by the Borough of Mountain Lakes. Here's an example of a small-town environmental commission website that is leaps and bounds better than those done by many State Parks commissions.
- Washington Valley Park here's a site by geocacher Alan Berger with plenty of photos, information, links, maps, etc. good info here.
- Wharton State Forest here's the do-all see-all tell-all info page on the NJ State DEP website. Rules and regulations, pdf maps, the usual drill.
- Wildcat Ridge Rockaway/Splitrock area. Outstanding site with maps, links, migratory info, and a lot more. Excellent topo map shows trail to Batcave, hawk platform, graffitti rock, other popular hiking trails. Maintained by Fred Vanderburgh as an "enhancement" to the official Wildcat Ridge site...we think Fred's is better!
Sprung from cages on highway nine...
My all-time favorite New Jersey hike begins at the Sunrise Mt. Road Appalachian Trail parking lot, just off Rt. 206 in Culver's Gap. Heading north on the AT, it's a wide, often crowded, trail with a quick reward at the top of the ridge: A tremendous view, blueberries, great sunsets. The glacially-carved precambrian rock has traces of quartz dikes, so it is geologically interesting as well. I'll frequently press on toward Sunrise Mountain, then bushwhack down to the road -- or use the Tower Trail -- and hoof it back to the parking lot.
If you've already done that, or have done it a bazillion times like I have, you might like to pick up a copy of Bruce Scofield's 50 Hikes in New Jersey: Walks, Hikes, and Backpacking Trips from the Kittatinnies to Cape May. My lovely wife Sandy gave it to me as a Christmas present, and I must admit it helped even a knowledgeable native like myself find a bunch of new trails. This link, on Amazon, will save you almost $5 off the store price.
Another book I've read and can recommend is Arline Zatz' New Jersey - Best Hikes With Children . What I like about this book is that it doesn't assume that kids are incapable of doing a decent hike, and it accordingly describes plenty of treks worthy of any hiker's efforts. Of course it also has plenty of short walks. All in all, about 85 journeys short and long. BUT the reason I recommend it is that Arline helps parents understand the hiking process. Let's face it, you aren't going to do even half of these trails -- yet the information throughout this volume will help you on the few that you actually do attempt with the kids. And remember, when they pick up that rock at the top of the mountain...
Not from New Jersey? Don't take that Sopranos nonsense seriously. They sometimes film near my office, and it fouls up traffic to no end. If you really want to know New Jersey, get your hands on some Springsteen. Not the Greatest Hits or any of his later, political junk. Try Greetings From Asbury Park, The Wild, The Innocent, and The E-Street Shuffle, or for the ultimate adventure, Born to Run. Not just one or two numbers, but the entire record. Invited to dinner? Let everybody else bring wine...you'll make more of a hit by giving a copy of Born to Run.
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