14 Excellent Must-Visit Parks In NJ

7 mins read
Source: Unsplash By: Laith Zain



New Jersey is one of the best places to enjoy your holidays. It offers various amazing places to visit and numerous adventurous experiences. Beautiful landscapes, rugged coastline, picturesque mountains, spectacular waterfalls, dense forests, miles-long hiking trails, and magnificent parks in NJ make it worth exploring New Jersey.

Many parks in NJ preserve and protect the beautiful landscape, the breathtaking beauty of nature makes it a favorite place of nature lovers. Besides these amazing views, parks in NJ offer several fun things that you can enjoy in these parks. Below is a list of some of the parks in NJ where you can spend some peaceful time in nature.

14 Excellent Parks In NJ

1. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

This park is located in Ocean Country, on the northern end of an Island named Long Beach Island. This park is known for the preservation of the Barnegat Lighthouse. This area was used as a navigation point for ships from and to N.Y harbor.

This area was maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry. Some of the features of this park include the Barnegat Lighthouse Interpretive Center and the Barnegat Lighthouse. This Barnegat Lighthouse State Park has a maritime site along the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail.

Visitors can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, picnicking, saltwater fishing, and so on.

2. Allaire State Park

parks in NJ
Source: Unsplash By: E. Vitka

It is one of the national parks located in New Jersey. This place is known for being a shelter to ironmaking towns since the 19th century. The attractions of Allaire State Park are perfectly restored antique and well-maintained steam trains and beautiful Allaire Village. The Manasquan River flows through this park and offers various interesting outdoor activities like canoeing, boating, kayaking, fishing, and much more.

This Manasquan River floodplain supports a variety of flora & fauna which includes more than 200 species of plants, wildflowers, birds, trees, and other wildlife.

You can enjoy mountain biking, hiking, horse riding, camping, and picnicking in this park. This park in NJ provides many facilities for these activities, it includes a visitors center, a nature center, a playground,  food concession stands, and picnic tables.

3. Belleplain State Forest

This forest covers an area of 21320 acres in northern Cape May County. This Belleplain State Forest is full of oak, young pine, and Atlantic white cedar trees. The Meisle Cranberry Bog was converted into Nummy lake in the year 1928 by the (CCC) Civilian Conservation Corps.

Camping, boating, picnicking, canoeing, swimming, and fishing, and there are more than 40 miles of hiking trails. Belleplain State Forest offers multiple recreational activities and also facilities for the same.

4. Brendan T. Byrne State Forest

This forest was earlier called Lebanon State Forest. This forest is covered in an area of 37,242 acres. This forest is known for its numerous pine trees; this land was once barren in the 1800s.

This place is best to visit, especially if you are an outdoor enthusiast. You can enjoy hiking, sandy trails, biking, fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing & swimming.

5. Cape May Point State Park

This park covers an area of 244 acres. This park offers outdoor activities like mountain biking, swimming, hiking, boating, and beach combing. This park is maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry. This spot is a yearly fall migration spot where birds rest while migrating towards the south direction.

You can do bird watching in 3 different spots of this park: hawk-watching platforms for birds of prey, the beach for shorebirds, and several hiking trails for songbirds. This is one of the best jersey state parks for bird watching.

There are 3 trails where visitors can experience hiking and watch the remains of a gun battery, which were based on the “Cape May Military Reservation” during World War II & World War I.

6. Bass River State Forest

Another one of the best parks in NJ is Bass River, State Forest. This park was constructed around Absegami lake in an area of 67 acres. It is a beautiful area that offers a variety of recreational activities. These activities include swimming, mountain biking, hiking, boating, camping, and canoeing.

In 1905, this park was acquired by New Jersey for the purpose of public enjoyment. This Bass River State Forest has 6 lakefront cabins along the northern side of Absegami Lake for camping.

Other facilities offered in and around this forest area include trailer sites, 176 tents, 6 campsites with pit and water toilets, picnic tables, lakeside shelters, bunk beds, showers, and toilet facilities. Sounds perfect for your next trip!

7. Corson’s Inlet State Park

This park is the border of Corson Inlet and protects the last tract of the oceanfront which is still underdeveloped. It is in Cape May County in the south direction of Ocean City. This park covers an area of 341 acres. This park is home to different natural habitats, landscapes, pristine, shoreline overwash, and marine estuaries as well. Migratory birds and endangered wildlife species such as the least terns, are found here.

Besides these are sandpipers, black skimmers, sanderlings, herons, gulls, and ducks. This Corson’s Inlet State Park also protects other species such as piping plovers, seabeach amaranth, and others.

Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. Besides this, you can visit the beach in the months of summer.

8. Double Trouble State Park

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Source: Unsplash By: Pete Wills

This double trouble state park in Ocean County is home to Pine Barrens Ecosystem. The land of this park is covered with pristine wilderness. This park preserves more forest than the land of  8000 acres. The significance of this park is that it boasts of cultural, natural, and recreational sources, making it one of the best parks in NJ.

This park offers an experience similar to the southern side of NJ, rich in cultural and natural heritage to both outsiders and local visitors. Besides Pine Barrens, this park is responsible for preserving a historic village. This village is extremely significant as it is involved with various local industries for milling, logging, and cranberry agriculture.

9. Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park

This is one of the beautiful parks in NJ. This state park was constructed along the Delaware and Raritan Canal. This Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park features natural beauty and several other outdoor activities for adventure lovers.

This Delaware and Raritan Canal state park is operated by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry. This park has a 77-mile-long trail which is divided into 3 different segments. These transverse 3 different counties and are known among runners, bikers, walkers, hikers, and horse riders. This long trail crosses 5 bridges, these bridges cross the river Delaware and offer mesmerizing views of landscapes.

10. Fort Mott State Park

This is one of the parks in NJ, it is located in Pennsville. This park earlier was a part of a 3 fort coastal defense system called the Harbor Defenses of Delaware. This was specifically designed for the Delaware river in the 1800s.\

Visitors will notice old batters and also get to learn about the history of the fort. This place is a marvelous spot for outdoor activities like jogging, picnicking, hiking, and dog walking. The trail in this park known as NJ Coastal Heritage Trail tells the history and story of the fort and its surroundings through displays.

11. Hacklebarney State Park

This state park is situated between Long Valley and Chester in Morris County. This is a wonderful hiking destination. The New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry is responsible for the maintenance of this Hacklebarney State Park. It is covered in an area of around 978 acres of land and is bisected by the Black River.

This Hacklebarney State Park has several trails for hiking that offer excellent scenery, ponds, and waterfalls. It is a shelter to various species of flora and fauna which includes fox, the black bear, deer, woodchuck, and squirrels.

This park remains open every day from morning until evening. It provides facilities of charcoal grills, picnic tables, modern restrooms, and playgrounds.

12. Island Beach State Park

This park is divided into 2 different areas, first one is the broader Southern Natural Area which is covered in an area of 1237 acres and the second one is the Island Beach Northern Natural Area which is covered in an area of 659 acres.

This park includes a conservation zone named the Sedge Island Marine Conservation Zone, which spans an area of 1600 acres. It is a shelter for watery landscapes like tidal marshes, creeks, ponds, and open running water. Besides grasses, dunes, maritime forests, and reed.

It provides an excellent experience of swimming, bird-watching, kayaking, and fishing. Summer programs, hiking trails, picnicking, canoeing, scuba diving, surfing, sailboarding, and interpretive programs are some other activities offered at this Island Beach State Park.

13. High Point State Park

This park covers an area of 15413 acres. This park features a beautiful landscape, rolling hills, a lush valley, dense forests, and an amazing lake Marcia. This park offers various recreational activities, including mountain biking, hiking, horse riding, fishing, camping, and picnicking.

This park has a visitors center, a ski center, food concessions, picnic shelters, and various hiking trails. Other facilities for visitors include a bathhouse, rental facilities for water sports equipment, a trailer launch, self-guided trails, and a cartop launch.

14. Kittatinny Valley State Park

This is one of the awesome parks in NJ and is located near Andover. This park features amazing natural landscapes, limestone outcroppings, and a pristine glacial lake. This Kittatinny Valley State Park is a shelter for Gardner’s pond and Aeroflex lake. Both of these ponds are fed by the Pequest river.

This beautiful park offers various activities, which include fishing, canoeing, boating, and swimming. Besides this, mountain biking, horse riding, hiking, and hunting. This park is a shelter for wildlife like- beaver, muskrats, wild turkeys, whitetail deer, and other species of birds.

Some Other Parks In NJ Are:

  • Liberty State Park
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Park
  • Norvin Green State Forest
  • Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
  • New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
  • Ringwood State Park
  • The Princeton Battlefield State Park
  • Voorhees State Park
  • Thomas Edison National Historical Park
  • Washington Rock State Park
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • Swartswood State Park

These are some other state parks in New Jersey. You can visit these parks to learn about some interesting stuff. Every park is significant and offers its own unique features. They offer different activities you can perform in these parks with your loved ones. Every park has its uniqueness, and it is a shelter for different species of wildlife, which will amaze you.

Observing these different plant and animal species not only develops your knowledge but also grows your awareness to protect them. Our responsibility is to keep these places clean, and preserved for wildlife. Some of these are near the forest and others have a lake nearby. Lakes such as lake absegami, lake nummy provide stunning views and recreational activities.

Final Note

So this is the list of parks in NJ. These kid-friendly parks in New Jersey offer an amazing experience. These national parks provide an opportunity for various recreational activities. It offers recreation areas, historic sites, a nature center, cross-country skiing, historic villages, and other picturesque.

Other activities in the park include horseback riding, hiking trails such as the Appalachian trail, birdwatching, and view of breathtaking scenery. These parks in New Jersey are wonderful places to plan a visit. You will experience yourself near nature and enjoy other activities to take a break from your schedule. Happy Vacation!

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