National & State Parks in New Jersey

New Jersey's thousands of acres of state and national parks make it easy to enjoy the great outdoors. Visitors can explore parks, forests and recreation areas all year long in the Garden State.

Where can you go for nature, history and outdoor adventure too? National and State Parks in New Jersey, of course. The National Park Service recognizes a number of sites in New Jersey, including scenic trails, rivers, reserved land and four parks: Morristown National Historical Park, Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation AreaDelaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.

The Morristown National Historical Park commemorates the site of General George Washington and the Continental Army’s winter encampment during the Revolutionary War. During their stay, the soldiers survived what would be the coldest winter on record. The park maintains a museum and library collection related to the encampment and George Washington. Visitors can also view items relating to pre- and post-Revolutionary America. 

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses thousands of acres of breathtaking scenery along 40 miles of the Delaware River, which winds through the Appalachian Mountains. The park features waterfalls and many outdoor activities, including over 150 miles of hiking trails, canoeing, camping, a boat launch, biking, fishing and more.

The Sandy Hook Unit National Recreation Area is a picturesque, 2,044-acre barrier beach peninsula where visitors can enjoy swimming, hiking, guided walking tours, biking and relaxing along the park's miles of beaches. The area features a variety of woodlands, forests and historical landmarks including the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Fort Hancock, a former United States Army fort. 

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is home to one of the largest waterfalls in the Eastern United States. The Falls are a “must-see” for visitors in Paterson, a historic district considered to be America’s first planned industrial city. The Falls are an impressive 77 feet high, 260 feet wide and feature more than 2 billion gallons of rushing water daily. In 1976, the area was designated as a National Historic Landmark and later designated as a National Historical Park in 2009. 

In addition to New Jersey's National Parks, the state's Division of Parks and Forestry operates approximately 31 state parks, 11 forests, 6 marinas and 48 historic sites that offer a wide variety of outdoor activities. One of our top picks: the 1.1-million-acre Pinelands National Reserve, an ideal location for camping, fishing, cycling and bird watching. 

For a complete list of parks, forests and historic sites, visit the websites for the New Jersey State Park Service and the National Park Service. For even more to do in New Jersey, download a free travel guide or sign up for our e-newsletter. And as always, be sure to check the websites and social media pages of parks before you go, to ensure you have all the need-to-know info.