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 Area, Delaware 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 brings history to life through sites including a museum, Ford Mansion (Washington’s headquarters), Fort Nonsense, Jockey Hollow and The New Jersey Brigade and Cross Estate Gardens. It also boasts around 27 miles of hiking trails to explore, sprinkled with interpretive sites.
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses over 70,000 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 and kayaking, camping, boating, 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 the largest holly forest in the Northeastern United States as well as historical landmarks, including the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Fort Hancock.
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 and 260 feet wide, with 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 the state’s National Parks, The New Jersey State Park Service operates 49 state parks and forests, six marinas and dozens of 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.
Navigate even more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors with our parks, forests and nature. For more trip inspiration, 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.