New Jersey: The Natural Place to Play Outdoors

Your Starter Guide to Garden State Adventure

When you’re on a quest for real adventure, The Great Outdoors provides the purest playground. Luckily, intrepid travelers like you can track down plenty of places to stretch out and breathe deep. When embarking on your next journey, search no further than a setting called “The Garden State!”

While it’s only the fourth smallest in the nation, this state packs in millions of open-air acres to roam. From the Delaware River to the Atlantic Ocean, and from the Kittatinny Mountains down to the Cape May Peninsula, New Jersey is home to a diverse landscape that’s picture-perfect and primed for outdoor recreation

Before you embark, take a peek at our starter guide to New Jersey’s outdoors:

1.1 Million Acres of Pinelands

New Jersey may well be the most densely populated state in the country, but did you know that pristine wilderness covers 22% of its land area? In southern New Jersey, the Pinelands National Reserve is unlike any other natural habitat on Earth, a unique spectrum of wildlife, including orchids, carnivorous plants, the trheatened Pine Barrens Treefog and rare pygmy pitch pines. It's no wonder that, in 1983, the United Nations named it an Internaltional Biosphere Reserve.

Visitors to the Pinelands find forests, rivers, streams, lakes and hiking trails along with one-of-a-kind towns, historic sites, campgrounds and wildlife. The Pinelands ecology, history, people, art and culture are singularly New Jersey and a vital part of its identity. Discover the state’s renowned blueberries and cranberry bogs, and maybe even its very own mythical creature, the Jersey Devil! To plan your visit, start at the New Jersey Pinelands Commission's website.

Hundreds of State and National Parks and Forests, Recreation Areas and County Parks…

….and 4,100 fresh waterways and 130 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline (namely, that world-famous Jersey Shore), plus scenic spots like farms, orchards, arboretums and gardens. So many acres. So much spectacular beauty. New Jersey’s natural treasures set breathtaking backdrops for a long list of activities, including hiking, biking, birding and camping, swimming, fishing, boating and surfing––and simply relaxing. Dig into the state’s wildlife and nature centers. Here, you’ll unearth an awe-inspiring assortment of outdoor pursuits. 

Learn more by visiting the official website of New Jersey's State Parks, Forests and Historic Sites and seeking out National Park Service locations in New Jersey.

Explore All of Your Outdoor Interests

Adventure calls. Are you ready to go wild in the Garden State? The ideas don’t stop here. Enjoy a boundless variety of al fresco activities and attractions—there are almost too many to mention, such as exhilarating sports, zoos and safaris, and amusement and water parks. Plus, check out New Jersey’s annual calendar of events and festivals to experience the state’s full slate of distinctive celebrations.

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