Spring Into Shape in NJ
Spring is here. Flowers are blooming. Birds are chirping. And people are looking for ways to shape up for summer. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy the great outdoors and get fit at the same time. No gym membership required.
Walk This Way
Start with scenic strolls through picturesque New Jersey locales. Like Branch Brook Park, which is especially beautiful during the Cherry Blossom Festival from April 1 – 16th. Or walk the Wildwood Boardwalk for 38 blocks of stunning surfside views. Walk Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park for wildflowers, waterfalls and other natural wonders. And if you want a look at the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, your perfect path is found at Liberty State Park.
Step it Up
Get your steps in (228 of them!) as you ascend the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City. Or visit and climb 291 steps to the High Point Monument, New Jersey’s highest elevation point at 1,803 feet. Once you reach the top of the white obelisk, you can catch a glimpse of the Catskill Mountains, the Poconos and the Wallkill River Valley. Climb the 199 stairs of the Cape May Lighthouse, and you’ll be rewarded with stunning sights of Cape May Point State Park, a renowned birding hotspot.
A Rocky Start
Rock climbing isn’t for everyone, but it is a fantastic full-body workout. Whether you’re an experienced climber or just want to learn the ropes, New Jersey has two places you should visit: The Delaware Water Gap and Allamuchy Mountain State Park. Both are recreational meccas widely regarded as delivering some of the best climbing opportunities in New Jersey, plus some of the best trails to hike, bike and explore as well. And the views? Simply remarkable.
The Garden State is home to some of the calmest, most scenic lakes and rivers in the northeast. They are one of nature’s most serene destinations – especially in spring. Add a canoe or a kayak to the mix, and they also make a great on-the-water workout. Here are three of our top picks, whether you’re getting fit with friends or the entire family: Lake Wawayanda, Union Lake and Parvin Lake.
On a Roll
Biking, roller skating, rollerblading. When it comes to wheels, you can’t go wrong. For biking on the boards, try the Ocean City Boardwalk - a great place to blend fitness with salty breezes and plenty of oceanside views. The 12-foot-wide Multi-use Pathway at Sandy Hook Unit is another peddler’s paradise. And if roller skating or rollerblading is more your style, you can do that there too. Want to pedal to compete? Check out the annual Tour of Somerville Cycling Series scheduled for the end of May.
Hiking offers you a way to get fit and explore at the same time. Travel 50 miles of trails, including more than 27 miles of the Batona Trail in the Pine Barrens along the flowing Mullica River at Wharton State Forest. Experienced hikers looking for a challenge may want to hike the Mt. Tammany Trail. It’s a short (1.2-mile one-way) but steep and rocky climb offering breathtaking views of the Delaware Water Gap. High Point State Park offers more than 50 miles of trail options – from 1.5 miles to 4.4 miles, as well as approximately 18 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
These are just some ways to get fit outdoors in New Jersey this spring. The possibilities are endless. Be on the lookout for outdoor yoga and beach boot camps popping up near you. Try paddle boarding. Stretch at a nearby park. Or simply go for a walk and enjoy the splendors of spring.
As always, check with your destinations’ websites and social media pages before you go for the latest updates and information. Get more ideas and download your free official travel guide at VisitNJ.org.