Scenic Byways For Summer Drives
It’s the season for hitting the open road on one of New Jersey's eight Scenic Byways. Discover the state's cultural contributions, rich heritage and natural resources on these designated routes—and savor the glorious vistas of summer!
For turn-by-turn navigation and more information, please visit the Scenic Byways section of the NJ Department of Transportation website. Out on the road, watch for the Scenic Byways distinctive logo signs. And, for updates on what facilities are open, check New Jersey’s state parks and attraction websites before setting out.
1. Bayshore Heritage
Wind your way through the South Jersey counties of Salem, Cumberland and Cape May to view New Jersey's beautiful shoreline habitats, which have been named “Wetlands of International Significance” along the Delaware Bay Estuary. This Scenic Byway is approximately 122 miles long, but you can easily break it up into shorter drives. Highlights include Fort Mott State Park, East Point Lighthouse and Cape May State Park.
2. Delaware River
Head north from Trenton along the Delaware River and the Delaware and Raritan Canal on New Jersey's first Scenic Byway (and one of two designated as a National Scenic Byway). The 34-mile route takes you past Washington Crossing State Park, Bull’s Island Recreation Area and through the quaint river towns of Lambertville, Stockton and Frenchtown.
3. Millstone Valley
Located in the center of the state, the 25-mile Millstone Valley Scenic Byway (which is also part of the national program) follows the historic Delaware and Raritan Canal, where you can plan stops for walking, kayaking and birding. This drive takes you past Rockingham, General Washington’s last wartime headquarters.
You’ll be in awe of the spectacular panoramas of the Hudson River and New York City skyline from lookout points on the New Jersey section of the Palisades Interstate Parkway. As you drive from Fort Lee (George Washington Bridge) to the state line in Alpine, consider stops at Tenafly Nature Center, Fort Lee Historic Park and the popular State Line Lookout.
5. Pine Barrens
See one of the world's most mysterious and unique ecosystems on the Pine Barrens Scenic Byway, a 130-mile driving adventure that is divided into three different routes. Along the route are the Edwin B. Forsythe and Cape May National Wildlife Refuges, the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, 10 State Wildlife Areas, three State Parks, five county parks and more. By the way, this is birding paradise!
6. Upper Freehold
The 24-mile Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Scenic Byway in Monmouth County takes you through horse country. (Did you know that the horse is New Jersey’s state animal?) Discover the state’s agricultural legacy as you motor past beautifully preserved farms, charming Allentown, Historic Walnford and the hamlet of Imlaystown.
7. Warren Heritage
Follow in the footsteps of the Lenni Lenape tribe on this historic road trip from Greenwich Township to Hackettstown. The Warren Heritage Scenic Byway takes you 19 miles along Rt. 57, an early turnpike that carried products to and from market. It's also the site of New Jersey's first concrete highway! Pack your rod and reel for a stop at Stephens State Park on the Musconetcong River for some of the state’s best trout fishing.
8. Western Highlands
This 23-mile Scenic Byway travels north through Sussex County from Rt. 23 to the border of New Jersey and New York. You'll pass through thousands of acres of protected open space as you drive by the Newark Pequannock Watershed, Hamburg Mountain Wildlife Management Area and Wawayanda State Park. North of Vernon, you can even step onto New Jersey's section of the Appalachian Trail!
For more summer road trips, go to visitnj.org, where you can also download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.
For more information on the Scenic Byways and more suggested itineraries, go here.