New Jersey has over three dozen state parks and forests, each incredible in their own way. You’ll find opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and even a few historic sites in our state park system! There is so much to explore, and tremendous beauty to be found. While I highly recommend that you visit all of the parks at some point, the following dozen are a great place to get started.
1. Ringwood State Park, Ringwood
This 5000-acre park is home to historic Ringwood Manor, Skylands Manor, The New Jersey Botanical Garden and the lovely Shepard Lake Recreation Area. Enjoy swimming, boating, hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing and more!
2. Cheesequake State Park, Matawan
This 1270-acre park offers miles of trails and boardwalks for easy hiking. Visit the nature center, head out on a canoe and even stay the night in a tent or trailer.
3. Allaire State Park, Farmingdale
There is so much to enjoy here! Visit historic Allaire Village and travel back in time, stop by the museum or nature center to get your learning on, and take a ride on the Pine Creek Railroad! Visitors can also enjoy hiking, fishing, camping and bird watching.
4. Double Trouble State Park, Bayville
Visit this unique park to get up close with some of New Jersey's cranberry bogs and a partially restored historic village.
5. Wharton State Forest, Hammonton
This beautiful state forest is home to several historic villages including popular Batsto Mill. You'll find an incredible mix of nature and history here.
6. Belleplain State Forest, Woodbine
Located in Cape May and Cumberland Counties, this massive forest spans over 20,000 acres. Enjoy swimming in Lake Nummy and camp in one of the many yurts or East Creek Cabin.
7. Washington Crossing State Park, Titusville
Relive Washington's famous crossing of the Delaware and immerse yourself in history at this charming state park. Enjoy a museum, historic home and stunning trails along the waterfront.
8. Bass River State Forest, Tuckerton
This beautiful forest is home to Lake Absegami, available for swimming, fishing and boating. Enjoy easy walking trails with stunning views.
9. High Point State Park, Sussex
Visit the High Point monument where you can score incredible views of three states! You can also access the Appalachian Trail from this park.
10. Jenny Jump State Forest, Hope
Enjoy scenic views, camping, canoeing and an incredible observatory. Attend special astronomy presentations on Saturday evenings from April to October!
11. Norvin Green State Forest, Bloomingdale
A hiker's paradise, enjoy a wide variety of trails ranging from beginner to difficult. This park includes part of the Highlands Trail, which will run from the Delaware to Hudson River, when completed.
12. Parvin State Park, Pittsgrove
Enjoy bird watching, camping, hunting, picnicking, swimming, boating and more.
Remember, our state parks are free in the fall – the perfect time for a breathtaking foliage hike! On or off this list, which is your favorite park to visit each autumn?