New Jersey June 08, 2016
This One Easy Hike In New Jersey Will Lead You Someplace Unforgettable
New Jersey has many fantastic hiking opportunities of varying difficulty levels… My favorite hikes are the easiest. You don’t necessarily need to take a strenuous hike to be rewarded with spectacular views. This beginner-friendly hike in New Jersey offers stunning scenery and fun for the whole family.
Cheesequake State Park
While North Jersey offers some amazing waterfall hikes and South Jersey has the beautiful Pine Barrens, I wanted to feature a centrally located hike. Cheesequake State Park in Matawan is easily accessible to everyone in New Jersey. About 90 minutes from Wantage in Sussex County and under two hours from Cape May, the park makes for a fantastic day trip.
A Bit of Fall Foliage
The park offers 5 trails, ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 miles in length. While most are hiking trails, the White Trail is a multi-use trail which allows biking. You'll also find a playground, picnic area, camping, crabbing, fishing and swimming at Hooks Creek Lake. Admission is charged between Memorial Day and Labor Day - $5 per carload on weekdays and $10 per carload on weekends/holidays (for New Jersey residents).
The Green Trail is the longest hiking trail at Cheesequake State Park, but still comes in at just 3.5 miles. The scenic loop is mostly flat terrain with some inclines, and is made easier through the use of sturdy boardwalks and stairways.
The trail will delight hikers with forest, marshland, a cedar swamp and stunning old growth white pine. Over 180 species of birds can be spotted here throughout the year.
Before or after your hike, be sure to stop at the interpretive center. It features live animal exhibits and information about the ecosystems that can be found at the park. The center itself is handicapped accessible and offers weekly nature programs. Past activities at the park have included kayak eco-tours, crab racing and tree identification hikes.
If you’re interested in the Green Trail, check out this fantastic walk-through by
For an even easier hike, or to add to your trip, try the 1.5-mile Red Trail, which will bring you past the lake, or the 2.5-mile Blue Trail which passes by Perring Pond. For other easy hiking ideas in the Garden State, check out my previous post,
15 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone In New Jersey Should Take. What is your favorite short hike in New Jersey? Share your photos on our Facebook Page, Only In New Jersey.