This Scenic Road Trip Will Take You To All 7 Wonders Of New Jersey
New Jersey has so many spectacular wonders of the modern world, but today we will feature seven of the Garden State’s most splendid. With so many to choose from, we decided to focus on the
best natural attractions in NJ. If you’d like to check out our man-made gems, this list of man-made wonders in NJ features 27. You’ll find Sandy Hook Light, High Point Monument, Atlantic City’s WWI Memorial, Lucy The Elephant, Kips Castle, and more. For more of our state’s awesome natural beauty, read on:
This trip features five hours of drive time and should be taken over two or three days.
1. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, 1978 River Road, Bushkill, PA 18324, USA
This 66,000-acre recreation area spans two states - New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Garden State's side features magnificent mountains (Mount Tammany is the highlight), a riverfront beach (Turtle Beach), a wide range of hiking trails, and the beautiful Buttermilk Falls. At 200 feet tall, it is the
highest waterfall in New Jersey.
This dreamy video illustrates just how relaxing a day at Buttermilk Falls can be:
2. Tripod Rock, Kinnelon
Tripod Rock, Kinnelon, NJ 07405, USA
Tripod Rock is a glacial erratic located in the uniquely named
Pyramid Mountain Natural Historical Area
. A glacial erratic is a piece of rock that differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. It is carried by the melting of glacial ice, sometimes for miles. This multi-ton glacial erratic boulder balances precariously on top of three smaller rocks. The photos don't accurately reflect its magnificence - it measures around 19 feet long and 10 feet wide, weighing about 140 tons. It is elevated about 18 inches from the ground.
3. Great Falls National Historic Park, Paterson
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, 72 McBride Ave Ext, Paterson, NJ 07501, USA
Possibly one of the most underrated national parks, the 77' waterfall found here is seriously impressive - it's one of the
largest waterfalls by volume
in the Northeast! Located in one of our larger cities, it is easily accessible off Route 80, and definitely worth the trip. Visitors can experience the falls up close via a footbridge, and will be blown away after heavy rains. If you're lucky, you may catch one of the falls' famous rainbows.
4. Palisades Interstate Park
Palisades Interstate Parkway, Palisades Interstate Pkwy, United States
A truly magical place, this is one of our
favorite parks in New Jersey
. Visitors will delight in all that can be found here including a stunning tower (the Women's Federation Monument) and manor ruins (Cliffdale Manor). You'll find several hiking trails and scenic views of the Hudson River. The park is free to visit, offers boat access at the Alpine Boat Basin and even has a snack shack. There's plenty of park to enjoy - it runs along the Hudson from Fort Lee all the way up to New York State. The highlight is the gorgeous cliffs which reach nearly 550' at their highest point.
We think this stunning video does an excellent job of summing up this incredible natural wonder in NJ:
5. Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook, Atlantic Highlands
Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook, 460 Ocean Blvd, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716, USA
At 266 feet, this is the
highest natural point on the Eastern Seaboard
south of Maine. On a clear day, it offers panoramic views of Sandy Hook, Raritan Bay, and the New York skyline. The 12-acre park is also home to Monmouth County’s 9/11 memorial. A shaded area is available with benches so visitors can relax and enjoy the sights. Bring quarters for the binoculars!
6. Island Beach State Park
Island Beach State Park, Lanoka Harbor, NJ 08734, USA
Island Beach State Park
is is the largest reserve of undeveloped barrier island in New Jersey and one of the largest in the United States. It hosts a variety of habitats including tidal marshes, creeks, ponds and open water, along with a wide assortment of wildlife (like their iconic red foxes). Rent a kayak (or bring your own) and explore this beautiful area, or travel by foot, making sure to stop at the Emily de Camp Herbarium.
See for yourself why we can't get enough of this amazing hidden gem:
7. Pinelands National Reserve
New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, 853 Atsion Rd, Shamong, NJ 08088, USA
Pinelands National Reserve
was America's first National Reserve, and is comprised of 1.1 million acres of heavily forested coastal plain. This stretch of pristine wilderness helps to recharge the 17 trillion gallon Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, which contains some of the purest water in the United States. In 1988, the area was designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve. Major attractions include Whitesbog and Wharton State Forest. Whitesbog includes a historic village and the surrounding 3,000 acres of cranberry bogs, blueberry fields, reservoirs, sugar sand roads, and Pine Barrens forests. Wharton State Forest includes incredible hiking trails, kayaking opportunities, Batsto Village, Atsion Mansion, memorials, multiple ruins, and more.
For directions and an interactive map,
visit Google Maps.
What’s your favorite Garden State wonder? We think we’d have to pick the Palisades Cliffs but it’s truly a tough call.
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More to Explore
Wonders of the Modern World
What are some of the most amazing wonders of New Jersey?
Much like we’ve got the natural wonders of the world, there are also some pretty amazing wonders of New Jersey, too! Some of our favorite wonders of NJ are ones like:
The Barnegat Lighthouse – she's carefully guarded the NJ shores since 1859, and she’s an impressive 189 feet tall.
Sunfish Pond is astoundingly beautiful, especially under blue skies.
High Point – the highest point in the state, obviously – super cool to check out and look at.
The Pinelands – also known as the Pine Barrens, this is an incredibly unique ecosystem for New Jersey.
Learn more about each of these wonders of NJ and more.
Which natural wonders in NJ should I add to my bucket list?
We might be a little biased, but we think every natural wonder in NJ should be on your bucket list. If you only had to choose a few, though, we think they should be:
The Pinelands National Reserve – fans of wildlife will love this incredible nature preserve where you can spot numerous species of plants and animals.
The Palisades Cliffs – outrageously beautiful natural cliffs located within Palisades Interstate Park. This is a designated National Landmark.
Great Falls – trust us, the name fits. Easily the most amazing waterfall in New Jersey, Great Falls is a natural wonder you’ll never forget witnessing.
Bioluminescence – sometimes, the beaches of New Jersey glow thanks to bacteria and plankton that glows! It’s an amazing sight, and truly one of the coolest natural wonders there is.
Learn more about these amazing natural wonders in NJ and then some!
Where should I go on fun NJ road trips?
New Jersey is an awesome state for road trips! There are numerous avenues you could theoretically go down to enjoy NJ on the road. Some of our favorite NJ road trip ideas include:
A NJ ghost town road trip – yes, New Jersey has ghost towns. Yes, they make for an amazing road trip.
A waterfalls of NJ road trip – we encourage chasing waterfalls, unlike what that song says.
An antique shops of NJ road trip – bargain hunting has never been so much fun.
A NJ BBQ restaurant road trip – because why not? Yum.
A natural wonders of New Jersey road trip – because of course!
Learn more about some of our favorite NJ road trip ideas.