National Parks in New Jersey

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Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail passes through New Jersey, and it makes the perfect spot for every hiker. This 72-mile trail starts from Delaware Water Gap and stretches along the Kittatinny Ridge to High Point along the New York Border.

There are many amazing sights to catch and explore along this national scenic trail. Visitors can walk the New Jersey portion of the trail or hike through the route while enjoying the amazing views. Although campfires are prohibited in this park, there are designated areas available to camp. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is open all year round from Maine to Georgia.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

The Delaware Water Gap is an important place for the people of New Jersey and even Pennsylvania. This recreation park boasts 70,000 acres of spectacular views along 40 miles of the Delaware River and a breathtaking waterfall.

Delaware River is the last free-flowing river in the eastern United States and is the main attraction in this park. Here, visitors can enjoy different outdoor activities, including camping, swimming, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and more. Also, there are spots to rent kayaks, rafts, and canoes along the river.

There is something for animal lovers too! They will be dazzled by the varieties of wildlife like coyotes and bears in this park.

Ellis Island (Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument)

Ellis Island is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. This park features a spectacular museum that documents the stories of the first immigrants to the United States. Between 1892 and 1954, nearly 12 million immigrants walked past the now quiet halls of the museum to a new life in America.

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This park serves as an important site to learn about the American Dream. The Monument has a record of all passengers who arrived during this period, and visitors love going through it to trace their ancestry. You can access this monument by ferry from Liberty State Park in the city. And while you’re here, do not miss spending some time exploring the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

Gateway National Recreation Area

Gateway National Recreation Area is a 27,000 acres park covering New Jersey and New York.  The New Jersey portion of the area is known as Sandy Hooks, a popular spot for biking, hiking, and swimming.

Gateway National Recreation Area is the fourth most visited national park in the country. Visitors love taking a tour of the lighthouse, visiting Fort Hancock, and viewing the skyscrapers of Manhattan at a distance. You can also enjoy several activities, including hiking, swimming, sunbathing, and biking. And if you are a bird watcher, Gateway NRA  is the perfect spot to catch different species of aves.

Great Egg Harbor River

Great Egg was named a national park in 1992, and the National Park Service currently manages it. The river starts near a town in Berlin and flows 59 miles to the Atlantic Ocean.

Great Egg Harbor River is a paradise for outdoor lovers as visitors can hike, bird, fish, and boat along the 59-mile river of this reserve. There are also outfitters in Mays Landing that rent boats to visitors who want to enjoy fun activities on the river. According to NPS, the best area for canoeing is the 22 miles between Penny Pot County Park and Atlantic County Park. So get in there with your rented boats and enjoy a good time.

Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River

In 2000, Lower Delaware Nation Wild and Scenic River became a part of the National Park System. Activities to enjoy here include paddling, hiking, scenic driving, and biking. Some areas of interest you would come across through a scenic drive in this park include the Delaware and Raritan Canal and Washington Crossing State Park.

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Visitors here enjoy touring the historical sites in this park, including the site where George Washington crossed Delaware on December 25, 1776. Lastly, there are a lot of vintage stores you can explore and maybe even shop for souvenirs.

Morristown National Historical Park

Morristown National Historical Park is one of the sites that mark the beginning of United States Independence. It has a preserved area that used to encamp Gen. George Washington and the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Gen George Washington chose Morristown for being a strategic location. It was a good spot for the army to access resources without the risk of being attacked.

While you are here, you can explore the museum which commemorates him and features items that were of importance in pre and post-revolutionary America. Also, if you are a book or history lover, don’t miss the collection of books in the in-house library.

New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve

New Jersey is known for housing the first Biosphere Reserve, which was set up in 1978. This park is quite extensive, covering an area of about 1.1 million acres of farms, forests, wetlands, and breathtaking views. The Pinelands National Reserve is currently managed by the New Jersey Pinelands Commission and covers about 22% of the New Jersey land area.

New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve also features the Great Egg Harbour National Wild, one of the best spots for outdoor lovers in New Jersey. Here, visitors can hike, bike, and drive through the trails of the Pinelands. There are also historical sites to visit here, including the Batsto village and the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

Great Falls is one of the newest national historical parks in New Jersey. This 119-acre park is located in Paterson, the first planned industrial historic district in America.

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Great Falls also boasts the second largest waterfall by volume, and the sight of the falls is a lovely center of attraction for the city. The falls are surrounded by the remains of the industrial buildings, factories, and mills which make it a sight to behold.

Patterson Great Falls is open all year round and offers tours and waterfalls on the Passaic River. Visitors can also visit some historic buildings close to this park, including the Paterson Museum and Lambert Castle.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Thomas Edison National Historical Park features Thomas Edison’s home and great laboratory. If you are fascinated by Science, this historical park is a must-visit as it’s the site where the late scientist discovered some of the greatest inventions. Some of the things Thomas Edison created include light bulbs, telegraph, storage batteries, and motion systems.

Also in this park is Black Maria, the first film production studio in the US. Located in West Orange, you can visit this park to recreate Edison’s experiments at his Laboratory Complex and discover the origins of sound recording. When you are done here, you can tour the inventor’s 29-room mansion in Llewellyn Park to browse his belongings and photographs.

Washington-Rochaembeau National Historic Trail

Washington-Rochaembeau National Historic Trail runs through 10 eastern states, including New Jersey. This trail runs from Rhode Island through Virginia and marks the route taken by General Rochaembeau and his Continental Army to fight the British troops.

The park section in New Jersey is made up of 2,155 square miles, and advanced tickets need to be reserved online to tour the park. Washington-Rochaembeau trail was designated a national historic trail in 2009, and visitors can drive through it or visit the historic sites in the area.  One of the most popular stops along the route in New Jersey is the Old Barracks. This site was initially built during the French and Indian War but was later used by Washington and his armies during the Revolutionary War.

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