12 Ways to Enjoy New Jersey’s National Parks

  • Ellis Island Ferry

On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service celebrated its 100th birthday of serving and preserving our nation’s most cherished natural spaces, historic sites, and recreation areas. Find your own way to celebrate this centennial event by exploring one of the National Park sites in New Jersey. Here are 12 ideas to get you started:

1. Hike along the New Jersey portion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which stretches more than 2,180 miles from Georgia to Maine.

2. Book a rafting tour through Delaware River Rafting & Canoeing, and float downriver at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

3. Take the ferry from Liberty State Park to Ellis Island—part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument—to learn about the immigrants who came to America in search of a better life.

4. Visit the oldest continuously-operating lighthouse at Sandy Hook, part of Gateway National Recreation Area—a 27,000-acre national park that is comprised of numerous locations throughout New Jersey and New York.

5. Paddle your way through Great Egg Harbor River, a 129-mile river system that flows through New Jersey’s Pinelands National Reserve.

6. Rent a canoe or kayak to explore the Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River, the largest free-flowing river on the eastern side of the country.

7. Step into replica soldier cabins and envision what it must have been like when George Washington and the Continental Army camped out for the winter of 1779 in New Jersey, in what is now Morristown National Historical Park.

8. Drive along parts of the 300-mile New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route, and stop at one of the many New Jersey State Parks en route.

9. Hike one of the many scenic trails, and spot wildlife along the way at New Jersey Pinelands National Preserve, which encompasses more than one million acres of idyllic farmland, dense forests and serene wetlands.

10. Snap a selfie with the Great Falls of the Passaic River in the background. Located at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, this is one of the highest waterfalls in the country.

11. Stand where Thomas Edison stood when he made inventions that changed the modern world as you tour his home and laboratory at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park.

12. Follow the trail that American and French soldiers took from 1781-1782 during the Revolutionary War while you explore the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail. The 680-mile trail is dotted with a hundred of historical sites throughout both metropolitan and rural areas.