Conquer New Jersey’s Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail (AT for short) sprawls over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, 72 precious miles of which are in New Jersey. One of the USA’s most renowned scenic hiking trails, the AT has been around since 1937, wowing anyone who embarks on its picturesque path up the East Coast. Join up with the trail in New Jersey, through rugged and remote wilderness, varied elevation and more than a few photo-worthy opportunities.
Delaware Water Gap National Park is where the AT originates in the state, a beautiful union between the Kittatinny Mountains and the Delaware River. Visit Worthington State Park while you’re there, and hike 70 miles of trails to gorgeous outcroppings and views. Boat or fish on the Delaware River, or stay in a rustic cabin for the night. Stop at Sunfish Pond, a glacial lake, and eventually reach Coppermines Trail, an area named for old Dutch mines, or take the trail to Buttermilk Falls, New Jersey’s highest, then venture up to Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond.
Next, head to Stokes State Forest, where evergreens and wild blueberry bushes greet you. These mountainous woods offer two lakes perfect for anglers or campers. Follow the Cartwright Trail to amazing views of the Delaware River Valley before taking one of many trails across Sunrise Mountain Road for more panoramic views. Continue on Kittatinny Mountain Ridge until you reach High Point State Park, home to the highest elevation in the state. Make time for High Point Monument, a 220-foot tribute to war veterans. Climb to the top and take in the extraordinary expanse of the Pocono and Catskill Mountains.
Before you leave, visit Stairway to Heaven on the Pochuck Valley Trail. This 7-mile jaunt takes you over a wildflower-laden wilderness to Pinwheel Vista after crossing a 110-foot, mile-long suspension bridge. See everything from hawks and eagles to turtles as you meander along the AT here before climbing the heavenly stairway to the top of Wawayanda Mountain. Once there, take in the Kittatinny Mountains and rolling landscape below. Have a swim in Wawayanda State Park’s namesake lake before you leave.