Sports Guide To New Jersey's Fall Foliage

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Get going—and glowing! Fall is a fantastic time for outdoor fun in New Jersey. Move into cooler temps, as the landscape pops with incredible shades of crimson, copper and gold. This year, our summer rains promise a particularly vibrant display. So, download and print these ideas for mixing your favorite sport with some great leaf peeping in every region.

Tee Off in the Kittatinny Mountains

At Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, take a swing at six championship-caliber golf courses nestled amongst a breathtaking, 4,000-acre backdrop. Test yourself on a collection designed by the likes of Jones, Fazio, von Hagge and Rulewich. Cozy up in luxe lodging, and savor spas, superb dining and a bevy of bonus, open-air and family-friendly adventures.

Hike a Leafy Trail

Explore Cheesequake State Park on foot, thanks to five easy-to-moderate trails, each ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 miles. Situated in Matawan, this destination bursts with striking color and naturally beautiful sights. Travel its open fields, saltwater and freshwater marshes, white cedar swamp, Pine Barrens and northeastern hardwood forest.

Kayak the D&R Canal

Row, row, row your boat, gently along this tree-lined stretch—for an hour or entire day. Launch from Princeton Canoe and Kayak Rental, providing diverse vessels and access to nearby waterways. Paddle directly from the dock to the Delaware and Raritan Canal. Try routes that loop through Lake Carnegie and Stony Brook, and refuel with a yummy picnic.

Hike to a Reflecting Lake

Do a double take at Ramapo Mountain State Forest in Oakland, where seasonal hues are mirrored in shimmering Ramapo Lake. Practiced hiker? Hit miles of other, challenging trails, marked by winding and rocky terrain. Consider ascending to the Van Slyke Castle ruins to absorb impressive views of your surroundings and of the New York City skyline.

Rappel in the Skylands

Are you a climbing connoisseur? Choose from a range of experiences with truly uplifting vistas. From more conveniently developed areas like Allamuchy Mountain State Park in Hackettstown to remote locations like Wawayanda State Park in Hewitt, follow trails leading to and through bouldering sites and backcountry crags, hidden rock faces and long wall climbs.

Mountain Bike in Rugged Ringwood State Park

Head to Ringwood State Park, a 4,444-acre treasure offering a rich array of recreational possibilities in a sublime natural setting. Once home to America's foremost ironmasters, this is now where you can test your mettle. A 7.5-mile mountain bike loop trail begins in the Shepherd Lake section and features some tough, rocky paths that extend beyond the park.

Go "Flat" Biking in the Pinelands!

Tamer but still a thrill: Wharton State Forest in Hammonton. This is an expansive and ideal playground for numerous outdoor pursuits. On miles of dazzling, densely forested paths, roll past historic Batsto Village and peaceful rivers and streams. Watch for wildlife, including bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, great-horned owls, beavers, river otters, fox and deer—and lots more!

Camp Under an Oak Canopy

Sleep beneath the stars and brilliant tree canopy at Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine. Settle into your tent or trailer site, complete with trappings for campfires and picnics (and restrooms only a short walk away). By day, discover Lake Nummy—boasting reflections of brightly transformed oak, cranberry, red maple and gum trees—plus 20,000 acres' worth of adventure.

Fish 2 Fabulous Trophy Trout Lakes

Angling for a day on the water, but hooked on spectacular scenery too? Don't miss our two trophy trout lakes! On Round Valley Reservoir in Lebanon and Merrill Creek Reservoir in Washington, bust your lines on bragging-size catches. Hint: In the fall, cruise Round Valley's shallows, along the shoreline, for big rainbows. 

Walk a Cranberry Bog

Peer into the Pine Barrens' natural and peopled history at Double Trouble State Park in Bayville. One example? Cranberry culture began in the village here during the Civil War, where it eventually grew to be one of the largest operations in New Jersey. See the bogs (exquisitely red this season) from the nature trail, as well as the cranberry sorting and packing house.

Ride with a View of the AT (Appalachian Trail)

Saddle up for sensational panoramas. Spring Valley Equestrian Center, a longtime Newton institution, welcomes riders of all levels for unforgettable sightseeing. Access miles of fields and Paulinskill Valley Trail. The ride to High Point is exceptionally awesome in autumn—just check out those views of the Appalachian Trail Ridge!

Download and print the above infographic, and glimpse plenty more of the Best Places to See Fall Leaves in New Jersey on our website. Plus, download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.