Best Easy Day Hikes: Northeast New Jersey
by Paul E. DeCpste and Ronald J. Dupont Jr. (Falcon Guides)
© Paul E. DeCpste and Ronald J. Dupont Jr./Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The great swamp is one of my all-time favorite places and is a local treasure (and to think it almost became an airport). I have been here many times. Perfect place to bring younger children. This part of the great swamp is nestled between Lord Sterling Stables and the raptor refuge. Its a network of beautiful swamp trails, with overlook towers and some boardwalks. Most intersections have a map, so even amateur hikers can never get lost. Its quite muddy so bring boots. I have done it with a jogger stroller- I don't recommend trying it with a regular stroller.
I don't recommend any part of the great swamp in the summer as the mosquitoes can be be quite bothersome. Swamps are best visited in the fall (in my opinion). The great swamp seems to turn colors early (probably due to the soil composition and water) so don't wait too late into the fall. But the colors and hues are incredible. If you have never been to the G.S. this is a great place to start. It does have a visitor center but I have never been there. This is a spot where they do lots of guided activities (including getting maple syrup from the tree in the winter) often geared for kids. I have never actually done any of the guided things, so I can't rate them, except to say if you look at their calendar, they have a lot of things going on.
The actual hiking is easy. You go here for the incredible experience, not for hardcore hiking. When I get a chance I will review the other hikes in the G.S. as I have explored virtually every nook and cranny of the entire swamp and surrounding area.
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