Best Backpacking in New Jersey

This list represents the most popular backpacking in New Jersey. Use this list to plan your next New Jersey backpacking trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. High Point State Park: Monument Trail


You can see forever (or almost forever) if you hike through High Point State Park on a clear day. The road leads to a parking lot beside a 220-foot obelisk built to honor New Jersey’s veterans. It sta…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Colesville, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 4.9 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#2. High Point State Park: Above Lake Rutherford


You’ll need sturdy shoes to negotiate thousands of rocks while exploring the southern portion of High Point State Park. The struggle along this section of the Appalachian Trail is worth the effort, be…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Colesville, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 5.2 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#3. Jenny Jump State Forest Trails


Legend has it that a girl named Jenny was so engrossed picking berries at the crest of the mountain ridge that she didn’t hear Indians with raised tomahawks creeping toward her. Her father, standing b…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Hope, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 3 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#4. Round Valley Recreation Area Trails


Round Valley Reservoir didn’t exist before 1958. What did exist was a natural horseshoe-shaped valley nestled in the rolling hills of Hunterdon County. Hardly anyone gave a thought to this hole in the…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Lebanon, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 2.4 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#5. Allamuchy Mountain State Park: Deer Park Lake Trail


When you visit the north shore of Deer Park Lake, you may not see the broad-tailed beaver, the largest rodent in North America. But you will see its cone-shaped house and dozens of gnawed tree stumps.…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Hackettstown, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 2.5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#6. Cheesequake State Park: Cheesequake Cedar Swamp


Opened in 1940, Cheesequake State Park is Middlesex County’s only state park. It lies between New Jersey’s northern and southern vegetation zones, making it a transitional area with unique plant and a…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Matawan, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 2.7 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#7. Allaire State Park Trails


Although you’ll be arriving and parking at Allaire Village, explore this historic site after the hike is completed. While hiking, you’ll be passing through lush woods beside tiny streams where ninety-…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Farmingdale, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 3.25 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#8. Belleplain State Forest: Belleplain Circular Trail


Chief Nummy and his band of Lenni-Lenape Indians hiked through this area of the southern Pine Barrens many times, and some of it has been protected as Belleplain State Forest and the Pinelands Preserv…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Woodbine, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 4.9 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#9. Turkey Swamp Park Trails


Heavy rains came down the first day we camped at Turkey Swamp Park. History repeated itself the second day, but we decided to hike in the rain because a great portion of the trails are usually wet any…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Freehold , NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 2.7 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#10. Deleware Water Gap National Recreation Area: Dunnfield Creek Circular Trail


More than 2.5 million people are drawn to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area each year. Most go directly to the Kittatinny Point Visitor Center, where they can enjoy a leisurely picnic or…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Columbia, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 3.4 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#11. Appalachian Trail: Culvers Lake to Buttermilk Falls


This section of the 2160-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT) follows the ridge of Kittatinny Mountain. As in most of New Jersey, the trail is rocky with a lot of ups and downs, but the climbs…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Dogs: New Jersey"
Wallpack Center, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 10.5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#12. Wawayanda State Park: Cedar Swamp Trail


It’s almost impossible to get lost because huge rhododendron thickets form a natural border along this trail. Sporting leathery dark green leaves throughout the year, with large pinkish purple flowers…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
West Milford, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 3.9 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#13. Swartswood State Park: Swartswood Trail


Swartswood State Park, a recreational gem, is open year-round. Established in 1914 as New Jersey’s first state park, the original acquisition was a 121/2-acre gift from George M. Emmans. He stipulated…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Middleville, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 1.5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#14. Brendan T. Byrne State Forest: Deep Hollow Trail


Don’t drive too fast or you may miss the trailhead, located in the tiny town of Ongs Hat. A mere pinhead on the map, Ongs Hat consists of a few houses and a family restaurant. In the 1840s, however, i…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
New Lisbon, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 6.3 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#15. Brendan T. Byrne State Forest: Pakim Pond Trail


Each winter we hike a small section of the 50-mile-long, pink-blazed Batona Trail that leads to Pakim Pond—a crown jewel within the 34,725-acre Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. The water, stained by iro…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
New Lisbon, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 6.5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#16. Parvin State Park Trails


Parvin State Park is a product of the 1930s when the campground and trails were built by young men in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The work was hard and the hours long, but the men were grat…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Vineland, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 3 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#17. Wawayanda State Park: Laurel Pond Trail


This is black bear territory, so be cautious— although they’ll usually scamper off as soon as they hear you. With the plentiful supply of berries and acorns these dense woods offer, the black bear gro…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
West Milford, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 4 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#18. Stokes State Forest: Culver Tower Trail


In the first century A.D., Publius Syrus wrote the maxim, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” Perhaps he was inspired by hiking trails similar to those in Stokes State Forest, where thousands of odd-sh…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Newton, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 4.5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#19. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area: Three Mountain Ponds Trail


What you’ll find on this hike is great diversity. Each body of water is unique, and along the rim of each of these fascinating habitats—Long Pine Pond, Crater Lake, and Hemlock Pond—lies another world…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Layton, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#20. Voorhees State Park Trails


During the Depression thousands of people were unemployed with no hope of finding a job—that is until Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). By planting trees, constructing s…
From the guidebook "Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey"
Glen Gardner, NJ - Backpacking, Hiking - 2 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books