Hiking with Kids in New Jersey:- New Jersey might be best known as the home of the infamous Shore and the bright lights of Atlantic City, but it also boasts gorgeous mountains, forests, and landscapes that are perfect for adventurous families looking for a hiking adventure.
There is a huge network of trails crisscrossing the state, offering opportunities for exploration for the whole family.
From gentle beginner trails to more challenging hikes, there’s a lot for outdoor adventurers to enjoy in the Garden State.
So whether you are looking for a little fresh air after your weekend cruise from Bermuda or just want to escape the city for a weekend in the hills, here are some of the best hiking trails that kids can enjoy in New Jersey.
Cheesequake State Park – Green Trail (Old Bridge, NJ)
Cheesequake State Park is the perfect introduction to hiking for younger adventurers.
Its trails are scenic and beautiful but gentle and short, winding through lush woodlands, over boardwalks, and around picturesque lakes.
The Green Trail is one of the loveliest, offering kids the chance to spot turtles and frogs, and at one mile long it won’t tire out little legs.
Hacklebarney State Park – Red Trail (Long Valley, NJ)
This hidden gem, tucked away in Long Valley, is a fantastic trail for families.
The Red Trail follows the Black River and winds its way past powerful cascades and over rocky terrain and charming wooden footbridges.
Thanks to its slightly more challenging terrain it requires a little more effort than the Cheesecake Green Trail, but it is still a totally manageable option for most kids.
Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area – Tripod Rock (Boonton, NJ)
The key to hiking with kids is always to have a ‘feature’ to head to, and the famous Tripod Rock on Pyramid Mountain is the perfect example.
This massive glacial erratic is balanced, seemingly precariously, on three smaller stones, and will intrigue and delight kids of all ages.
Coming in at roughly 1.5 miles, the round trip is perfect for little ones, who will also enjoy the unusual rock formations and boulder scrambles along the way.
Watchung Reservation – History Trail (Mountainside, NJ)
Another great tip for hiking with young ones is to add a little history to your hike. The History Trail in Watchung Reservation is perfect for this, effortlessly combining hiking with a bit of history.
The trail runs through the deserted village of Feltville, a ghost town that has been preserved as a historic curiosity.
Kids can explore the village’s old buildings and learn about the area’s past while enjoying a leisurely 1.5-mile hike.
Meandering its way through serene forests and over gently rolling hills, the Allamuchy Pond Trail teases you with glimpses of the pond all the way along the 1.5-mile route.
It is a great choice for birdwatching families, as plenty of species of airborne critters call Allamuchy Mountain home, and it is a perfect hike for younger adventurers thanks to its flat terrain.
If you’ve got older kids and are looking for something a little more challenging then the MacEvoy Trail in Ramapo Mountain State Forest is the one for you.
The 3-mile loop has a reasonable amount of elevation gain and some rocky sections where a little scrambling is required.
Hikers are rewarded with scenic overlooks and the satisfaction of completing a longer hike.
When hitting the trails with kids, remember to pack essentials like water, snacks, appropriate footwear, and a first aid kit.
It’s also a good idea to educate your kids about the basics of hiking safety, and the Leave No Trace principles to ensure that the great outdoors is kept clean and safe for everyone else.