Best Hiking Trails in Central New Jersey

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Following our journey through the scenic trails of North Jersey, it’s time to get ready and explore some of the best trails in the heart of the Garden State. Central New Jersey offers a plethora of breathtaking landscapes and captivating trails waiting to be discovered. From peaceful woodlands to historic pathways, join us as we uncover the hidden hiking treasures of Central New Jersey. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast seeking a new adventure, prepare to be enchanted by the diverse beauty that awaits in every step. Let’s embark on another unforgettable hiking escapade in the heart of the Garden State.

Hunterdon County

  • Hunterdon County Arboretum (1020 NJ-31, Annandale) – The Arboretum is the headquarters of Hunterdon County’s Park system and open to the public. There are six very family friendly walking trails. Kids will especially love the children’s area called “The Wizard Walk”.


  • Voorhees State Park (251 County Rd 513, Glen Gardner) – Voorhees State Park offers excellent views of Round Valley Reservoir and is a popular site for camping, hiking, walking, and running. There are 7 trails that are suitable for a wide range of abilities and interests. The trails range from .25 mile to 2.3 miles and vary from wide and graveled to rocky and steep.


  • Bull’s Island Recreation Area (2185 Daniel Bray Highway, Stockton) – This natural area comprises a portion of a small, forested island surrounded by the Delaware River and the Delaware & Raritan Canal. A trail along the towpath of the canal reveals a lowland floodplain forest dominated by sycamore, silver maple, and tulip poplar. Several rare plant species are found in this natural area. Canal path is considered a National Recreation Trail and listed on the National Historic Register. The park offers around 30 miles of trails.
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area (68 Van Syckles Rd, Clinton) – the area’s reservoir was one of the first water supply facilities to be constructed and operated by the state. It includes 15 miles of shoreline ideal for recreation. There is a 2.6-mile section that will take you through a maple forest, a pine forest and a along the water’s edge through the park before exiting onto NJ Fish and Wildlife property. The Highlands Trail extends over 150 miles from Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River in NY south to Riegelsville, NJ, on the Delaware River.


  • Round Valley Recreation Area (1220 Lebanon Rd, Lebanon) – The brisk blue waters of Round Valley Reservoir attract swimmers, boaters, fishermen, picnickers, and campers to its scenic shore. The Round Valley Reservoir swimming area was created by the construction of an earth dam across a narrow waterway on the west side of the reservoir, separating it from the main part of the reservoir. The reservoir covers over 2,000 acres and is approximately 180 feet deep, the deepest lake in New Jersey. It has a water capacity of 55 billion gallons. The reservoir is stocked with lake trout. Explore one of 5 easy hiking trails in Round Valley Recreation Area that are great for the whole family. The trails vary from 1.3 to 12.4 miles in length.


Mercer County

  • Washington Crossing State Park (355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville) – Washington Crossing Historic Park offers more than 500 acres of American history. The park preserves the site where George Washington crossed the Delaware River and turned the tide of the Revolutionary War. There are 13 trail that allow the visitors to explore the park and its distinct areas. You could explore one of 4 easy hiking trails in Washington Crossing State Park that are great for the whole family. The trails vary in length from an easy 2.0 mile long Green Dot Trail to a 16-mile-long Delaware Canal National Heritage Trail.




Middlesex County

  • Cheesequake State Park (300 Gordon Rd, Matawan) – Cheesequake State Park is unique due to its geographical location. It is situated in the middle of the urban north and the suburban south; it lies in a transitional zone between two different ecosystems. Open fields, saltwater and freshwater marshes, a white cedar swamp, Pine Barrens, and a northeastern hardwood forest are the main characteristics of the park. There are 5 designated trails at the park. The Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue trails are for hiking and walking use only. The White trail is designated for hiking and mountain biking. Trail lengths range from 1.5 miles to 3.5 miles and difficult from easy to moderate with some inclines.

Monmouth County

  • Gateway National Recreation Area (128 South Hartshorne Dr, Highlands) – As a part of Gateway National Recreation Center, Sandy Hook is the peninsula at the intersection of ocean and bay. It is a New Jersey treasure that has hosted generations of family beach days, class trips and outdoor adventures. The park’s 26,000 acres, crossing two states and three NYC boroughs, combine military and aviation history with the tranquility of nature and outdoor recreation. There are many hiking trails that will grace you with breathtaking views of the NYC Skyline! The paved trails will let you see ocean, bay and forest all in one trip! Not to mention an option to see some of the most expansive and impressive military ruins in the park! Trails vary in length from 0.9 miles to 10.9 mile and all are relatively easy and kid friendly!


  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park (16 Business Rt 33, Manalapan) – One of the largest battles of the American Revolution took place in the fields and forests that now make up Monmouth Battlefield State Park. Monmouth Battlefield State Park preserves a rural 18th-century landscape of hilly farmland and hedgerows that encompasses miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, picnic areas, a restored Revolutionary War farmhouse and a visitors’ center. The Monmouth Battlefield trail, an intermediate-level trail, offers multiple starting and ending points. Most of the paths are well maintained but tend to be overgrown in late summer. You can learn more about the battlefield through wayside exhibits located on Perrine Hill, Combs Hill, and the Hedgerow.


  • Allaire State Park (4265 Atlantic Ave, Farmingdale) – Allaire State Park is home to over 200 species of wildflowers, trees, and plants in addition to abundant wildlife. The Manasquan River winds through the park attracting a great number of fishermen and canoeists. The park is also known for its historic 19th-century iron making town, Allaire Village, and its antique steam trains on the Pine Creek Railroad. Allaire State Park is also a popular destination for mountain bikers and horseback riders. There are several moderate hiking trails that are accessible from the main parking area. The southern area of the park offers miles of unmarked trails as well as four primary marked multi-use trails. There are 9 mapped trails that vary from 1.3 miles to 4.6 miles.




Somerset County

  • Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park (145 Mapleton Rd, Princeton) – The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is one of central New Jerseys’ most popular recreational corridors for canoeing, jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing, and horseback riding. The canal and towpath are part of the National Recreational Trail System. This 70-mile linear park serves as a valuable wildlife corridor, connecting fields and forests. The Six Mile Run Reservoir Site at Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park contains 4 trails from 1.6 miles to just under 5 miles. The Kingston Trail Has 2 trails for hiking, a 1.4 mile one and a 4.5 miles trail.




Embark on your adventure! Central New Jersey beckons with its diverse array of hiking trails, inviting you to explore its natural wonders and historical landmarks. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, these trails promise an unforgettable outdoor experience. Lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and embark on a journey through Central New Jersey’s hidden gems.

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