The small state of New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states in the Mid-Atlantic Region. It is also known, however, for its many forests, parks, and coastal towns. A 72-mile leg of the Appalachian Trail known as the Delaware Water Gap, the East Coast Greenway, and part of the Palisades can also be found here. Over 5 million visitors per year visit the 9 national parks, 7 national rivers and trails, and 1,731 places on the National Register of Historic Places. Fifty-eight national historic landmarks and 11 national natural landmarks can also be found in this compact state. This list of parks in New Jersey includes picturesque mountains, waterfalls, and plenty of trails for the hiking enthusiasts throughout the Garden State.
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National Parks & Historic Sites
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Maine to Georgia, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area
101 Barrack St, Trenton, NJ 08608
From the heights of the Palisades at Fort Lee to the shores of the Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield, the Crossroads of the American Revolution offers an unprecedented opportunity to understand and celebrate New Jersey’s rich history. Historic sites, preservation groups, schools, libraries, and museum work together to tell these unique stories.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
HQ in Bushkill PA; the park is along the Delaware River in the states of NJ, PA
Paddlers slip down the river between low forested mountains; anglers wade the trout streams; hikers scan the valley from the ridge or peer into the 1000-foot-deep Water Gap. The valley has known human hand and voice for 10,000 years. Floodplains nourished the Native farmer; waterfalls drew the Victorian vacationer. Today, a 70,000-acre park welcomes those who seek the outdoors close to home.
Ellis Island Part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument
How far would you travel to find a better life? What if the journey took weeks under difficult conditions? If you answered, “Whatever it takes,” you echo the feelings of the 12 million immigrants who passed through these now quiet halls from 1892 to 1954.
Gateway National Recreation Area
26 Hudson Rd, Highlands, NJ 07732; Brooklyn, Queens & Staten Island, New York and Monmouth County, New Jersey, NY,NJ
There are three geographic units: Sandy Hook, New Jersey; Jamaica Bay and Staten Island, New York City. The NYC units include Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Fort Tilden, Riis Park in Queens, Floyd Bennett Field and Canarsie Pier in Brooklyn. Staten Island has Great Kills Park, Miller Field and Fort Wadsworth. These sites and others make up the 27,000 acres of Gateway, one national park.
Great Egg Harbor River
Great Egg Harbor River, Corbin City, NJ 08234
The River gradually widens as it picks up the waters of 17 tributaries on its way to Great Egg Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Established by Congress in 1992, nearly all of this 129-mile river system rests within the Pinelands National Reserve. This National Park Service unit is unusual in that local jurisdictions continue to administer the lands.
Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River
PA, NJ; one site is in Washington Crossing, PA
The largest free-flowing river in the eastern United States, the Delaware River runs past forests, farmlands, and villages, and it also links some of the most densely populated regions in America. In 2000, the National Wild and Scenic River System incorporated key segments of the lower Delaware River to form this unit of the National Park System.
Morristown National Historical Park
30 Washington Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960
Morristown National Historical Park commemorates the sites of General Washington and the Continental army’s winter encampment of December 1779 to June 1780, where they survived through what would be the coldest winter on record. The park also maintains a museum & library collection related to the encampments & George Washington, as well as items relating to pre- and post-Revolutionary America.
New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
Southeastern New Jersey, NJ
This is truly a special place. It’s classified as a United States Biosphere Reserve and in 1978 was established by Congress as the country’s first National Reserve. It includes portions of seven southern New Jersey counties, and encompasses over one million acres of farms, forests and wetlands. It contains 56 communities, from hamlets to suburbs, with over 700,000 permanent residents.
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
72 McBride Ave, Paterson, NJ 07522
Cotton & silk for clothing; locomotives for travel; paper for books & writing letters; airplanes, & more. What do they have in common? They all came from the same place – Paterson, NJ. In 1791, Paterson, America’s first planned industrial city, was established, centered around the Great Falls of the Passaic River. From humble mills would rise industries that changed the face of the United States.
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
211 Main St, West Orange, NJ 07052
Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory are a step back in time, when machines were run by belts and pulleys and music was played on phonographs. Where to the passerby, the buildings betray little evidence of the industries they once started. Discover where America’s greatest inventor changed our world forever.
Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail
MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, DC; one location is 30 Washington Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960
In 1781, General Rochambeau’s French Army joined forces with General Washington’s Continental Army to fight the British Army in Yorktown, Virginia. With the French Navy in support, the allied armies moved hundreds of miles to become the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. The effort and cooperation between the two sides led to a victory at Yorktown and secured American independence.
For more parks and attractions, go to Visit New Jersey.
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