Things to See and Do

Below is a list of just some of the many New Jersey hiking trails, parks, and reservations. Check out our Google map, which shows where you can find an abundance of nature activities for your next outdoor adventure. Be sure to check out some of these things to see and do in northern New Jersey.

GSWA’s Conservation Management Area
1 Tiger Lily Lane, Harding Township NJ

An ecological gem located in Harding Township, the Conservation Management Area (CMA), features miles of boardwalk trails and is open for hiking, dog walking, nature study, cross-country skiing, and more.

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge – Helen Fenske Visitor Center
32 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding NJ
Center is open daily 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

The visitor’s center features nature exhibits, a Discovery Den with activities for children, and a Nature Shop. There are also multiple trails leaving from the visitor center.

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Observation Center
220 Long Hill Rd, Gillette, NJ 07933

The Wildlife Observation Center on Long Hill Road has three observation blinds and about 1.5 miles of boardwalk. It is particularly good for photography and observing wildlife.

The Raptor Trust at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
1390 White Bridge Rd, Millington, NJ 07946

Visitors receive a unique opportunity to view at close range the many hawks, eagles, falcons and owls that are permanent residents at the facility. There is no charge to visit, but a modest donation of $2.00 per person is encouraged.

Cross Estate Gardens – Morristown National Historical Park
61 Jockey Hollow Road, Bernardsville NJ 07924

The early twentieth-century landscape of the Cross Estate, characteristic of the Arts and Crafts period, includes a formal perennial garden, a wisteria-covered pergola, a mountain laurel allee, and a garden of native plants. Activities include hiking trails, viewing historical buildings, and a self guided walk around the beautiful gardens.

Jockey Hollow – Morristown National Historical Park
580 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown

The Jockey Hollow section of Morristown National Historical Park is where the Continental Army under General George Washington camped during the winter of 1779-80. In addition to a visitor center, the Wick house and garden, and some remaining soldier’s huts, the park has 27 miles of hiking trails, including a section of the Patriots’ Path, ranging from easy to strenuous.

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary – NJ Audubon
11 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924, (908) 766-5787

New Jersey Audubon’s Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary has the Hoffman Center for Conservation and Environmental Education boasts an environmental learning center, tree-top level observation deck, bookstore, and exhibits. The bird-feeding station next to the building is a popular attraction for birds and bird-watchers alike, and can be viewed in comfort from the inside of the building. Well-maintained and marked trails traverse the Sanctuary, ranging in length from 0.3 miles to 1.3 miles. The Sanctuary sponsors a variety of programs for students, adults, and teachers.

Lewis Morris County Park
270 Mendham Road, Morris Township NJ

Lewis Morris County Park offers many attractions as a general purpose park comprised of 2,196 acres with 12 miles of trails. Activities include biking, hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, fishing, and more.

Lord Stirling Environmental Education Center – Somerset County Park Commission
190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge

Features approximately 500 acres, 9 miles of trails, boardwalks, wildlife observation blinds, and a beautiful visitor center with gift shop and interpretive exhibit about the formation and cultural history of Great Swamp. Programs are offered year round. There is also a kayak put in and fishing location slightly down the road on the Passaic River, this area is called Fisherman’s Parking Lot.

Passaic River County Park (Long Hill)
2027 Valley Road, Millington, NJ 07946

This preserved land offers hiking trails, fresh water fishing, athletic fields & cross country skiing.

Loantaka Brook Reservation
468 South Street, Morris Township, NJ 07960

Loantaka Brook Reservation is a general purpose park comprised of 744.38 acres with 8.16 miles of trails. This linear greenway through a lush flat terrain park is perfect for bicycling, jogging, hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and much more! There are both paved and unpaved trails through a variety of scenery. Activities include fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and more.

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center
247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham NJ 07928

Features miles of trail, much of it on neat boardwalks, an observation blind, interactive exhibits, and a seasonal program schedule.

Passaic River County Park (Chatham)
Located along the Passaic River in Long Hill and Chatham Townships, Passaic River County Park, a general purpose park, is part of an effort to protect the river from development and encroachment. A total of 825.49 acres, including more than 5,000 feet of riverbank, are available for leisurely hiking, picnicking, fishing, softball, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and canoe launching.

Watchung Reservation
Watchung Reservation is a 2,000+acre preserve located in the northern portion of Union County. The Reservation is an integral part of the Union County Parks system, designed by the Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Mass., the celebrated landscape architects who designed New York’s Central Park and scores of other notable public lands.

South Mountain Reservation
South Orange Avenue and Cherry Lane, West Orange, NJ 07052

The South Mountain Reservation, covering 2,110 acres, is a nature reserve that is part of the Essex County Park System. It is located in central in portions of Maplewood, Millburn and West Orange, and borders South Orange, between the first and second ridges of the Watchung Mountains.This park features hiking trails, a dog park, and other recreation opportunities.

Great Piece Meadows
Great Piece Meadows is a Natural Heritage Priority Site. Untouched regions of the area still support rare plants including tufted loosestrife and Louisiana sedge. Alterations to hydrology, intended to relieve local flooding, appears to have transitioned much of the wet meadow habitat into a red maple and sweetgum forest today. Still, this ecosystem is resilient, providing refuge for wildlife, flood storage for the river communities and an outdoor adventure for boaters and birdwatchers to experience.

Garrett Mountain Reservation
The Reservation offers panoramic views of New York City and northern New Jersey. With an elevation of 500 feet, visitors can see the area for miles around.

The Reservation treats visitors to over 500 acres with a wide range of recreation possibilities. Cross-country hiking, skiing and running are popular activities. Facilities include an equestrian center, picnic grounds, fields for athletic activities and fishing areas. The Lambert Castle and Observation Tower offer excellent points for a rest while taking in a little history of the area.

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
72 McBride Avenue, Paterson, NJ 07501

Paterson’s Great Falls is the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi. This beautiful landmark is a must-see for all New Jerseyans. Enjoy the view and learn about Paterson’s interesting industrial history.

Newark Riverfront Park
1-3 Brill St, Newark, NJ 07105

Riverfront Park is the only public green space in Newark along a waterfront. It displays sparkling amenities, including a baseball field, two playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, an open grassy area and a turf soccer field with a huge county logo in the center.

Hackensack Riverkeeper
Hackensack Riverkeeper offers many public programs on the Hackensack River, including eco-cruises, kayak trips, birding trips, and more!