With the fall foliage in full effect, now is the perfect time to visit some scenic trails to take in all the beauty this season has to offer. Whether you’re a hiking expert or newbie, these trails are sure to have you gasping in wonder (and maybe some slight exertion). Gather a group of friends and go to enjoy the crisp, cool breeze and vibrant colors before we head into winter.
1. Mount Tammany in Knowlton, NJ
This trail is difficult since it mostly involves climbing rocks up a steep mountain. It is 3.5 miles round trip and consists of many rocks, plants, wildlife, and trees. This trail is steep and uphill but the view you get to witness when you finally reach the top is so beautiful, making the effort worth it. I hiked this trail recently and the scenery was so beautiful, especially since the trees were bursting with color.
2. Locust Grove – Fairy Trail in Millburn, NJ
This trail is a mile loop and is easier for beginners because of its flat terrain. This trail is one of the cooler ones I have walked because there are tiny wooden fairy houses people have built scattered along your path. It feels like a fantasy land. This trail also consists of painted bridges and beautiful, glistening streams. The trail is marked with a rope fence, so you won’t get lost or accidentally wander off the path. It does an excellent job at making you feel like you are in a magical forest.
3. Hartshorne Woods Park in Highlands, NJ
This park consists of multiple trails totaling up to 14 miles, but my favorite would have to be the loop which is 0.6 miles long. This trail goes around the entire park where you get to see Battery Lewis, which was a 16” gun that was used during 1942 in World War II. While walking this trail there are also displays you can read about World War II artillery and Battery Lewis. During World War II, Hartshorne Woods Park was a defensive sight because of its position on the coastline and its high elevation points. If you like history like me, or want to learn and exercise, this trail is perfect.
4. Stairway to Heaven – Appalachian Trail in Vernon, NJ
This trail is in a very grassy area. It is best to go in the summer when there’s an abundance of flowers and greenery, but it’s also gorgeous in the fall. This is a boardwalk trail and is a bit narrow, but the trail is clean and in excellent condition. Since the Appalachian Trail is so big, you won’t encounter too many people. Part of the boardwalk is over a swampy area, so you will most likely see a few turtles when you look down onto the grass! Also, for a couple minutes of the trail, the boardwalk temporarily ends and when you walk through the forest part you will see many flowers, trees, moss, mushrooms, and unique plants.
5. Richard W. DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, NJ
This place has a boardwalk trail that goes over Kingsland Creek. This is one of my favorite places to hike because there is so much wildlife to admire such as ducks, deer, swans, and geese. It also offers a perfect view of New York City. The park is well taken care of and is very clean. It’s quiet and peaceful with benches scattered around the boardwalk to relax and admire the beautiful view and wildlife around you.
6. Fort Lee Historic Park in Fort Lee, NJ
The main reason I went to this location was to admire the view of the George Washington Bridge, but I ended up finding a walkway there and looking around. The park is on high elevation and you are able to walk around while also viewing the Hudson River, Lower Manhattan, and the main attraction, which is the bridge.
What are you waiting for? Get outside and explore while you still can this fall season before the red, orange, and yellow hues become bare branches and the wildlife abandons us to the cold weather up ahead.