Before it gets really cold out, you’ve gotta get in a really good fall hike! In my opinion, fall is the kick-off of hiking season here in New Jersey.

There is no exercise I enjoy more than a good intense hike and the Garden State is packed with so many beautiful, picturesque hiking trails that it’s almost difficult to choose which one to conquer first.

Anyone who has ever listened to me on the air knows that I hate exercising. But I LOVE hiking. Because it doesn’t feel like exercise at all. It just feels like you’re taking in beautiful scenery.

And speaking of scenery, make sure to keep this list handy for the winter too. Because these trails are as beautiful in the winter as they are in the fall. Maybe even more so. So whether you’re alone, blissing out to your music on your headphones, or enjoying a hike with your friends or family, New Jersey has some of the best hiking in the Northeast.

Looking for an intense hike? Depending on what area of Jersey you live in, it can often be frustrating to find somewhere outdoors that feels like a never-ending trail. Your search is over, however, as you are about to learn the top five 5 mile trails in New Jersey.

Here they are:

  • 1

    Franklin Parker Reserve, Chatsworth

    Former cranberry farm turned reserve, Franklin Parker has 16 square miles of beautiful hiking area to check out. The park has four different trails, some of which allow both hikers and bikers, while others are hikers only. This is a good place for anyone in your family who bikes if you want to get a good run or hike in but don’t want to do it alone.

  • 2

    Stairway to Heaven at Pochuck Valley & Pinwheel Vista, Vernon

    If you hate staring at the same exact thing while working out, plan your next session at Stairway to Heaven. The trail begins with 2.5 miles of a boardwalk over wetlands, then moves on to a suspension bridge, followed by farm animals and a gorgeous overlook. This hike definitely has some elevation to it, but the view is well worth it.

  • 3

    Grand Loop Trail at Morristown National Park, Morristown

    This revolutionary war site is home to a 6.5 mile trail full of woods and interpreted war zones to check out. This path has a decent amount of hills, so if you are coming for a workout prepare to be challenged. You can also diverge from the Grand Loop Trail and check out the Blue Trail, which has a scenic overlook.

  • 4

    Sourland Mountain Preserve, Hillsborough

    Transport yourself to the rocky mountains and take on the 5 mile Ridge Trail at Sourland. The trail overlooks boulders and rocks and is a fun challenge for experienced hikers. There are smaller trails located on the mountain as well, if you are afraid of heights but are looking to cover distance.

  • 5

    Columbia Trail, Morris & Hunterdon County

    This 16.5 mile trail is mostly flat, making it the perfect place to go if you are looking to improve your running. Up for a challenge? Make plans with a friend in either county and run all the way there.


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