America’s national parks, including those in New Jersey, are waiving admission fees this Saturday (4/16) to celebrate the first day of National Park Week.

National Park Week runs April 16-24 and Americans are urged to visit a national park and share their experiences on social media at #NationalParkWeek and #sParkDiscovery.

Each day of the week has a special theme. The first three are:

April 16: Park Discovery National Park Week kicks off with a fee-free day to encourage everyone to find something new by visiting a national park, especially one that may be close to home, a park you haven't considered visiting, or one you never realized is a national park! What new national park will you discover? #sParkDiscovery

 

Sunday, April 17: Park Creativity National parks have inspired artistic expression and creativity for generations. What is your park muse? What masterpiece can you create? #sParkCreativity

 

Monday, April 18: Park Collaboration We get along with a little help from our friends. Meet our many partners that help expand our reach and offerings and connect people to parks. How can you get involved or participate in opportunities? #sParkCollaboration

New Jersey’s officially designated national parks include the Paterson Great Falls National Park, the Morristown National Historical Park, and the Thomas Edison National Park in West Orange. Ellis Island is a national monument.

There has been a push to make the Delaware Water Gap a national park, but that hasn’t happened yet.

The other free admission days this year:

Aug. 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act

Sept. 24: National Public Lands Day

Nov. 11: Veterans Day

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now:

NJ county fairs make a comeback: Check out the schedule for 2022

UPDATED 4/10: A current list of county fairs happening across the Garden State for 2022. From rides, food, animals, and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographical order from South NJ to North NJ)

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Every NJ city and town's municipal tax bill, ranked

A little less than 30 cents of every $1 in property taxes charged in New Jersey support municipal services provided by cities, towns, townships, boroughs and villages. Statewide, the average municipal-only tax bill in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from more than $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to $9.22 billion in municipal purpose taxes, special taxing districts that in some places provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development levied $323.8 million in 2021.