First Day Hikes in the NJ State Parks - 1/1/2020

Updated: May 16, 2020 Short URL: gonj.me/fdhike19

The New Jersey State Park Service is hosting 29 hikes, 1 mountain bike ride and 1 horseback ride in state parks, forests and historic sites on New Years Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes program. These free First Day Hikes offer a great incentive to get outside, exercise, experience history, enjoy nature, and celebrate the New Year with friends and family in one of your state parks.

Here are a few events we think sound great! For a list of all the events, pleaseClick Here.

Please Note:Many events require registration. Please view the main 1st Daywebsite for more information.


view by: County Location Name View On Map


Atlantic County, Burlington County, Cape May County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Sussex County


Atlantic County


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Wharton State Forest

Hammonton, Atlantic County, NJ

Multiple Outings!

Batsto Mountain Bike Ride

Come out and join us for a brisk cross-country mountain bike ride through the Pinelands of Wharton State Forest. Be ready to pedal up some short hills!

Bike Info:
Easy pace ~ 10 miles.
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
11:00 a.m. 1:30 p.m.
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html
Batsto Village Walk

Start your new year with a family history walk through Batsto Village.

Hike Info:
Easy ~ 1.5 miles
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
110:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html
Wharton State Forest/Atsion Recreation Area

Start the New Year right! Get into the outdoors. Join the Outdoor Club of South Jersey on their hike into our beautiful Pine Barrens.

Hike Info:
Moderate pace ~ 6 miles
Registration Required:
No
Time:
10:00 a.m. 2:30 p.m.
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Burlington County


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Brendan T. Byrne State Forest

New Lisbon, Burlington County, NJ

An enjoyable start to the new year begins with an introduction to the NJCF Michael Huber Preserve on Sooy Place Rd for a 2-mile hike through a variety of habitats. A good chance to see some winter birding and tree identification along the floodplain of the Burrs Mill Brook. Follow that with a short 5+ mile drive to Pakim Pond Picnic Pavilion where you may finish your morning with a group lunch and a chance to relax..AND/OR add a second short hike to your day with a stroll around the pond, camera in hand to document the birds, plants and beautiful scenery that you will witness at this location.

Hike Info:
Easy~ 2 miles
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
10 AM - 1 PM
Address:
P.O. Box 215, New Lisbon, NJ 08064
Phone:
(609) 726-1191
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Cape May County


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Belleplain State Forest

Woodbine, Cape May County, NJ

Join us for a hike in the Warren Grove Recreation Area which encompasses the Little Pine Plains and the Pygmy Pines the worlds largest acreage of this globally rare forest community. Portions of the hike will be through places where the mature trees are scarcely taller than the hikers themselves and in some places are not. The hike will traverse several ridges that will provide views of the surrounding area.

Hike Info:
Moderate ~ 3.5 miles.
Registration Required:
No
Time:
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Address:
1 Henkinsifkin Road, Woodbine, NJ 08270
Phone:
(609) 861-2404
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Hudson County


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Liberty State Park

Jersey City, Hudson County, NJ

Please join us on a 3-mile, leisurely hike to Caven Point Beach. Come explore the manmade and natural shoreline of the Upper NY Bay, with unique views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Skyline. Well also explore the unique features of Caven Point Beach. Check in will be at the Park Office located at 200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305. Free parking is available.

Hike Info:
Easy to Moderate ~ 3 miles
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Address:
Freedom Way,, Jersey City, NJ 07305
Phone:
(201) 915-3403
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Hunterdon County


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Round Valley Recreation Area

Lebanon, Hunterdon County, NJ

Whatever you did the night before, this is your chance to get outdoors in New Jersey and start 2019 off on the right foot. We will hike either the Cushetunk or Water Trail and look for signs of new life as the year begins.

Hike Info:
Easy to moderate ~ 3 miles
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Address:
1220 Lebanon-Stanton Road, Lebanon, New Jersey 08833
Phone:
(908) 236-6355
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Spruce Run Recreation Area

Clinton, Hunterdon County, NJ

Join us for this point to point hike featuring some of the newest sections of the Warren Highlands Trail through Phillipsburg, Lopatcong, and Harmony Townships in Warren County NJ.

The route features scenic vistas, historic sites, mixed hardwood forests, pleasant back roads, and pastoral settings. Depending on snow cover, some alternative back road routes might be taken to alleviate more difficult sections. Included in this hike are the beautiful Ragged Ridge, Van Nest-Hoff-Vanatta Farmstead, historic Hoffman Farm, Merrill Creek Reservoir, Marble Hill, and various other outlooks.

Hike Info:
Difficult ~ 15 miles
Registration Required:
No
Time:
9:00 a.m.
Address:
68 Van Syckel's Road, Clinton, New Jersey 08809
Phone:
(908) 638-8572
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Mercer County


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Washington Crossing State Park (NJ)

Titusville, Mercer County, NJ

Multiple Outings!

Washington Crossing State Park/Johnson Ferry House

A guided walk of the route taken by the 'stuff' of the Continental Army on Christmas Night, 1776 across the Delaware River into New Jersey. Sights and stops include the Washington Crossing Bridge, the Nelson House, the Ferry Boat replica, the pedestrian bridge, overlook, the Stone Barn, and the Johnson Ferry House.

Hike Info:
Interpretive Tour/Easy to Moderate ~ 1.2 mile
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html
Family Nature Hike and Tomahawk Throw

Come out for a short-guided winter walk in the park. After the hike try your hand at sticking a small hand ax into a wooden target at a range of about 15 ft. Maybe hit a bulls-eye.

Hike Info:
Easy~ 1 mile
Registration Required:
No
Time:
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Middlesex County


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Cheesequake State Park

Old Bridge, Middlesex County, NJ

Join us for a guided hike on the trails of Cheesequake to celebrate the New Year.

Hike Info:
Moderate ~ 2 miles
Registration Required:
No
Time:
1:00 p.m. - 3p.m.
Address:
300 Gordon Road, Matawan, NJ 07747
Phone:
(732) 566-2161
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Monmouth County


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Monmouth Battlefield State Park

Manalapan, Monmouth County, NJ

Walk the ground where Molly Pitcher fought at Monmouth! Meet Dr. David Martin, President of the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield, at the Visitor Center for an overview of the Battle of Monmouth, then drive approx. 2 miles (in your own vehicle) to the northern section of the Park, and walk along the American lines to the position of Proctors Artillery and other sites associated with Molly Pitcher. Finish with a visit to the likely site of Molly Pitcher's 'well.' The length of this interpretive tour is subject to change depending on weather and conditions. The tour is over open fields and hills and includes detailed information about troop movements at the Battle of Monmouth.

Hike Info:
Moderate ~ 2 miles.
Registration Required:
Recommended
Time:
11 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Address:
Manalapan Township, NJ 07726, USA
Phone:
(732) 462-9616
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Twin Lights Historic Site

Highlands, Monmouth County, NJ

Make a resolution and start your new year right by celebrating history atop the North Tower at Twin Lights! The North Tower will be open between the hours of 10:00-2:00 for a self-guided walk up the 64 steps to amazing views. Please bring along binoculars and warm clothes as the tower is not heated.

Hike Info:
Easy- 64 steps
Registration Required:
No
Time:
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Address:
Lighthouse Road, Highlands, New Jersey 07732
Phone:
732-872-1814
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Ocean County


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Barnegat Light House

Barnegat Light, Ocean County, NJ

A hike led by Greg Prelich and Jeanine Apgar to look for winter birds along the jetty at Barnegat Light State Park.There are many winter ducks, scoters and sandpipers at this time of year, and we will try to get good looks at them through a scope.

Hike Info:
Easy~ 2 miles
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Address:
Barnegat Light, New Jersey 08006
Phone:
(609) 494-2016
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Bass River State Forest

Tuckerton, Ocean County, NJ

Join us for a hike in the Warren Grove Recreation Area which encompasses the Little Pine Plains and the Pygmy Pines the worlds largest acreage of this globally rare forest community. Portions of the hike will be through places where the mature trees are scarcely taller than the hikers themselves and in some places are not. The hike will traverse several ridges that will provide views of the surrounding area.

Hike Info:
Easy-moderate ~ 5 miles
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Address:
Burlington and Ocean Counties, New Jersey
Phone:
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Double Trouble State Park

Berkeley, Ocean County, NJ

Join us New Years Day for leisurely jaunt along the Mill Pond Trail and the picturesque clear waters of Cedar Creek. Well finish our morning with a guided tour of Double Trouble Village including inside a century-old sawmill and cranberry packing house.

Hike Info:
Easy ~ 1.5 miles
Registration Required:
No
Time:
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Address:
581 Pinewald Keswick Road, Bayville, NJ 08721
Phone:
(732) 341-6662
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Forest Resource Education Center

Jackson, Ocean County, NJ

Join us for an easy 1 hour, 1 mile walk of the NJ State Tree Farm in Jackson, New Jersey. We will explore some trails ,view the tree farm and see our NJ Tree Seed Bank followed by a visit to the Education Center for Hot Chocolate.

Hike Info:
Easy ~ 1 mile
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Address:
495 Don Connor Boulevard,, Jackson, NJ 08527
Phone:
(732) 928-0987
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Island Beach State Park

Seaside Park, Ocean County, NJ

Ring in the New Year at beautiful Island Beach State Park! Join the Friends of IBSP for a scenic walk down the beach. Walk is approximately 1 mile out and back, but feel free to turn back at anytime. Winter is a great time to experience the natural beauty of the IBSP! Bonfire and smores to follow, weather permitting.

Hike Info:
Easy ~ 2 miles
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Address:
Island Beach, New Jersey 08008
Phone:
(732) 793-0506
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Passaic County


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Ringwood State Park

Ringwood, Passaic County, NJ

Two self-guided family friendly hikes in the State Park woodlands at the NJ State Botanical Garden. Weather permitting; you can climb to the Mt. Defiance overlook on the Halifax trail and return, or choose our alternate hike without a climb. This annual event is a joint project of State Park staff and volunteers from the NJBG/Skylands Association. Meet at the Carriage House Visitor Center at NJBG between 1pm and 2pm. Map and hike directions will be provided at the start. Allow about 90 minutes for the hike.

Hike Info:
Easy to moderate ~1 or 3 miles.
Registration Required:
No
Time:
1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Address:
1304 Sloatsburg Rd, Ringwood, New Jersey 07456
Phone:
(973) 962-7031
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Wawayanda State Park

Hewitt, Passaic County, NJ

Wawayanda State Parks first annual First Day Hike! This is a great opportunity to kick off a healthy New Year with friends and family exploring your neighborhood park! We are offering two options - a moderate hike, or an easy family-oriented hike. Please join us in celebrating the outdoors!

Hike Info:
Easy to Moderate: One hike is a family friendly 2.5 mile hike and the other is more moderate 7 mile hike
Registration Required:
Recommended
Time:
10:00 a.m.
Address:
Sussex, Passaic and Morris Counties
Phone:
(973) 853-4462
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Sussex County


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High Point State Park

Sussex, Sussex County, NJ

Come and join us for our Third Annual High Point 'First Day Challenge' Hike. This will be a great way to start off the new year and get in some exercise. The first, more rugged half of the hike will be on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in scenic High Point State Park. The return will be on the easier Iris Trail, a well-graded, old wagon road. There will be numerous scenic views along the AT on the ridge. Maximum elevation =1600 ft Minimum elevation =1300 ft. Members of NJ Search and Rescue will be along to assist.

Hike Info:
Difficult to Strenuous ~ 6 miles
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
10:00 a.m.
Address:
1480 Route 23, Sussex, New Jersey 07461
Phone:
(973) 875-4800
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Kittatinny Valley State Park

Newton, Sussex County, NJ

Multiple Outings!

Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail (extension of Kittatinny Valley State Park) - Blairstown

Wednesday January 1, 2020 - 35th Annual New Years Day Hike. Join the Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee (PVTC) at 10:00AM for their 34th Annual New Years Day Hike starting at Footbridge Park in Blairstown, NJ. The PVTC, the Officially Recognized Friends Organization of the Kittatinny Valley State Park, will host the hike. The trail is cinder-based which provides easy, level walking.

Hike Info:
Moderate ~ 4.5 miles.
Registration Required:
No
Time:
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html
Kittatinny Valley State Park - Andover

Calling all flappers, gangsters, and good old-fashioned fun-seekers to start the new decade off right with a brisk 2.5-mile walk in the park to stretch your legs and soak in the winter scenery with friends. Complimentary coffee, tea, and light refreshments served afterwards.

Hike Info:
Easy~2.5 miles
Registration Required:
No
Time:
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html
First Day Horseback Ride - Paulinskill Valley Rail Trails - Newtown

Horse rig parking is available near the trail at the Creamery Commercial Complex, Universal Supplies 45 US Route 206, Augusta and also at the Clearance center at Yetters Diner, 89 US Route 206, Augusta. Please contact Carolyn at cmoran789@gmail.com for further information. All riders are invited to gather at Yetters Diner for lunch to meet other riders and discuss upcoming clinic and activities for 2020.

Hike Info:
Easy ~ 3miles (depending on weather)
Registration Required:
Recommended
Time:
11:00 or 1:00 starting times (or come on your own)
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html


Stokes State Forest

Branchville, Sussex County, NJ

Join us in kicking off 2020 with the first hike of the year! Ring in the New Year right by getting outdoors and enjoying our public lands. During a 3.5 mile hike, well go past waterfalls and historic sites while searching for wildlife along the way.

Hike Info:
Moderate~3.5 miles
Registration Required:
Yes
Time:
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Address:
1 Coursen Road, Branchville, New Jersey 07826
Phone:
(973) 948-3820
More Info:
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/first_day_hikes.html

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