The 10 Best New Jersey Hiking Spots (And How To Recover The Day After)

Although New Jersey is nestled between two of the country’s most populous urban centers, there’s nature all around us too. Sure, you can easily drive to the big city, but you’ll likely find plenty of gorgeous hiking spots even closer to home. 

Of course, a day at the Garden State’s best hiking spots often means soreness not long after, and our CBD products here at Core Roots can help with that. Our topicals, gummies, and capsules can assist in your recovery after you hike any of New Jersey’s most beloved hikes, including the following.

1. Ramapo Reservation

When you visit Bergen County’s Ramapo Reservation, you’ll hike along a stunning mountain brook and pass a breathtaking waterfall. If you’re the fishing type, bring your line and bait to catch some “breezers” in the Ramapo River, Scarlet Oak Pond, or MacMillan Reservoir. If not, hop into your canoe, kayak, or raft instead. You can also stay dry and stick to the trails, which can connect you to the adjoining state forest and park.

2. Apshawa Preserve

Another Bergen County highlight, the Apshawa Preserve includes five miles of marked trails near the Butler Reservoir. Among these trails are the 1.6-mile red trail, the 1.7-mile green trail, and the shorter 0.5-mile yellow trail. To get started, reach the red trail by taking the 1-mile blue trail from the parking lot – once you’ve finished the red trail, you’ll have entirely lapped the reservoir.

3. Hacklebarney State Park

In Morris County not too far from Parsippany, you’ll find Hacklebarney State Park. When you reach the middle of Hacklebarney, you’ll see the Black River, with massive boulders and plenty of waterfalls flanking the sides. Follow the trail to reach the river’s end, where – if you’ve worked up a sweat on a summer hike – you can take a dip for a quick cooldown. Or, if you’re visiting in October or November, enjoy the diverse colors of the fallen leaves lining the trails.

4. Sourland Mountain

Roughly equidistant from New Brunswick, Flemington, and Princeton lies Sourland Mountain. Despite its sour name, this beloved New Jersey hiking destination is a sweet spot for small parks and access points for hiking, mountain biking, and bird-watching. In some parts of the preserve, you can safely climb rocks as well. 

5. Buttermilk Falls

Buttermilk Falls – sounds appetizing, right? This top-tier Morris County hiking spot is indeed a sensory feast, but it’s less about taste than sight and sound. After climbing an elaborate staircase, you’ll get unparalleled views of one of the Garden State’s most alluring waterfalls, and below these stairs, you can find paths to Crater Lake, Hemlock Pond, and even the Appalachian Trail. Bring walking sticks and your best shoes – this one can get challenging.

6. Stairway to Heaven

Contrary to what classic rock taught you, you can’t buy a Stairway to Heaven, but you can visit one in Vernon Township. This 2.9-mile trail is rife with wildflowers, and it’s often just as overflowing with hikers (and their dogs) since it’s open year-round. As its name suggests, you’ll have a bit of a climb, but hikers don’t usually rank this trail as exceptionally challenging – that’s a distinction reserved for a different set of stairs. 

7. The Giant Stairs

These stairs aren’t just for climbing. The Giant Stairs in Alpine require scrambling, too – nearly a mile of it. Of course, you’ll get a bit of a break when you hit the flat parts, but when it comes time to scramble, make sure you have somewhere to store your trekking poles. Scrambling the Giant Stairs means – literally and figuratively – all hands on deck.

8. Mount Tammany

Right across from the Poconos in Knowlton Township, you’ll find one of the most challenging hikes in New Jersey. Mount Tammany is 1,526 feet tall, and at its highest point, it offers breathtaking views of the Delaware Water Gap. You can access it from the Appalachian Trail in Worthington State Forest or via the western slopes of the Mount Tammany Trail. Bring a camera – we’re confident you’ll want to take pictures of this one.

9. Stonetown Circular

Stonetown Circular may well be the Garden State’s most strenuous hike. This Ringwood, NJ trail is a 10-mile excursion through five mountains: Windbeam, Bear, Board, Harrison, and Tory Rocks. Not only will this hike give you a thorough workout, but you’ll also get unforgettable views of the Wanaque and Monksville Reservoirs. Speaking of reservoirs, if you want a more moderate hike without heading all the way north, we have one more idea for you.

10. Manasquan Reservoir

In Howell, NJ, you’ll find a 5.1-mile, moderately challenging trail spanning the Manasquan Reservoir. You can also find a shorter 1.1-mile, foot-traffic-only trail near the reservoir’s environmental center. If you stick to the main trail, you can bike the path, or you can take a boat or kayak out to fish. No matter how you plan your day here – or at any of the other popular New Jersey hiking spots on this list – you should be prepared for the recovery that follows.

How CBD helps after hiking the New Jersey greats

Hiking is fun, but it isn’t always easy. Your legs often put in work on the trails, and on especially strenuous hikes, you might get a full-body workout. And like all exercise, a recovery period involving soreness and perhaps some aches might follow. Core Roots For Life CBD products here can help enhance and support recovery the day after your New Jersey hike.

Once you’ve completed your hike (don’t forget to stretch!), apply a CBD topical like our CBD body balm or cooling gel at sites of soreness to soothe your muscles. Try CBD capsules to support recovery as your muscles heal. Be sure to take them around 1 hour before your hike, as capsules make their way throughout your bloodstream before you feel the effects. Or use our CBD products to calm any part of your body that feels unbalanced after a hike – your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) will kick into gear as CBD boosts your body’s natural supply of endocannabinoids.

To find the best CBD product for your post-hike recovery, visit the Core Roots shop to explore our topicals, capsules, and gummies. We test all our products with third-party labs to ensure quality – and improve your chances of a post-hike recovery so swift you’ll be back on the trail again before you know it.

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