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10 National Parks In New Jersey That Are All About History, Nature & Recreation

The Garden State, as New Jersey is fondly called by its citizens as well as its visitors, offers various places of attractions, none as beautiful as the national parks in New Jersey, maintained by the National Park Service. Some of the best national parks in New Jersey are easily accessible and are the perfect weekend getaways for your family. Planning a weekend trip is a time-consuming exercise so we have simplified that by curating a list of National Parks in New Jersey, which covers everything nature and history has to offer. These well-maintained parks are a source of endless joy and excitement, so don’t wait any longer and head out to these awe-inspiring sites.

Take a look at the best national parks in New Jersey that offer a glimpse into the history of the city and offer an adventurous experience!

1. Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Thomas Edison National Historical Park

If you are a person who is fascinated by the applications of science in your day-to-day life, there is no better place to start than this historical national park which houses Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory. Visit the place where the famed inventor set upon to create some of the greatest inventions known to mankind. Discover the origins of sound recording and find out whether you can recreate some of Edison’s famous experiments at this historical site. Consider visiting the Black Maria, the first film production studio in the United States, which is situated within this sprawling complex.

Location: West Orange, New Jersey
Timings: Wednesday through Sundays; 10 am to 4 pm
Entry fee: $15.00 for adults; Under 16 years old free
Best time to visit: Any time of the year

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2. Morristown National Historical Park

Morristown National Historical Park

Visit this historical place where the beginnings of the United States independence were scripted. The Morristown National Park commemorates the site where George Washington, one of the founding fathers of the USA along with his Continental army encamped during one of the coldest winters ever recorded. Explore the museum within the premises, which is entirely devoted to him and contains items of importance in Pre-Revolutionary America. Don’t miss out on the wonderful collection of books present in the in-house library.

Location: Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey
Timings: Mondays through Sundays; 8 am to 8 pm
Entry fee: Free
Best time to visit: Any time of the year

3. Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

Paterson Great Falls View

Paterson, the first planned industrial town in America, also is the home for the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. Located in the middle of the town, these magnificent falls along with its park system are the center of attraction for this entire city. The sight of the falls surrounded by the ruins of the mills of the once-industrial town is a sight to behold.

Location: Paterson, Passaic County, New Jersey
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset
Entry fee: Free
Best time to visit: July-August

4. New Jersey Pinelands Reserve

New Jersey Pinelands Reserve

New Jersey is known for many firsts, one amongst them is this Biosphere reserve, which was the first to be set up in the year of 1978. One word to describe this place is “Gigantic”. Covering an area of approximately 1.1 million acres of forests, farms, and wetlands, the reserve is also the home to the Great Egg Harbour National Wild and Scenic River system, which is the best place in New Jersey for all outdoors-lovers. One of the lesser known National Parks in New Jersey, camping is a favourite time-pass engaged by the visitors.

Location: New Lisbon, New Jersey
Timings: Open all throughout the year
Entry fee: Free
Best time to visit: Any time of the year

5. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

National Recreation Area

One look at the map of national parks in new jersey is all that is required to make you want to take that road trip to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. A paradise for hikers, rafters, kayakers, fishermen and a whole lot of others, this natural wonder is held in high esteem by the citizens of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is a 70,000 acres-park alongside the Delaware River and is also constantly growing in size thanks to Mother Nature. The national park is always buzzing with wildlife such as the otters, the coyotes, and the grizzly bears.

Location: 1978 River Road, Bushkill, PA 18324
Timings: Open all throughout the year
Entry fee: Free
Best time to visit: Any time of the year

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6. Sandy Hook – Gateway National Recreation Area

Sandy Hook

The Gateway National Recreation Area is a 27,000 acres-park, which covers two States – New York and New Jersey and is accessible from Sandy Hook, New Jersey. There are several activities that one can pursue here such as swimming, hiking, biking for which the amenities are world-class. Also, do not forget to take the tour to the Lighthouse. A visit to Sandy Hook is incomplete if one does not see the historic Fort Hancock. There is good news for all those bird-watchers as this is a perfect spot to catch some of our avian friends.

Location: Sandy Hook, Middletown, New Jersey
Timings: Open all throughout the year
Entry fee: Only parking fees of $15.00
Best time to visit: Any time of the year

7. Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The famed Appalachian Mountains passes through the State of New Jersey. This means that the iconic Appalachian National Scenic Trail also passes through this state, which is precisely a 72-mile stretch starting from the Delaware Water Gap, continues along the Kittatinny Ridge and the Pochuck Valley to High Point along the New York Border. Every hiker’s dream, there are some amazing sights to be captured along this trail which is under the care of the National Park Services.

Location: Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey
Timings: Open all throughout the year
Entry fee: Free
Best time to visit: From late-April through early-June; During months of September and October

8. Ellis Island

Ellis Island

Ellis Island, part of the famous Statue of Liberty national monument, houses a museum which tells the tales of the first immigrants to the United States during the period from 1892 through 1954 who walked passed the now quiet halls of the museum. There are passenger arrival records still maintained here and head out there to check for your ancestors. This museum serves as an important historical site to know all about the great American Dream.

Location: Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, via Ferry from Jersey City
Timings: 9.30 am to 3.30 pm: on all days
Entry fee: Free; Visit statuecruises.com for booking a Ferry ride
Best time to visit: Any time of the year

9. Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail

There is no love lost between New Jersey and its role in the United States’ independence. Walk along this trail that runs from Rhode Island to Virginia and retraces the steps taken by the Continental army led by Washington and the French army led by General Rochambeau to fight the colonial British troops. This trial truly celebrates the saying, “Unity in Diversity” and should not be missed by history buffs.

Location: Accessible from multiple locations
Timings: Open all throughout the year
Entry fee: Free
Best time to visit: Any time of the year

10. Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area

Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area

New Jersey is well-known for its many contributions in America’s war of Independence and commemorating those achievements, guided tours of historic battlefields, landmarks, mansions are given in this heritage area. This is the perfect place to understand how the state of New Jersey survived and helped America get its independence.

Location: Trenton, New Jersey
Timings: Wednesdays through Sundays; 9.30 am to 5 pm
Entry fee: Visit http://revolutionarynj.org/ for tour details
Best time to visit: Any time of the year

The National Park Service, which either administers or protects the above-mentioned sites, have made tremendous efforts in ensuring that the visitors are able to connect with the history and the nature of New Jersey. So, what are you waiting for? Plan a trip to US and head out to these national parks in New Jersey to enjoy the perfect weekend with your loved ones.

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