Parks and Local Attractions
New Jersey has hundreds of thousands of acres dedicated to parks and green spaces. The state oversees 39 state parks, 11 forests, and 57 historic sites. These locations provide visitors and New Jersey residents alike many great opporunities to enjoy all that nature has to offer.
Appalachian National Scenic TrailThe Appalachian Mountains stretch across the eastern seaboard from Maine to Georgia. The Appalachian Trail, opened in 1937, is a 2174-mile footpath. It follows major valleys of the mountains and up along the ridge crests. The trail attracts many hikers, some even hike the entire tail in one season. Each year more than 4,000 volunteers give over 185000 hours of time and effort to keep the trail open.
Liberty State Park
The Liberty State Park is on the New York Harbor. The waterfront was a major industrial area, with a very detailed freight and passenger network in the 1800's and early 1900's. The Park also features the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal that includes a two-mile promenade. It attracts over four million visitors a year. The park has also aided in the development of New Jersey's metropolitan area. Transforming old railroads and industial buildings into this park in 1976 has definitely been a positive thing for this area.
Water Gap National Recreation Area
This beautifully preserved area encompasses nearly 70,000 acres of scenic features. Stretching the New Jersey and Pennsylvania shores to the Appalachian Mountains and providing an amazing view of the Delaware Water Gap. There are tours, cross country skiing, horseback riding and more. It is a great place to go and enjoy the great and picturesque outdoors.
Ellis IslandThis historic site is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. It features a museum that is dedicated to the importance of the island for a trip through American history as well as the infamous Statue of Liberty. The museum provides a documentary film on a continuous basis as well as a research library that contains materials of the history of the island and the events occurred there. Officially closing in 1954 and becoming part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965. Come here and see the sights like they were all those years ago.
Morristown National Historical ParkGeneral George Washington used this site during the Revolutionary war in the late 1700's for shelter. This national parks consists of four units: Washington's Headquaters with the Ford Mansion and Museum, the Jockey Hollow Unit, the Fort Nonsense Unit, and the New Jersey Brigade Area. The Jockey Hollow Unit includes reconstructed solder huts and about 27 miles of walking trails. The Washington's Headquarters Museum is undergoing a major expansion project that is scheduled to be reopened in 2007. The Fort Mansion Unit was used by Washington; the whole site is a very important part of U.S. history.
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New Jersey Pinelands National ReserveThe Pinelands is a special place that provides a habitat for over a thousand different plants and animals, including about 100 of which are threatened or endangered. As a United States Biosphere, this national reserve also provides a research program that integrates the social, physical and biological sciences so that it can promote a harmonious relationship between humans and their environment. They are promoting growth and looking for more room to expand.
Sandy Hook Park
The Sandy Hook Park includes 1665 acres and seven miles of ocean and bay beaches and offers tours, hiking and natural areas. The Sandy Hook Lighthouse, which is the oldest in service in the U.S., is also a big part of Sandy Hook Park and has a unique style. The historic Fort Hancock, which was originally built to protect New York Harbor, defended the harbor from 1895 until 1974. The large sandbar also used to provide a useful docking station for ships in the past. Its an isolated area with many old buildings to explore. There is much to see here, so plan a day trip.
Jersey ShoreThe famous Jersey Shore runs along the New Jersey coastline, imagine 127 miles of white sandy beaches. Here visitors can enjoy water activities, sand sculpting, and even nature walks in the protected wetlands. There is so much to see no matter what the weather is like. Amusement parks, aquariums, antiques, train stops, galleries, raceways, cruises, zoos...the list goes on and on. Walk along the boardwalk and see the sights.
Manasquan includes pristine beaches and many great activities for family outings. The historic site was first settled in the late 1600's. The weather is ideal almost all year round, which makes this location the perfect destination any time of the year. There are rental cottages, sports, and a little town nearby for shopping and eating. There is even a museum to explore the location's history. The town prides itself on its high moral standards and excellent community.