With the summer heat dissipating, sunshine accenting the changing colors, and pumpkin spice flavoring everywhere you look, what better time is there to explore the outdoor wonders of Warren County?
Take a relaxing moment away from the hustle and bustle next to a calming spring, or enjoy a breathtaking view at the peak of an unexplored hiking trail. Warren County has waterways for kayaking and hidden paths waiting to be discovered on foot. There is something for any outdoor adventurer in Northwest New Jersey.
Don’t know where to go first? Here are three options to get you started:
Jenny Jump State Forest, 330 State Park Road, Great Meadows
With 14 miles of hiking trails for a variety of fitness levels, Jenny Jump State Forest‘s 4,400 acres of wilderness pretty much guarantees a true nature experience. Whether staying overnight in the park’s camping area, which includes limited shelter accommodations, or just visiting for the day for some bass fishing, mountain biking, or a climb up Summit Trail to see the sweeping fall foliage, the trip to Jenny Jump is worth it. Pro Tip: Astronomy programs are held at the observatory most Saturdays from April through October. See the events schedule at uacnj.org.
Stephens State Park, 800 Willow Grove Street, Hackettstown
If a chilly fall evening in front of a campfire, telling spooky Halloween stories is your idea of a good time, the campsites at Stephens State Park are open through Oct. 31. During the day, the family-friendly park features six miles of trails, seasonal trout fishing in the Musconetcong, picnic areas with playground equipment, and a full schedule of historical and nature programs. Pro Tip: Looking for more of a challenge? Rock climbing is available, with a signed waiver, nearby on Waterloo Road.
White Lake Natural Resource Area, 120 Stillwater Rd., Blairstown
This gem is calling to anyone looking for a relaxing place to get in some late-season kayaking or canoeing. In addition to the beautiful crystal blue 69-acre lake, which is spring fed, White Lake Natural Resource Area features easy walking paths along an array of habitats including meadows, hemlock forests, and sinkhole ponds. There is plenty for visitors to look at, from rare plants to wildlife (including goliath snapping turtles), and remnants of historical buildings. The resource area is owned by Warren County. The Nature Conservancy acts as steward.
Spending time outdoors has been proven to be beneficial to your health. According to the Harvard Health Letter, Vitamin D, which is gained from sun exposure (preferably with proper sun safety precautions), is a natural way to help fight disease, including promoting heart health and combating depression. And no one doubts the benefits of raising the heartbeat with a brisk walk or hike.
So what are you waiting for? Head out and explore Warren County’s outdoor spaces today. Then let us know your favorite spot in the comments!