Top Spots for Fall Foliage in New Jersey
Image Source: www.njskylands.com
By Taylor Smith
New Jersey offers excellent opportunities for leaf peeping throughout the autumn months. Both farmland and forest come alive during the months of October and November with vibrant, fiery hues. Scenic beauty in picnic spots abounds, so grab your hiking shoes and flannel for a fun-filled weekend.
Delaware Water Gap
Spanning 70,000 acres in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the Delaware Water Gap offers fishing, hiking, canoeing, and more. The region signifies where the Delaware River cuts through a large ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. A northern deciduous forest cloaks the slopes of the Delaware Water Gap. Hardwood species comprise ash, elm, cherry, walnut, birch, sycamore, and beech. Coniferous species include eastern white pine, pitch pine, eastern red cedar, and eastern hemlock.
New Jersey Lighthouses
There are 11 major lighthouses in the state of New Jersey stretching from Cape May County up to Liberty State Park. The mild autumn weather in Southern New Jersey prevents fall foliage from peaking until around mid-November. That being said, Cape May’s bucolic landscape offers a combination of seaside and farmland views. In addition, it’s possible to climb to the top of some area lighthouses.
Palisades Interstate Park
Bergen County’s Palisades Interstate Park is defined by dramatic cliffs (some are as tall as 540 feet). The portion of the park near the George Washington Bridge offers numerous hikes of varying difficulties (plan on most routes taking 2 hours or more). The fall foliage in Bergen County is often dense and impressive, coupled with views of New York and the Hudson River.
Passaic County’s Skyline Drive is a 5.84-mile-long road between Oakland and Ringwood. The road passes through the Ramapo Mountains and offers fleeting views of Manhattan (20 miles away). The road is frequently steep and sometimes impassible by mid-winter, so fall is an ideal time to visit.
Black River & Western Railroad
The Black River & Western Railroad operates a 70-minute train ride through Hunterdon County’s Lambertville, Ringoes, Flemington, and Three Bridges. The seasonal Pumpkin Trains start the last weekend of September and include a trip to Everitt Farms with pumpkin picking, sweet treats, and a corn maze. For details on upcoming train schedules, visit www.blackriverrailroad.com.