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Best Places to Go Hiking in Rockland and Bergen Counties

Best Places to Go Hiking in Rockland and Bergen Counties

Go on an amazing nature adventure with your family at these nearby hiking trails


Living in Bergen and Rockland Counties, we are so lucky to have access to so many incredible trails and hikes. With the weather getting a little nicer, we are excited to share some nearby places – for both novice and new hikers – to explore in and around the area with your family.  Happy exploring.

BERGEN COUNTY
 

Stairway to Heaven: The name alone is pretty impressive and is also known as one of the best hikes to view New Jersey’s Pinwheel’s Vista. This includes a journey –aka via a Stairway to Heaven–through boardwalks, a suspension bridge, hardwood forest, fields of wildflowers, train tracks, a pasture, and boulders before you get to the final majestic view. At approximately 7.3 miles (round trip), the hike is definitely for older kids and their families who can climb a somewhat rugged and rocky terrain. However, there are parts of the hike (flat boardwalks) that make it easier for younger kids for a modified, shorter hike at 2.0 miles. Pochuck Mountain, Vernon Township, NJ 07462.

Flat Rock Brook Nature Association: A 150-acre nature preserve in Englewood, NJ, families will enjoy this educational center where they can also enjoy a moderate hike at 3.6 miles. This includes access to a stream, wetlands, pond, and forested meadows. The grounds also include a playground, access to the Nature Preserve Center, and seven different looped hikes to explore. 443 Van Nostrand Avenue Englewood, NJ 07631

Atkins Glen Park: A shorter hike at 1.7 miles, the hike is located near Park Ridge, New Jersey and features beautiful scenery. The park has been preserved by former owners James Leach and, later, Daniel H. Atkins, and later given to the Boroughs of Park Ridge and Woodcliff Lake. Hikers will enjoy both rocky and smooth paths, water banks and streams, and forests. 26 Bear Brook Road, Park Ridge, NJ 07656

Ramapo Valley County Reservation: Located in Bergen County Park, this hike features five loop trails that start with a two-mile radius from the parking lot. A popular hike for families and dogs, hikers will enjoy soaking in the beauty of nature with stunning panoramic views, a reservoir, and a waterfall. 608 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah, NJ 07430

Abram S. Hewitt State Forest: A 10-mile hike, families will enjoy views of gorgeous mountain ridges, rocky outcrops, upland swaps, colorful bedrock, and forest. The forest is quite majestic – untouched and only reachable by foot. This is one of the more challenging hikes that ends with a beautiful view along Greenwood Lake. Additionally, the forest includes 6 miles of the Appalachian Trail that meanders through the peaceful forest. West Milford, NJ 07421.

Palisades Interstate Park: A 12-mile hike encompassing 2,500 acres, this hike is not far from NYC or Westchester that offers access to beautiful views such as cliffs, shorefront. Offering 30 miles of trails  – including many rugged ones – it’s advisable to plan your route before you go. The easy trail is probably ideal for younger kids that loops around in about two hours – going up to an 8-mile challenging hike. The grounds are also accessible on some hikes via bikes as well as offering picnic tables and use of the water for fishing or kayaking. Alpine, NJ 07620.

Garret Mountain Reservation: Located in Paterson and Woodland Park, Garret Mountain Reservation offers access to 568-acres and incredible views of northern New Jersey and the NYC skyline – at 500-feet above sea level. Additional points of interest on your hike include the historic Lambert Castle, Lambert Observation Tower, and of course hiking trails that range from 0.7 to 3.1 miles. Woodland Park Woodland Park, NJ 07424.

Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve:  A beautiful hike that loops around the Upper Lake and Lower Pond as well as Basalt Beach and designed bridges. The preserve also offers access to fishing (with a New Jersey State license), a picnic area, and the use of kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards. 1 Nature Preserve Way, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417.



https://www.tenaflynaturecenter.org/: A dense, rugged forest, you won’t find smooth, narrow paths here. However, the Lost Brook Preserve is a fun way for families to explore and better understand the natural terrain. This includes rocks that cover trails, boulders, and foot bridges over streams. They also host tons of events throughout the year such as a scavenger hunt, maple sugaring, and more. 313 Hudson Avenue, Tenafly, NJ 07670.

ROCKLAND COUNTY

Bear Mountain State Park: A popular attraction, Bear Mountain State Park offers access to 52,000-acres, ranging from mild-to-moderate hikes. This includes gorgeous scenery, forested backdrops, and 235 miles of trails as well as 18 miles of the Appalachian trail. Additionally, families can enjoy access to a large field, shaded picnic areas, fishing access, a swimming pool, and even tie in a visit to the Trailside Museums and Zoo. You can also enjoy their on-site ice skating rink (during the winter) or a ride – or two – around their acclaimed Merry-Go-Round.  Palisades Parkway or Route 9W North, Bear Mountain, NY 10911.

Tallman Mountain State Park:  Overlooking the Hudson and Piermont Marsh, Tallman Mountain State Park offers access to 700-acres and two trails. This includes a wooded hike ranging from 2.5 to 5 miles, depending on what loop you take. The park also offers access to a swimming pool, track, tennis courts, field, and picnic areas. Route 9W, Sparkill, NY 1097.

Sterling Forest State Park: Offering access to the woodlands, Sterling Forest State Park is an explorers’ paradise with over 22 acres of natural refuge and a deep-forested habitat for many animals such as the black bear, hawks, and many birds. The park also offers access to hunting and fishing and a visitor center where you and your family can learn more about the park’s local environment. 116 Old Forge Road Tuxedo Park, NY 10987.

Hook Mountain State Park: A part of the Palisades Interstate Park system, Hook Mountain offers 7.5-miles of trails that follows along the Hudson River. An uphill hike, there are three connecting and circular loops to the Long Path that is known to be a little difficult. However, there are varying lengths with the longest being around 12 miles. Enjoy views of NYC, and of course the river.  Nyack Beach State Park, 698 North Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960.

Buttermilk Falls County Park: Offering access to 75 acres of land, Buttermilk Falls County Park is a gorgeous hike that is a part of the Palisades ridge. Trails lead to the stream and some incredible overlooks and waterfall views that’s fantastic for discovery and bird watching. 199 S Greenbush Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962.

Nyack-Haverstraw River Trails: A 5-mile dirt trail, this mild hike is a great way to get in a walk on paved terrain. Offering stunning views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, the trail also has benches and picnic tables. You can make a day out of it and also explore Nyack Beach State Park at the base of Hook Mountain. 698 North Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960.

Rockland Lake State Park: This park includes 256-acres, which features a mix of developed and undeveloped lands. Families can enjoy access to a forested wetland, a pool, tennis courts, picnic areas, golf courses, and trails. The park also includes an environmental education center that is operated during the summer. 299 Rockland Lake Road., Valley Cottage, NY 10989.

Main image: omgimages/Getty Images



 

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