(This is my first blog post so if you think this post is straight garbage just bear with me I’m learning 🙂 )
Hiking is one of my favorite things to do. It’s an awesome active recovery for an off day from the gym and it’s a great way for you (and more importantly your dog) to get some exercise. If your dog is like mine and has mommy separation anxiety and can’t go more than 20 feet away from me without freaking out then letting them wander off the leash and tire themselves out for the day is the best part.
As much as I don’t like Jersey sometimes (going to school in South Carolina has poisoned my brain against the cold) there really are gorgeous places to hike around here. I ranked a few of my favorite hikes that I’ve done in the area in order. I saved the best for last!
Stairway to Heaven in Vernon, NJ
Off of Route 94 in Vernon, NJ is the Stairway to Heaven Trail. It is part of the Appalachian Trail so every time I have done this hike I have run into some SERIOUS hikers with what looks like their whole lives shoved into their backpacks. The Stairway to Heaven Trail is hard at times but if my dog and his tiny legs can do it so can you! If you choose to do the short and steep hike then it’s 7.3 miles to the top. It gets pretty steep at times so I would definitely recommend that if your dog tends to pull on the leash not holding your dogs leash when you are trying to come down. The view from the top is beautiful, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing.
Norvin Green State Forest in Ringwood, NJ
This is one of those hikes that you keep thinking you’re finally at the top… then you keep climbing and the process repeats itself. This hiking trail is off of Sloatsburg Road in Ringwood, NJ. This is something you need to know if you consider going here: DO NOT HIKE THIS TRAIL WITHOUT A MAP. I know it seems old school to print out a trail map and sometimes I can barely read a map but if you do not have a map you will get lost. Do your research on the trail. We did not do our research and the trail markers are extremely confusing. Instead of hiking 2 miles like I had read online and four hours later we ended up hiking over 6 miles on the hottest day of the summer, with 2 overheated dogs, ran out of water and my boyfriend and I were screaming at each other in the middle of the woods. Long story short: google all of their trails before you try this hike and get a map 🙂
Buttermilk Falls, Layton NJ
This trail is more about the waterfall than the hike. There is a staircase running up the side of the waterfall that takes about 5-10 minutes to climb but is fun none the less. I don’t recommend bringing your dog to this one unless you just let them play in the bottom of the falls. There are certain areas on the staircase that get pretty narrow and it gives me anxiety thinking about my spazzy dog falling over. I made a picnic and my boyfriend and I climbed to the top and then ate at the top of the waterfall. This is for the day after you killed legs at the gym where you want to hike but at the same time don’t want to go nuts.
Mount Tammany, Knowlton Township NJ
I have hiked Mount Tammany 3 times and every time I get to the top I remember why I keep coming back. The view is breathtaking. The peak of the hike overlooks the Delaware water gap and mountains upon mountains spanning out in all directions. This hike has a constant steep incline and is 3.5 miles. There are options for an easier and harder trail. I always like to take the hard trail up and the easy way down. The red dot trail is the harder option and the blue dot trail is the easier option. Getting to this hike is interesting because it’s off of Route 80 West right before you get into Pennsylvania coming from New Jersey. Whenever I come here and I know I’m passing the Delaware Water Gap I start looking for the simple sign on your righthand sign that says “Hiking Trail” and that’s the exit to take. You will see parking there on the right. It was difficult to find the first time because I had no one to explain exactly where it was. Lucky you have me to tell you!
Sam’s Point in Minnewaska State Park, New York
As you can see from this picture, Sam’s Point located in the Minnewaska State Park is the place to go if you love to have a view at the end of a hike. The hiking here is not hard and there are large paths to get to each destination that the park offers. The park also has waterfalls and ice caves. If you are brave you can get a picture like this sitting out over the edge (my dog was terrified). Be careful though! Unfortunately the waterfalls here were closed the day I went otherwise I would also post those pictures (who knew a waterfall could be closed huh?).
Dingmans Falls in Delaware Township, PA
Dingmans Falls (also known as Adam’s Creek) is my favorite place to hike. The waterfall is huge and in the summertime swimming in the falls is so refreshing after the short 1 mile hike. You will hike through some creeks so your shoes will probably get wet but that’s what hiking shoes are for! The trail is located right after the Dingman’s Bridge going into Pennsylvania from New Jersey. Once you go over the bridge at the next stop sign/ stop light you turn right and about a half a mile down that road you will see the parking on your left. A lot of people like to cliff jump here but I do NOT recommend it. A friend of mine saw a girl break both of her legs cliff jumping here because there is a rock layer under the water that protrudes and if you do not jump out far enough you will hit it. It’s not worth it. But the falls are beautiful and a bring a tennis ball to throw in the water for your dog!
Those are my favorite hikes that I have done so far in the tri-state area. Comment and let me know if you have any favorite hikes I should try 🙂