Things To Do In New Jersey In The Spring

12 Mar

It’s almost spring! The past few days we were spoiled with 55-60 degree weather…which really got me excited for spring. I can’t wait to be able to run outside in just a t-shirt and shorts. Though I’m sure once summer hits, we will all be complaining about the heat ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since spring is around the corner, I wanted to do a quick round up of things to do in New Jersey in the spring or summer that are active, and will get you outside. If you live in NJ, please feel free to comment with your ideas! And if you don’t live in NJ, maybe you can come visit and try some of these things ๐Ÿ™‚

Horseback Riding

spring valley equestrian center

At the Spring Valley Equestrian Center in Newton, you can hop on a horse for a scenic trail ride. Their website says all abilities welcome, and an hour ride is only $35! Sounds like a fun date to me.

State Parks

There are a ton of beautiful state parks, so it would be hard for me to list them all, but I’m going to talk about 2 that I have been to and love.

hacklebarney state park

Hacklebarney State Park

This park is located in Long Valley. I love going to this park when it’s warmer and going for a hike. The park is open to hikers, fishermen, and people who want to have picnics. It’s so scenic and beautiful. I had no idea about this little fact either: “Three rare and endangered plant species exist within the park: American ginseng, leatherwood and Virginia pennywort. Over a hundred bird species and wildlife such as black bear, woodchuck, deer and fox live in the park.” Good thing I haven’t encountered a black bear! Here’s the Hacklebarney website if you want more info.

Delaware & Raritan Towpath

Delaware & Raritan Canal Towpath

This is part of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park. I love running on this trail, and the great thing about it is that it stretches 34 miles down to Trenton! So no matter where in the state you may be (well, in the northern portion), you can go for a run here. I pick it up where it ends in Piscawatay, and it’s absolutely beautiful. The path is surrounded on both sides by water, though later on it changes. The scenery changes every couple of miles. During marathon training in 2011, my mom and I ran a lot of our miles here, and I remember doing our last 20 miler on this path. The picture above was taken during one of my fall runs. Also, it’s not pavement, so it’s easy on the joints! Even if you don’t run, you should check it out for a nice, relaxing stroll.

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum

I remember visiting the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in middle school for a field trip. Now I’m putting this on my spring/summer to-do list! You can take an underground mine tour and check out the glow-in-the-dark florescent minerals. I remember thinking that was really cool, and we got to pick out a rock to take home after. It’s theย 4th oldest mine in the country and the last working underground mine in NJ. The museum is open 7 days a week, and is located in Ogdensburg.


zoom ziplines nj

Zoom Ziplines

Okay so before writing this post, I had no idea there were places to zip-line! I went zip-lining once in Brazil and it was awesome/scary. I definitely plan on doing this once it’s warmer. The picture above is from Zoom Ziplines located in Vernon at Mountain Creek. It’s the closest zip-line to NYC, and only a 1 hour drive from Manhattan! They also have GoPro rentals so you can film your experience, and a zipline + waterpark combo for the summer.

treetop adventure course

Treetop Adventure Course

This is located at the Turtle Back Zoo in South Orange, though you don’t need to buy passes to the zoo to do the treetop course. This is more like what my family and I did in Brazil. It’s like an obstacle course and pretty challenging! I’m usually not afraid of heights but was a little scared when I did a similar course ๐Ÿ™‚ The adult course is 35 feet in height, has 30 obstacles and takes about 1-1.5 hours to complete. They have junior courses as well. I’ve heard great things about the Turtle Back Zoo and want to check both the adventure course and the zoo out!


I have found a ton of different things I could list, but perhaps I will make this a series…there’s just too much to do in NJ! I can’t wait for it to get warmer so I can go do some of these. Isn’t it crazy how you can live somewhere your whole life but not know about certain things? I bet everyone could be a “tourist in their own town” no matter where they lived.

Which of these would you want to try?

Have you ever been a “tourist in your own town/city?”

Tell me one cool thing your town/city/state has!


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8 Responses to “Things To Do In New Jersey In The Spring”

  1. Olive to Run March 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Stunning photographs… I love going to state parks. Ben and I went ziplining in Costa Rica and it definitely makes me top 10 list for best experiences.

    • reach-yourpeak March 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

      Same here in Brazil! I think I will definitely have to try this one at the Turtle Back Zoo this summer with Dan ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Kristin March 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    Wow, really cool pictures!! I love the idea of zip- lining and riding horses. FUN!!! I’ve done an adventure course, too and it was a lot of fun (a bit scary at times). ๐Ÿ™‚ I LOVE the mining tour, too!! That sounds very interesting!! My area has lots of cool museums to visit and trails to run/walk!

    • reach-yourpeak March 12, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

      I love finding new trails to explore. There are a lot in my area, I just need to be more proactive and actually GO to them lol. I will keep you posted on if I go to any of these places once it’s warmer…def want to do the ziplining!

      • Kristin March 13, 2014 at 6:59 am #

        Please do! Everything looked so exciting!

  3. Entirely Amelia March 13, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    I LOVE the towpath!! I run it all the time for long runs. Sometimes I pick up in PWay at Johnson Park and sometimes I’ll pick it up a little further down at Weston Canal Road. I just heard it’s open again so I guess that means most of the snow has melted? It seemed like I wasn’t going to be able to take advantage of it for any of my long runs this training cycle, so I’m really excited!

    • reach-yourpeak March 13, 2014 at 11:43 am #

      ahh I love the trail! It really is so relaxing. Although now that I don’t go to school or work at RU anymore, I don’t make it down there as often since it’s 30 min away, and who wants to drive 30 minutes to run? Well, at least I don’t lol

      • Entirely Amelia March 13, 2014 at 11:49 am #

        I live like five minutes away so it’s always super enticing to take a quick ride over

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