Just an hour outside of New York City lies The Norvin Green State Forest, a virtual Garden of Eden and an easy escape from the noise and bustle of the Big Apple.
While New Jersey often gets a bad rap, it's places like this that can change your mind about New York's neighbor. If you follow the Norvin Green State Forest Loop, you'll hit some of the best natural features within the park inlcuding Otter Hole, Chikahoki Falls, viewpoints over the Wanaque reservoir and the Wyanokie High Point. On clear days, you can even see the big city you left behind from a lookout at the 1.3 mile-mark.
The Norvin Green State Forest loop trail begins near the Weis Ecology Center. When you arrive, make sure to grab a map from the kiosk out front. The extensive network of trails will allow you to cut your hike short or lengthen it for an extra scenic route.
If you go with children, you’ll want to check out the Weis Ecology Center website for cool fall events. The center also has a bird feeding station and exhibits.
Distance: 7.7 miles RT
Elevation Change: According to the New Jersey Trails Association, there are “a few decent elevation changes.”
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
Duration: 6 hours
Best Time to Go: September—October
How to get there: The best place to park is near the Weis Ecology Center at 150 Snake Den Road in Ringwood, NJ. The trail starts nearby.