Fifty Ways To See Warren!

Warren County, New Jersey, offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for all kinds of people. Outdoor lovers enjoy rigorous hikes, abundant wildlife and superb scenery. For those who favor history, the river valleys become avenues marked by eight thousand years of human endeavor from the initial Lenni Lenape habitation, through the days of Colonial settlement, to the heady times of the Morris Canal and the great railroads. Others come to savor classic architecture and country hospitality in the small villages. All agree that Warren County’s rural nature is the key to its allure.

Landscape artist St. Clair Sullivan climbs the Red Dot trail every morning that weather permits. Each day he takes a photograph and emails it home to his wife, Rita.

Worthington State Forest

Old Mine Road, Columbia 908/841-9575, NJ Parks Page

Some of the most rugged terrain and splendid views of northern New Jersey are found here at the Delaware Water Gap, along more than 26 miles of trails within the park and over seven miles of the Appalachian Trail. Atop Kittatinny ridge, the glacial Sunfish Pond is a popular destination for hikers. More...


Appalachian Trail (AT)

Rt. 80 parking area
More than seven miles of the AT within Worthington begins in a stretch to Sunfish Pond, then beyond to Millbrook Road with spectacular views. More...

Dunnfield Creek

Rt. 80 parking area
3.5 miles to Sunfish Pond through a gorgeous ravine, accentuated by serene pools and glorious forest, readily combined in a loop with the AT. More...

Red Dot

Rt. 80 parking area
This 1.2 mile steady ascent traverses rocks and boulders leads to the top Mount Tammany with a panoramic view of the Delaware Water Gap at an elevation of 1,201 feet. More...

Blue Blaze

Rt. 80 parking area
This 1.7 mile trail to the Tammany summit might be considered as a more gradual portion of a three-mile loop hike in combination with the Red Dot. More...


Old Mine Road
Paralleling the Old Mine Road just north of the Gap, this former railbed along the river provides a short taste of days past in a beautiful setting, as one section passes through the site of a former resort. More...

Farview (Beulahland)

Old Mine Road
An antique mountain road, the 1.3-mile trail heads up and over the mountain, passes by an old home site or two and eventually meets the Appalachian Trail. More...


Old Mine Road
A mile up the road from State Park headquarters is the trailhead for a 2.5-mile long uphill path named in honor of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas for his part in helping to save Sunfish Pond’s natural character. More...


Old Mine Road
The 2.7-mile trail zigzags up the mountainside where still-visible borings were extracted to determine what rock layers lay beneath to test the mountain’s suitability for the ill-fated Tocks Island project in the 1960s. More...

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Headquarters: 1978 River Road, Bushkill, 570/426-2452, NPS Page

Mount Tammany. Watercolor by Rita Baragona

The Delaware Water Gap, one of New Jersey’s most impressive natural features, marks the entrance to the largest national recreation area in the eastern United States. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA) surrounds much of Worthington State Park and extends 70,000 acres into Sussex County and across the river in Pennsylvania. The area proximate to the Gap contains somewhere close to seventy miles of trails which lead hikers to breathtaking overlooks, sublime glens and ravines, rugged outcroppings, ancient copper mines, and endless hours of adventure. More...



DEWA, Old Mine Road
The 2.1-mile trail is a steep ascent to the AT near Yard’s Creek reservoir.

Coppermine Trail

Old Mine Road
The 2-mile trail passes the Dutch mines dating from the 1600s for which Old Mine Road is named, through a hemlock ravine and stream, terminating at the AT, just south of the Mohican Outdoor Center.

Rattlesnake Swamp

Mohican Outdoor Center, Mohican Road, Blairstown
Beginning at the Mohican Outdoor Center, an old camp now operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club, the trail combines with the AT in a 4.8-mile loop around the Rattlesnake Swamp.

Van Campens Glen

Old Mine Road
A short dirt lane leads to a picnic area from which hikers can follow the naturally sculpted streambed of Van Campen's Brook into the Glen. Or continue to a small marked roadside parking area a little further up to hike down the glen. Either way will yield beautiful views along one of the nicest paths in New Jersey.

Jenny Jump State Forest

Box 150, Hope 07844 908/459-4366 NJ Parks Page

Covering 4,466 acres across Jenny Jump Mountain, the park features 22 tent and trailer campsites, two group campsites and eight shelters, plus eleven miles on seven hiking trails. More...


Jenny Jump Trail

begins at State Park Road southwest of the park office
The 8.6-mile cross country trail through forest travels south along a series of ridgelines. At Lake Just-It, the trail turns west and intersects with Mountain Lake Trail which leads downhill to the lake.

Summit Trail

begins near park headquarters
Outcrops along Jenny Jump's Summit trail yield impressive vistas.
A 1.4-mile climb reaches its peak at 1,090 feet where most hikers pause for the vista, but looking at wildflowers on the forest floor is just as scenic; a wild garden flourishing along a series of rock outcrops. More...

Ghost Lake Trail

begins at Shades of Death Road, Great Meadows
The 1.8-mile trail follows the south side of the lake, then proceeds uphill to old cabin eventually meeting the Summit Trail. Evidence of Indigenous occupation has been found at the “Faery Hole” in that vicinity.

Stephens and Allamuchy Mountain State Parks

800 Willow Grove St., Hackettstown 908/852-3790

Stephens State Park, 805 acres along the Musconetcong River, contains a portion of the old Morris Canal, and offers a number of family campsites and picnic areas. Allamuchy Mountain State Park (9,092 acres) lies mainly on the uplands and contains a patchwork of natural habitats and fifteen miles of hiking trails. In addition to the marked trails, Allamuchy State Park features more than ten miles of unmarked trails through the northern section. There are mountain biking and horseback riding trails, cross-country skiing, and a rock-climbing area.


Deer Path Trail

Allamuchy Deer Park section, a large elevated section of the park bounded by I-80, Waterloo Road, and Route 517.Trailhead on Deer Park Road off Route 517.
The 6.5-mile loop trail connects to the Lake View and Barberry trails around Deer Park Pond, which offers peaceful reward to the casual forest wanderer. Or continue down a gentle grade, and traffic noise starts to replace the bird calls and woodpecker taps, eventually leading to a Scenic Area off of eastbound Interstate 80, one of the best vistas in New Jersey.

White Trail

Stephens, Waterloo Road
The 6.8-mile main loop through Stephens connects with shorter trails from the camping area as well as several more throughout the park including the Maze, Green, Blue and Fire Tower trails.

Highlands Trail

A four-mile section of the teal-blazed regional trail.
The trail enters Warren County from the northeast on Waterloo Road After following along the Morris Canal towpath, between the Musconetcong River and the old canal bed, the route co-aligns with Deer Park trails then back down to Saxton Falls.

Kittatinny Valley State Park

Goodale Rd., Andover; 973/786-6445 • NJ Parks page


Paulinskill Valley Trail

The 26-mile rail-trail heads southwest from Sussex County through Fredon, Stillwater, and Blairstown, ending near the Delaware River in Knowlton Township.
The flat, cinder-based path is easy for walkers and perfect for horseback or mountain bikes. In addition to abundant wildlife, artifacts from the rail era abound: station foundations, mileage and whistle markers, cattle passes, battery boxes, and more. A gigantic concrete bridge that spans the Paulinskill at Hainesburg, one of two viaducts built on the main line of the Lackawanna soon after the turn of the century, remains fascinating. More...

Ridge and Valley Conservancy

16 Main St., Blairstown 908/362-7989 Website

Dark Moon Preserve

The conservancy protects and preserves natural areas that constitute the rural character of the Kittatinny Valley and Ridge region of New Jersey. Among these are several components of a growing trail system within Warren County that add to the already impressive inventory of publicly accessible territory.


Blair Creek Preserve

West Fairview Lake Lane in Stillwater Township and on Sand Pond Road in Hardwick Township
Although this almost-pristine woodland is home to rare, threatened, and endangered animals like the timber rattlesnake and red-shouldered hawk and plants such as Pink Lady-slipper, its location was the impetus for preservation. Blair Creek Preserve is part of a 12,000-acre uninterrupted block of forest with no roads, a pure stretch of trees unmatched in the state.

Gnome Hollow Preserve

Stillwater Road, Frelinghuysen
Hike through dense stands of native hardwoods, important habitat for migrating songbirds, owls and large mammals Several vernal pools are also found throughout the forest.

Limestone Ridge Preserve

23 Hope Rd (CR 521), Blairstown
A trail loops through a forested tract of land immediately south of the Paulinskill, characterized by “pinnacle and trough topography underlain by Kittatinny Valley limestone.

Spring Valley Preserve

Town Hall parking lot, Hardwick
Ferlas Pond Nature Trail features a large sinkhole pond that drains underground, and emerges on the surface as springs feeding another pond near Slabtown Creek, thus the name Spring Valley.

Birch Ridge Ravine

Birch Ridge Road, Hardwick
Hikers enjoy a deep ravine through which feeder tributaries tumble dramatically past mossy rock outcrops of shale and sandstone and a mature forest of hardwoods mixed with hemlocks and white pines.

Dark Moon Preserve

County Route 519 at the Warren/Sussex County line on Wintermute Rd.
Walk or ride horseback through fields and forest with limestone rock exposures hosting rare plants, a pristine stream, and an important archaeological site which holds the remnants of a small Minisink settlement about 600 years old.

Warren Highlands Trail

Merrill Creek Preserve

Marked with a rectangular blue blaze or official emblem, the Warren Highlands Trail (WHT) is a combination of new trails, co-alignment on existing trails, and road walking. Much of the route was originally planned to be part of the Highlands Trail, a contiguous path from Storm King Mountain, NY to the Delaware River at Riegelsville, PA. Although the regional trail was eventually re-directed generally south of the Warren County border, the county’s Board of Recreation, along with various state agencies, conservancy organizations, and dedicated volunteers developed a trail network extending more than fifty-two miles from the Musconetcong River in the east to the Delaware River in the west.
From Allamuchy State Park at Rutherfurd Hall, the trail heads to Jenny Jump State Park and Mountain Lake. Following the historic Warren Railroad railbed, the trail skirts the Pequest Wildlife Management Area towards Oxford. From West Oxford Mountain the route descends into Washington Township parks then ascends again to Merrill Creek, Scotts Mountain Preserve and a spectacular viewpoint at Ragged Ridge. The trail visits Hoff-Vanatta Farmstead and the Warren County Fairgrounds in Harmony before reaching Marble Hill for more amazing vistas. The Delaware River, at Phillipsburg is the trail’s terminus/origin.
More about the Warren Highlands Trail...


Pequest Wildlife Management Area & Trout Hatchery

605 Pequest Rd., Oxford 908/6374125
Three short blazed nature trails, two abandoned railbeds, and a trout hatchery paralleling the Pequest River. At the hatchery, a marked trail network features a self guided interpretive Natural Resource Trail. There are also several public fishing access points on the Pequest. More...

West Oxford Mountain Natural Resource Area

Academy Street, Oxford
While the network of trails through the forested hillsides offer opportunities for hiking, biking, photography, and hunting, its most intriguing feature is its involvement in the history of the local iron industry, signified most prominently by the Oxford Furnace and Shippen Manor nearby.

Roaring Rock Park

Brass Castle-Harmony Road (CR 647), Washington Township
Named for the roar of rushing water from Brass Castle Creek, the network of trails offers varying amounts of difficulty and challenge for hikers, ranging from very easy to moderately difficult. A 1.9-mile perimeter trail encompasses the Dick Flint Natural Area.

Lake Marguerite Wildlife Refuge

Jonestown Road (CR 625), Washington Twp.
A well-maintained trail network of flat, easy trails passes through a diverse mix of ecosystems in the 22-acre refuge.

Merrill Creek Environmental Preserve

34 Merrill Creek Road, Washington
Among several trails throughout the 290-acre preserve, the 5.5-mile Perimeter Trail follows old woods roads that surround the reservoir, providing scenic views and access to a variety of wildlife habitats. Along the northern shoreline, ospreys and eagles perch on dozens of bare, skeletal “drowned” trees, surveying the water for fish. More...

Marble Hill Natural Resource Area

River Rd. (Rt. 621), Phillipsburg
Located along the Delaware River, there are four miles of blazed hiking trails that offer seasonal vistas of the river valley. One trail leads to a former mine known as the “Ice Cave.”

Morris Canal Greenway

Historic photo of a canal boat enroute near Hackettstown

The Morris Canal Greenway encompasses part of the historic canal’s alignment and is a cooperative effort to preserve and interpret canal sites to the public, and to offer recreational opportunities. Warren County has been an active partner in the effort to preserve this important part of transportation history, extending through the scenic Musconetcong, Pohatcong and Lopatcong valleys for thirty-three miles from Phillipsburg, on the west, to the county line near historic Waterloo Village on the east.



Market Street off South Main Street
A section of greenway with informational kiosks includes the stone arch that marked the entrance to the canal at the edge of the Delaware River.

Plane 9 West

Route 519, Phillipsburg
The former plane tender’s house is now the Jim and Mary Lee Canal Museum. Walk around the property to see remnants of the inclined plane, displays of canal artifacts found there, and the low tailrace tunnel into the turbine chamber. More...

Bread Lock Park

2627 Route 57 East, Stewartsville
The park at the site of Lock 7 West contains the remains of the canal prism and lock tender’s house, a former mule barn, a life-size replica of a canal boat, and the Warren Heritage Museum. There are trails for hiking and biking, an exercise trail, and a storybook walk. More...

Port Murray Preserve

21 Hoffman Road, Mansfield Twp.
A Morris Canal boat basin, a former canal store and a section of the towpath for walking, make it easy to picture the canal in its heyday.


Grand Avenue & Harvey Street
Visitors can stroll the towpath where the canal runs through a wooded area at Florence W. Kuipers Memorial Park & Rockport Wildlife Management Area.

Saxton Falls

Stephens State Park, Hackettstown
Accessible from Kinney Road and off Waterloo Road near Waterloo Village’s large concert field.
A two-mile section of towpath proceeds along visible canal artifacts as well as scenic views of the Musconetcong River. The trail runs along Waterloo Road and then to ruins of a sawmill remain and a lime kiln next to it. Nearby is the site of Lock 4 West and the lock tender’s house. This section of the canal also contains Saxton Falls, where remnants of one of the canal’s 28 locks are visible.

On the Water

Quick and tricky or quiet and easy; canoe, kayak, raft or tube; the floating experience in Warren County comes in many flavors. Quiet paddling can be found on warm summer days or more excitement in the spring, and after rainy spells. Many paddlers will prefer the wide-open space of a lake or reservoir, where it’s easy to get back to where you started. For historians and railroad fans, there is a rich history of mills, canals, and relics of the golden age of railroads. For wildlife watchers any choice will be exciting. Escorts of wood ducks, great blue herons, kingfishers and common mergansers show up often on many Warren County waters. And, of course, a floatable device is the quickest way to where the big fish live.


Delaware River

Points from Poxono in the National Recreation Area to Phillipsburg offer canoeists and kayakers abundant access to the longest free-flowing river in the eastern U.S. Moderate skills are generally required with the exception of Foul Rift, near Belvidere, which deserves a special word of caution. More...

Musconetcong River

The Musky ranges from calm and wide to quick and narrow as it flows along Warren County’s southern border from Tilcon Lake to the Delaware River through an ever-changing landscape. Paddlers, who can put in at points along the entire length the river, must be aware of still-existing dam locations, and wary of the skeletal remains of more dams that hide just beneath the water’s surface. More...
A Waterway Trail Guide is available at the Musconetcong Watershed Association River Resource Center in Asbury.

Paulins Kill,
Pequest River

The best Skylands white-water paddling is generally in early spring on the Paulins Kill or Pequest. Conditions will depend on water level and, while Class III and even IV rapids can be found on occasion, these rivers can usually be relied on to offer a few interesting stretches. More....

Tilcon Lake

Kinney Rd between Waterloo Rd and Waterloo Valley Rd, Hackettstown
Anglers can now hunt salmon averaging eighteen inches in this old quarry near the Musconetcong River, now part of the state park system. For kayakers, there are two islands and many coves to explore.

Ghost Lake

Jenny Jump State Park Shades of Death Road
Accessible from for car top boat launches, the lake offers great bass fishing before it is overtaken by weeds each year.

Mountain Lake

A residential community surrounds this natural glacial lake at the edge of Jenny Jump State Park, but there is visitor access for paddlers and fishermen who often come in search of stocked muskellunge. More...

Furnace Lake

A manicured beach makes Furnace a popular swimming and picnicking destination. The lake is stocked with thousands of channel catfish, muskellunge and tiger muskies reachable from shore or via a paved boat ramp. More...

White Lake

Stillwater Rd (Rt. 521), Blairstown
Enjoyed immensely by fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts, there is car-top boat and easy kayak access to the pond early christened for the color that sparkles up through its clear waters; the whiteness caused by shells, known as marl, that covered the entire bottom. Off the water’s north shore stands a 200-year-old farmhouse made from cut limestone, headquarters to a farm full of history. More...

Delaware Lake

Delaware Rd. (Rt 605), Knowlton Township
One of only three in the state designated as “lunker bass lakes”, this 36-acre pond offers a car-top launch for small, electric-powered boats or for kayakers wishing to explore the forested banks and abutting marshland.

Merrill Creek Reservoir

34 Merrill Creek Road Washington 908/454-1213
Merrill Creek boat launch near the Visitor Center.
The reservoir is Warren County’s “big water”, a 650-acre, 210-ft.-deep, impoundment located atop Scotts Mountain. Licensed boats at least twelve feet long with electric motors only are permitted, as well as kayaks (9 ft.) and inflatables (10 ft.). Merrill Creek holds a huge population of trout with many of the lake trout having already surpassed their legal size, as well as salmon recently introduced in 2018. A day’s kayaking adventure, or any boating excursion, should be planned with extreme caution, as life-threatening weather conditions can arise suddenly on this otherwise tranquil and serene mountain-top expanse of water. More...

In Flight

From the air you’ll see a patchwork of rural open space that reveals Warren County’s true character, a panorama of preserved grassland and forest and a redeemable infrastructure of farms that can yield a bright future. Fly or float over the Kittatinny Ridge or Scotts Mountain Follow the valleys of the Paulins Kill, Pequest or Musconetcong as their watersheds join at the Delaware River. Or simply enjoy a planetary connection as the Earth slowly rolls away from the Sun at the end of an exuberant day.


Fixed Wing Aircraft

Small plane and glider flights are available at Blairstown Airport for quick and easy access to the broad vistas over the Kittatinny Ridge and Delaware Valley.

Hot Air Balloon

Recreation is like a medicine — “re-creating” focus and energy. Ballooning is recreation for the spirit, a medicine that really works!. The breathtaking panorama- farms, woods, lakes, rivers, deer, horses, dogs, backyards, decks, people working, people playing, architecture, the Delaware Water Gap and the setting sun. A study in improvisation, a balloon flight is worth your while. Check the Explore Warren County Tourism Partnership for hot-air balloon services.

Balloon and a Bike!

At the annual Warren County Farmers’ Fair and 20th Annual Balloon Festival, pilots and bikers team up in a unique race to raise money and have some fun. The biker rides in the balloon with a bike strapped to the outside of the basket. The pilot must fly past a boundary line designated on a map, then drop their biker off. The biker races back to the Fairgrounds.
This story was first published: Spring, 2020