Hiking events

Hiking in Rockland and Bergen Counties

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

Living in Bergen and Rockland counties, we are so lucky to have access to so many amazing trails and hikes. With the weather improving a bit, we’re excited to share a few nearby spots – for first-timers and new hikers alike – to explore in and around the area with your family. Happy exploring.

BERGEN COUNTY

Stairway to Heaven: The name alone is quite impressive and is also known as one of the best hikes to see Pinwheel’s Vista in New Jersey. This includes a journey – aka via a Stairway to Heaven – through boardwalks, a suspension bridge, hardwood forest, fields of wildflowers, train tracks, pasture and rocks before arriving at the final majestic view . At about 7.3 miles (return), the hike is definitely for older kids and their families who can climb somewhat rough and rocky terrain. However, some parts of the hike (flat walks) make it easier for young children 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 3.6-mile hike. This includes access to a creek, wetlands, pond, and wooded meadows. The grounds also include a playground, access to the Nature Preserve Center, and seven different loop hikes to explore. 443 Van Nostrand Ave 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 was preserved by former owners James Leach and, later, Daniel H. Atkins, then given to the boroughs of Park Ridge and Woodcliff Lake. Hikers will enjoy the smooth rocky trails, riverbanks and streams, and forests. 26 Bear Brook Rd, Park Ridge, NJ 07656

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

Abram S. Hewitt State Forest: A 10-mile hike, families can admire beautiful mountain ridges, rocky outcrops, upland exchanges, colorful bedrock and forest. The forest is quite majestic – untouched and accessible only on foot. This is one of the toughest hikes that ends with a nice view of Greenwood Lake. Additionally, the forest includes 6 miles of the Appalachian Trail which winds through the peaceful forest. West Milford, NJ 07421.

Palisades Interstate Park: A 12 mile hike covering 2,500 acres, this hike is not far from New York or Westchester which offers access to beautiful views such as cliffs, shoreline. Offering 30 miles of trails – including many rugged trails – it is advisable to plan your route before setting out. The easy trail is probably great for young kids doing a loop in about two hours – going up to a challenging 8 mile hike. The grounds are also accessible on some bike rides, as well as picnic tables and water use 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 New York skyline – 500 feet above sea level. Additional points of interest on your hike include historic Lambert Castle, Lambert Lookout Tower, and of course hiking trails ranging from 0.7 to 3.1 miles. Woodland Park Woodland Park, NJ 07424.

Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve: A beautiful hike that loops around Upper Lake and Lower Pond as well as Basalt Beach and the designed bridges. The preserve also offers access to fishing (with a license from the state of New Jersey), 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 and rugged forest, you won’t find smooth and narrow paths here. However, the Lost Brook Preserve is a fun way for families to explore and better understand the natural terrain. This includes boulders covering trails, boulders and walkways over streams. They also host tons of events throughout the year such as a scavenger hunt, sugar bush and more. 313 Hudson Ave, Tenafly, NJ 07670.

ROCKLAND COUNTY

Bear Mountain State Park: A popular attraction, Bear Mountain State Park offers access to 52,000 acres, ranging from light to moderate hiking. This includes beautiful landscapes, woodland settings, and 235 miles of trails plus 18 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Plus, families can enjoy a large lot, shaded picnic areas, access to fishing, a pool, and even a visit to museums and the Trailside Zoo. You can also take advantage of their on-site skating rink (during the winter) or take a ride – or two – around their famous carousel. Palisades Parkway or Route 9W North, Bear Mountain, NY 10911.

Tallman Mountain State Park: Overlooking the Hudson and Piermont marshes, 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 which 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 forests, Sterling Forest State Park is an explorer’s paradise with over 22 acres of natural refuge and deep forest 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 about the local park environment. 116 Old Forge Road Tuxedo Park, NY 10987.

Hook Mountain State Park: Part of the Palisades Interstate Park system, Hook Mountain offers 7.5 miles of trails that parallel the Hudson River. An uphill hike, there are three connecting and circular loops to the Long Path which is known to be a bit challenging. However, there are different lengths, the longest being around 12 miles. Enjoy the view of New York 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 beautiful hike that is part of the Palisades Ridge. Trails lead to the creek and to some amazing lookout points and waterfall views, fantastic for exploring and bird watching. 199 S Greenbush Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962.

Nyack-Haverstraw River Trails: An 8km dirt trail, this gentle hike is a great way to wander over paved terrain. Offering stunning views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, the trail also features benches and picnic tables. You can make a day 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 comprises 256 acres, which includes a mix of developed and undeveloped land. Families can enjoy access to a wooded wetland, swimming pool, tennis courts, picnic areas, golf courses, and trails. The park also includes an environmental education center that operates during the summer. 299 Rockland Lake Rd., Valley Cottage, NY 10989.

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