Belleplain State Forest – Woodbine, Cape May County, NJ Distance – 47 miles of trails (seriously). So far covered – 1.6 miles of trails (have a few more miles to do here) Difficulty: 3 of 10 – some muddy spots to navigate Admission cost – Between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend! Cost is $5 on a weekday or $10 on a weekend per VEHICLE if you live in the great state of New Jersey. For folks from other states, it’s double.
Website – Belleplain State Forest Open – Sunrise to Sunset. Camping is also available here! Make it a weekend!
Terrain – Woods, swamp Surface – Various
Trailheads – Nature Trail 1 [...]
NOTE: As of July 4, 2017, all parks are back open!
So New Jersey has shut down its state parks until… well, we don’t know when (see the full list of closures ). My only comment about this is “Ladies and gentlemen, your state government at work!” And we’ll leave it at that.
The good news? County, local, and private parks to the rescue! Below is a sampling of parks and trails that are open for business as usual (note that this list is not definitive, just some of my favorites). So shake your fists collectively in anger toward Trenton, then work out that anger by going for a beautiful hike this weekend anyway!
Mackinac Island State Park – Mackinac Island, Michigan Website – Mackinac Island State Park website Distance – 70 miles of roads and trails for biking and hiking. We did maybe 6 miles all told. Options – you can hike, bike, (rented) horse, or take a guided horse drawn carriage ride. No motor vehicles allowed on the island Open – 24 hours.
Terrain – beach, woods, cliffs, and rock formations
Trailheads – the whole island is pretty much a trailhead, everything starts at the ferry docks.
Directions – The only way onto the island is by one of the various ferry lines from Mackinaw City or St Ignace. We took Shepler’s Mackinac Island [...]
Rancocas State Park (including Rancocas Nature Center) – Westampton, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: 0.2 is the shortest (the Nature Trail) to many, many miles if combined with the trails in the rest of the park. There are three miles of trails in the Nature Center, and an undetermined number of miles of trails in the State Park. The Pres and I did a bit more than 2 1/2 miles.
Difficulty: 4 of 10
NOTE TO BIKE RIDERS: Mountain biking IS allowed in the State Park, but is NOT allowed in the Nature Center area! It’s easy to tell which is which, because you must cross a bridge or a stream to get between the two! There should be No Biking signs at the [...]