As autumn fast approaches, there’s no better time to get the family out in the great outdoors for an easy hike or nature walk. Hiking with kids can be an exciting experience and a great way to exercise and breathe fresh air. With a little research, a picnic of kid-friendly snacks, and allotted breaks to rest those little legs, you might be surprised at how much fun both you and your kids have as you explore the best flora and fauna the Garden State has to offer!
Best Hikes to Go on with Kids in Central New Jersey
At Frogbridge Day Camp, our favorite areas to explore, especially with beginner hikers, are nature centers, trails, and parks throughout Central New Jersey. These trails are a great introduction with a variety of manageable parks that are less rocky than the northern parts. This time of year, hikes in Central New Jersey boast forests awash with fall colors, rolling hills, farmlands, and boardwalks across salt ponds and marshes. In this blog, we share some of our favorite hiking trails to go on with kids to have an outdoor adventure right here in Central New Jersey.
Clayton Park, Monmouth County
Practically in Frogbridge Day Camp’s backyard lies the 450-acre site of Clayton Park. Perfect for enjoying the fall foliage, this park is known for majestic red and white oak, ash, beech, and birch trees that create a beautiful backdrop throughout your hike. This rustic area is nestled in the rolling wooded hills surrounding the best of New Jersey farmlands. You’ll find six miles of hiking trails along Doctor’s Creek that’s not just perfect for a hike but also a favorite for family bike rides.
Cattus Island, Toms River
Smooth boardwalks and seven miles of trails near Barnegat Bay are perfect for families with wildlife and birdwatching on their hiking wishlist. Cattus Island is home to 530 acres of wetlands and woodlands that feature a trail to the beach and plenty of opportunities for spotting aquatic animals and reptiles. Don’t forget to stop at the Cooper Environmental Center, recently renovated with a butterfly garden, birdwatching area, and a live osprey camera!
Cheesequake State Park, Matawan
This state park in Middlesex County features a variety of enjoyable hikes through hardwood forests, freshwater swamps, and saltwater marshes with the support of boardwalks that make the trails easy for little legs. You’ll find five types of marked trails ranging from easy to moderate.
Look for the beginner’s yellow trail that circles through shaded paths with boardwalks and stunning views of Hooks Creek Lake that your kids will undoubtedly enjoy. With a variety of trails, playgrounds, biking, and camping areas, Cheesequake State Park is an excellent option for groups with varying tastes of what makes the ideal outdoor adventure.
Duke Farms, Hillsborough
You’ll find 18 miles of scenic trails, both paved and gravel, on 1,000 acres of land open to the public for outdoor activities, self-discovery, and education. The trails of Duke Farms wind around lakes and lagoons, across woodlots and manicured gardens, alongside picturesque sculptures, fountains, and a waterfall. Once owned by heiress Doris Duke, this park is a family favorite with scavenger hunts, an orchid greenhouse, and an organic café.
Wharton State Forest, Hammonton
With a reputation as the largest forest in the Garden State, you’ll find an abundance of wildlife while hiking through these trails, including bald eagles, swans, river otters, deer, and countless birds. The Batsto Lake trail takes you through the historical site of Batsto Village, built in the 1600s, that makes you feel like you’ve time-traveled and left modern civilization behind. Wharton State Forest features three trails for beginners, each less than five miles long through the wondrous forest that you and your kids will equally enjoy. The best part about Wharton State Forest is that you can easily spend a whole day filled with various activities like canoeing, horseback riding, and some of New Jersey’s best hiking.
Discover the Great Outdoors with Frogbridge Day Camp in Monmouth County, NJ
At Frogbridge Day Camp, we understand how important discovering the wonders of the great outdoors can be for kids of all ages. Across our 86 acres, our campers enjoy various outdoor activities ranging from fishing, archery, swimming, zip-lining, and rock climbing. We invite you to discover the wonders of Frogbridge Day Camp with a personal tour, now underway for families interested in enrollment for Summer Camp 2021. All tours are private with one family at a time, following all recommended protocols, including social distancing and masks.
To schedule a personal tour at Frogbridge Day Camp, call our office at 609-208-9050 or complete a contact form today.