Top 10 Family-Friendly Hikes in New York and New Jersey

Hiking is a fun and inexpensive way for families to spend time together, and a good source of exercise for children of all ages.Share the trails with your whole family.

Perfect for little legs, these shorter, less difficult hikes are filled with fun things to see and do, to help get children excited about the great outdoors.

New Jersey

  • High Point Monument Loop, Sussex County Look out over three states and the Delaware River on this 3.5-mile hike. Walk along the shore of Lake Marcia, climb stone steps, and end your day enjoying the view at New Jersey's highest point.
  • Pyramid Mountain Loop, Morris County   Tripod Rock is just one highlight of this favorite 4-mile family hike. Walk alongside the Taylortown Reservoir and past glacial erratics and great views.
  • Cattus Island County Park, Ocean County  This park provides plenty of hike possibilites on flat and easy trails, dirt roads, and boardwalks through marshes and forests. Kids will also enjoy seeing and learning about wetlands wildlife at the Cooper Environmental Center.  
  • Mount Tammany Loop, Warren County  Kids will see the Delaware River from a new perspective on this challenging adventure to the summit of Mount Tammany, where you'll find wide views across the Delaware Water Gap to Mount Minsi, before returning along scenic Dunnfield Creek.
  • Castle Point Short Loop, Bergen County This 3.2-mile loop in Ramapo Mountain State Forest includes a walk along Ramapo Lake, a climb to an abandoned mansion, and a view of the Wanaque Reservoir and surrounding mountains. 

New York

  • Bear Mountain Summit Loop, Orange County Visit this favorite state park for fantastic views on a newly-built section of the famous Appalachian Trail, part of which is now handicapped-accessible.
  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, Orange County The many programs, exhibits, educational games, and trails here focus on introducing children and adults to the outdoors. Discover ponds, wetlands, meadows, and woods with two activity centers, guidebooks, and easy-to-follow trails.
  • Buttermilk Falls, Rockland County Despite being only 1.2 miles in length, this hike still includes several beautiful natural features, including a tall waterfall and sweeping panoramic views.
  • Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx County  There's plenty of history on this 3-mile hike in New York City. As you walk along a brook on wooded paths, you'll pass the remains of a railroad, an old aqueduct, and by the shores of Van Cortlandt Lake.
  • High Peters Kill, Ulster County. This 2-mile, moderate hike at Minnewaska State Park Preserve takes in a beautiful stream with many cascades, but first you'll hike trails lined with blueberry bushes and mountain laurel, and enjoy views of the Catskill Mountains.