Great Places to Experience Nature in New Jersey
Our modern day-to-day lives can be stressful, so it’s natural to want to get away every once in a while. Sometimes, though, a regular old vacation just doesn’t cut it. Whether you need a break from city life or you’re just looking for something different to do, you’re sure to find some peace and quiet in nature. It just so happens that the state of New Jersey is home to plenty of great natural attractions, many of them free. Here are some (but nearly all) of the best nature areas in the state.
Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown
You don’t need to have a green thumb to appreciate the variety of plant life at Deep Cut Gardens. The recently-renovated partere has 52 varieties of roses alone! Visitors often cite springtime as the best time of the year to visit, but the area is open all year long. You can take a walk through the gardens and greenhouses yourself or show up for one of the many free activities that the gardens offer throughout the year.
Duke Farms in Hillsborough
The founding of Duke Farms, a privately owned 2000-acre plot of land, dates back more than 100 years. While the history of the area is fascinating in itself, that isn’t the reason visitors travel out to the farms. Hiking, biking, and sightseeing make up the top activities to take part in, and that’s just a start. With so much ground to cover, it will probably take you more than one visit to see all that Duke Farms has to offer.
Nature Center of Cape May
We all know that New Jersey boasts some beautiful ocean fronts, but not all trips to the coast have to be on a beach day. The Nature Center of Cape May makes good use of its location, which is a hotspot for nature watching. Free admission gets you access to the observation deck, aquaria, children’s garden, and more. For the more active, the center has kayaking, boat trips, and even a summer camp.
Six Flags Safari in Jackson
Your brush with nature doesn’t necessarily have to be a hike in the woods. Case in point: the Safari Off Road Adventure at Six Flags. While a safari at Six Flags might not be the most “authentic” nature experiences you can have in New Jersey, it is a prime opportunity to see some parts of nature you wouldn’t otherwise. The safari boasts more than 1000 animals on a 350-acre plot of land – it’s definitely a bit better than the zoo.
Stokes State Park in Branchville
If you’re not content to get away for just an afternoon, or you want to experience nature with as little human interference as possible, it might be time to plan a visit to Stokes State Park. Hiking among the ever-changing foliage of the park is among the top activities to do here, with trails that are well-maintained but still leave the surrounding nature to run its course. If you really want to make a trip of it, you can camp or rent a cabin and stay overnight.