One of the most popular sports in America is "hiking". According to Backpacker, "Hiking was the most popular outdoor activity across America last year and is still growing, according to a new report from an outdoor industry trade group. In the latest edition of its annual Outdoor Participation Trends Report, the Outdoor Industry Association wrote that 881,000 people began hiking in 2022 alone." Definitely one of my favorite exercise activities is hiking. It's healthy, low stress on the body, and you get to see some of the most beautiful places around America (and the world). Another great part of hiking is that it's cost-effective. It's cheap to walk lol. Just get out in the fresh air and move, pretty simple but your body will thank you for the effort. A great part about hiking in New Jersey is that it's very "seasonal" so you get different experiences and options based on the calendar.

 

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Unsplash.com Juliane Liebermann
Unsplash.com Juliane Liebermann
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According to Only In Your State, there is a place right here in the Garden State that rivals the "redwoods". Of course, the redwoods, primarily in the western section of America, are known for their age and size, but here in Jersey our "pines" have a similar reputation. "The Redwoods are famous for their size, but they are equally famous for their connection to the landscape. The same could be said of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, also known as the Pinelands. Of course, these trees aren’t nearly as tall as the Redwoods, but they are equally significant to the region. In fact, they account for the largest Atlantic coastal pine barren ecosystem in the U.S., stretching across seven counties. You’ll see what makes this tract of forest so unique when you explore the Batona Trail." By the way, the Jersey "Pinelands" region was the first natural reserve in America (1978) and covers an estimated 1.1 million acres and is protected by the federal government.

 

 

Unsplash.com Kelly Sikkema
Unsplash.com Kelly Sikkema
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Have you ever hiked the Batona Trail? According to South Jersey Trails, "At 52.7 miles, the Batona Trail is South Jersey’s PREMIER long distance backpacking trail. It is South Jersey’s ONLY long distance backpacking trail" 

 

 

Unsplash.com Nikolaos Choustoulakis
Unsplash.com Nikolaos Choustoulakis
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If you are thinking about hiking the Batona Trail CLICK HERE for a review from Alltrails I enjoy many parks around the state that are part of the "Pinelands" and have logged many miles over the years. Right now (Autumn) is a perfect time to enjoy the Pinelands with pleasant temps and less insects. If there is one deterrent to Jersey hiking it's the bugs here in the Garden State. Get out enjoy the views and fresh air and hike New Jersey.

 

Hiking NJ: Mount Holly Rail Trail

Take a short hike and see pieces of New Jersey history along the Mount Holly Rail Trail in Burlington County

Gallery Credit: Shawn Michaels

 

Hiking New Jersey: Egg Harbor Township Nature Reserve

Take a look at another fantastic place to hike here in the Garden State.

Gallery Credit: Shawn Michaels