fall foliage
©istockphoto.com / Anton Bogodvid

It’s been a long and strange year, but with temperatures cooling down, that means all things pumpkin spice, Halloween and yes, the leaves change to bright and fantastic colors. Your autumn traditions might be different, and a little more socially distance, but its perfect weather to go out and hike and watch the foliage unfold.

This year, experts predict that the leaves will be at their peak during mid-to-late October. Specifically, the Smoky Mountains Fall Foliage Map, indicates that the majority of New Jersey will see the most vibrant orange and red leaves between October 12th and 19th, with Northwestern New Jersey changing first, and coastal New Jersey changing last. To maximize on all of this natural beauty, here is a list of incredible locations to enjoy this autumn outdoors.

Atlantic County

Egg Harbor Township Nature Reserve

Estell Manor Park

Bergen County

Ringwood State Park

Burlington County

Historic Smithville Park

Rancocas State Park

Hunterdon County

Round Valley Reservoir

Mercer County

Washington Crossing State Park

Middlesex County

Cheesequake State Park

Morris County

Lake Hopatcong

Pyramid Mountain National Historic Area

Passaic County

Rifle Camp Park

Sussex County

High Point State Park

Warren County

Delaware Water Gap

Jenny Jump State Forest

Several Counties

The Pinelands

Wharton State Forest

National Park Sites to Try:

Appalachian National Scenic Trail: A hiker’s dream, 72 miles of the more than 2,000-mile trail runs through the northwestern part of NJ.

Crossroads of the American Revolution: Run by local non-profits, this heritage trail connects battlefield sites from Fort Lee to Red Bank.

Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River:  Expanded in 2000, this is the largest free-flowing river in the Eastern US.

New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve: This South Jersey treasure has more than a million acres of forest, wetlands and farms. The gigantic reserve is also home to a 129-mile-long river.

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail: You’ll spot signs for this trail that stretches from Massachusetts to Virginia in towns like Princeton and Allendale.

Where’s your favorite place to spot fall foliage? Let us know in the comments.