These four short Appalachian Trail hikes will
go a long way toward helping you connect with
nature—and some great foliage views.
By Cindy Ross
top of the
IKING THE ENTIRE
chian National Scenic
Trail (AT) might be
on your bucket list,
but chances are you
won’t get around to
completing the trek. Take heart.
New Jersey is blessed with 72. 2
miles of the iconic trail, providing
numerous options for a taste. Here
are four hikes that rival any section
in the other 13 states traversed by
the East Coast’s ultimate footpath.
Be prepared: For the most part,
these are wilderness trails, with no
potable water or bathroom facilities. What they do have is a healthy
black bear population, not to be
taken lightly (see page 45).
● 4 MILES ● MODERATE
This hike goes from swampy low-
lands to soaring heights. There are
forests of deep green rhododen-
drons; a long, mossy swamp; rare,
healthy hemlock groves (most East-
ern hemlocks are under siege by an
insect invader); and far-reaching
views from the ridge on a clear day.
The outing begins at the Mohican
Outdoor Center, a rustic retreat operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. The center—with multiple
cabins and campsites for rent—is
situated on a 60-acre glacial lake,
with various connecting loop trails.
Grab a free trail map and, leaving
the center, turn left on the gravel
road through the property. On your
left is Catfish Pond, home to perch,
bass, sunfish and catfish (a fishing
license is required).
Before long, the trail intersects
the orange-blazed Rattlesnake
Swamp Trail. Take the left branch.
You’ll head into a marshy area; note
the excellent examples of raised
“turn-piking”—a hardening technique used in trail building.
Mountain laurel borders this
section of the trail; it soon gives
way to rhododendron as the land
grows moister. Bright sprigs of
wintergreen dress up the forest PH
plenty to celebrate at
this festival showcasing more than a dozen
wineries from New
Jersey’s six wine trails.
Farm will also provide
visitors with the
unique opportunity to
Noon to 6 PM. $35; $8 for
non-drinkers. Appel Farm
Arts & Music Center, 457
Shirley Road, Elmer (856-
Stroll through this
historic village with
its unique shops and
boutiques. On the
Village Greene, attendees can browse
pop-up shops of more
than 100 crafters
while enjoying food
and live music.
10 AM- 5 PM. Free. (
Now in its fifth year,
the celebration of
Jersey wines returns
to Fosterfields Living Historical Farm.
Attendees receive a
wine glass to sample
vintages from 20 New
Jersey wineries. The
weekend includes live
bands, local food and
Noon to 5 PM. $25 per
day; $5 for non-samplers
21 and over. Fosterfields
Living Historical Farm,
73 Kahdena Road, Morris
Museum teams with
Springdale Farms for
its annual pumpkin
pony rides, hayrides, a
corn maze and pumpkin painting
11 AM- 5 PM. $18 nonmembers, $15 members.
Garden State Discovery
Museum, 2040 Springdale
Road, Cherry Hill (856-
Peruse the housewares, gifts and
seasonal creations of
local crafters and antique dealers. Kids activities include games,
pumpkin painting and
10 AM- 4 PM. Free. Emlen
Physick Estate, 1048
Washington St, Cape May
Celebrate the season
at this long-running
painting and carving,
hayrides, a costume
contest and more.
With four stages and
200 vendors, there’s
fun for everyone.
11 AM- 4 PM (Rain date:
October 11). Free. Main
Stage Center for the Arts,
27 S Black Horse Pike,
Black wood (mainstage.
back in time to experience daily colonial life.
Witness a Revolutionary War reenactment,
ply their trades, tour
the grounds and visit
the 1762 wine cellar of
Lord Stirling, a hero of
the American Revolution.
10: 30 AM-4: 30 PM. $5
Center, 190 Lord Stirling
Road, Basking Ridge (908-