New Jersey

A predawn light has begun to brighten the eastern horizon, but I still need my headlamp as I scramble along under a cloak of maples and oaks. I make up time on a clear stretch of trail but immediately slow down again to avoid stumbling on loose stones. I’m hurrying because I’m late. I was…

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Paddling to an island offers the best of two worlds: the waterborne access of a canoe or kayak and the unfettered freedom of a hike. Islands can provide a remote picnic spot, a chance to stretch your legs or nap in the sun, and a temporary escape from the bustle of the mainland. Lucky for…

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Access is key to enjoying the outdoors. For a mountain, that can mean clearing a trailhead; for a river, installing a boat launch. Accessibility also has a very literal definition: The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) uses detailed criteria to design trails accessible to people with disabilities. An increasing number of trails meet these specifications, creating…

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After 100 years, the National Park Service is taking stock. In preparation for its centennial, in 2016, the agency is preparing foundation documents for more than 400 properties. Each report serves as a mission statement for a given park—and a roadmap for its future management. The Delaware Water Gap, a 67,210-acre National Recreation Area spanning…

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Long trails ranging from hundreds to thousands of miles connect some of the Northeast’s and Mid-Atlantic’s most treasured public lands. While some hikers cover a long trail’s full distance in one extended effort, others carve out day hikes or multiday backpacking trips. The segments below provide excellent introductions to eight long trails. 1. Cohos Trail …

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We recently asked our Facebook followers what mountain they were most eager to hike when spring arrives. Their answers covered a wide range, from close-to-home day hikes to ambitious backcountry excursions. Here are eight of their favorite spring hikes. Avery Peak  |  Bigelow Preserve Public Reserved Land, Maine The Bigelow Range, which bisects the 36,000-acre…

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In northern New England, leaves begin to change from green to bright orange and yellow in mid-September. At first, only a few trees seem to realize autumn is arriving. Then, suddenly, the mountains transform into a kaleidoscope of colors, which spread down the mountains of New England into the Mid-Atlantic. Here are a few trails…

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Fifty years after the passage of the federal Wilderness Act, officials have designated more than 109 million acres nationwide as Wilderness Areas. Nature takes its course in these areas, signs of human impact are few, and visitors can enjoy a uniquely remote experience. Here are hikes in seven of the more pristine landscapes in the…

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Coastal hiking in the Northeast isn’t just walking on the beach. Forests and fields, bogs and ledges are all part of the coastal environment, and many trails pass over and around some of each. With a cool breeze sweeping in from the Atlantic, these coastal trails are hard to beat for a midsummer hike. Quoddy Head…

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Last summer I took a cabin full of 11- and 12-year-old campers on a hike. Most of them had never hiked before, so we went to nearby Sabattus Mountain in Lovell, Maine. The 1.4-mile loop gains just over 1,000 feet of elevation. The hike was so easy that I almost felt guilty for being rewarded…

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