New Jersey’s National Parks offer a wide variety of activities, ranging from hiking the Appalachian Trail to exploring Thomas Edison’s old laboratories to learning about immigration on the famous Ellis Island. No matter where your New Jersey vacation rental is you will be in close proximity to a fun family day trip. Here are the top 10 National Parks in New Jersey.

1. Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

Paterson was the first planned industrial city in America. The Great Falls of the Passaic River is in the center of the city. The Paterson Museum and the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park are free to enter, but there is a suggested donation of $2, and is open every day.

2. Morristown National Historical Park

Visit Morristown National Historical Park to see firsthand where General Washington’s army survived the coldest winter on record in 1779. You can visit both Washington’s Headquarters Museum and the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center to see park films, galleries, and exhibits on the Revolutionary period.

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3. Gateway National Recreation Area

Gateway is a 27,000-acre National Recreation Area that spans New York and New Jersey. In Sandy Hook, New Jersey you can go on a tour of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, relax on the beach, and go salt water fishing. You can also go biking along the Multi-Use Pathway, which goes for a seven-mile loop around Fort Hancock.

4. Thomas Edison National Historical Park

If your vacation rental is located in northern Jersey or in New York, make sure to visit the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. Your kids can become junior rangers, explore libraries and laboratories, and learn about the origins of sound recording.

5. Great Egg Harbor National Wild & Scenic River

This 129-mile river system is part of the Pinelands National Reserve and is a great place for lovers of the outdoors. The Great Egg Harbor River is the largest canoeing river in the Pine Barrens. It’s also a fun spot for stargazing, boating, hiking, fishing, and bird watching.

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6. Ellis Island National Monument

See the famous entrance to America for 12 million immigrants from 1892 to 1954! Explore the exhibits in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, watch an award winning documentary, and have your kids participate in a role playing activity to help them understand what the immigration process used to be like.

7. Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area

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Discover New Jersey’s history in the Heritage Area, which is over 2,100 square miles. You can take a guided tour of some historic landmarks from the Revolutionary War, including battlefields, monuments, and homes. Walk around historic homes such as the Dey Mansion in Wayne, New Jersey or the Crosswicks Friends Meeting House in Chesterfield, New Jersey.

8. Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The famous Appalachian Trail, which is over 2,180 miles long, runs through part of New Jersey. The trail starts in New Jersey at the Delaware Water Gap and goes through the Pochuck Valley. Hike your way through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the High Point and Stokes Forest.

9. Washington-Rochambeau National Historical Trail

The Washington-Rochambeau National Historical Trail is more than 680 miles long and runs through multiple states. In New Jersey, a popular place to visit is the Old Barracks in Trenton. The Old Barracks museum is open Monday through Saturday year round and features unique exhibits such as military quarters.

10. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Located along the Delaware River, the Delaware Water Gap includes unique geological features such as ravines formed by glaciers, waterfalls, and natural springs. This a fun spot for hiking, boating, and seeing a variety of wildlife, including otters, black bear, coyotes, and white-tailed deer.

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