Home Best of Guides 24 New Jersey Parks You Must Visit This Summer

24 New Jersey Parks You Must Visit This Summer

by Olivia Fisher
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The beauty and late sunsets of spring and summer in North Jersey are unmatched and a picnic outdoors is a great way to enjoy it. Finding the ideal picnic area might be hard, but here at The Montclair Girl, we have just the assortment of spots for you. From park to pier, these locations include gazebos, Manhattan skylines, waterfront views, a variety of recreational fields, gorgeous trees, and blooming flowers. Read on for a guide to 24 New Jersey Parks You Must Visit This Summer.

Bergen County

Overpeck County Park | 40 Fort Lee Road, Leonia

Overpeck County Park is an 811-acre park in Bergen County. The park features tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, an amphitheater, a playground, walking paths, a kayak launch, and an eco-art park. MG suggests picnicking along the waterfront and taking in the views of Overpeck Creek. 

Palisades Interstate Park

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Palisades Interstate Park has so much to offer. MG suggests taking a drive on the scenic Henry Hudson Drive and checking out the George Washington Bridge. We suggest picnicking atop the palisades as it provides you with views of both the bridge and the Manhattan skyline. There are also four picnic areas near the waterfront. MG suggests the Alpine Picnic Area which includes the historic Kearney House and Alpine Pavilion. A map of the park can be found here.

Essex County

Anderson Park | 274 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Anderson Park is a 15-acre park located in Upper Montclair near the business district and Upper Montclair Train Station. The park’s meadow is often used for picnicking, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, and other activities. Other features include walking paths, benches, and Toney’s Brook. 

Branch Brook Park | Park Avenue + Lake Street, Newark

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Branch Brook Park is Essex County’s oldest county park and home to the largest Cherry Blossom collection in the United States. This park sports walking paths, a dog park, gardens, a roller skating center, Branch Brook Lake, and sports fields. We suggest picnicking by Prudential Concert Groves which showcases views of the Branch Brook Lake, the Prudential Lions, and the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. 

Brookside Park | 90 Bay Avenue, Bloomfield

The Third River cuts through Brookside Park in Bloomfield. This spot has a playground, baseball field, gazebo, and walking path. MG suggests picnicking along the river or in the gazebo. 

Cedar Grove Park | 199 Fairview Avenue, Cedar Grove

 

 
 
 
 
 
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At 77 acres, Cedar Grove Park is the fourth largest park in the Essex County Park System. This spot has bocce courts, a playground, water fountains, a gazebo, a community center, walking trails, a portion of the Lenape Trail, and connects to Hilltop Reservation as well as the West Essex Trail.

Read More: 10 Parks That Allow Grilling in North New Jersey

Crane Park

Located near the West Caldwell Public Library, Crane Park is a quiet spot for a relaxing picnic. It is also located near West Caldwell’s central business district and Essex County College. This spot is named for a local family, the Cranes who operated a sawmill, and for Caleb Crane, the town’s first mayor. This park has a gazebo.

Eagle Rock Reservation | Eagle Rock Avenue + Prospect Avenue, West Orange

Eagle Rock Reservation boasts over 400 acres of park situated upon the Watchung Mountains. The spot features walking trails like the Lenape Trail, picnic tables, a stylish gazebo, grills, a baseball field, and the Highlawn, a restaurant serving New American cuisine. This is one of the best spots to visit in North Jersey to see a view of the Manhattan skyline.  

Edgemont Memorial Park | 274 Valley Road, Montclair

The creation of Anderson Park in Upper Montclair under the Essex County Park System inspired Montclair to create a park system of its own. This includes parks like Tuers Park and Edgemont Memorial Park. Toney’s Brook runs through the park and has an island in the center of it. This island features a gorgeous World War I monument and a bridge that can connect visitors to it. Edgemont Memorial Park also has a playground, baseball field, walking paths, and benches. 

Grover Cleveland Park | Brookside Ave + Runnymede Road, Essex Fells

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Named for New Jersey’s only president and Caldwell native, the Grover Cleveland Park is a 41-acre spot with tennis courts, a playground, a lake, walking paths, picnic tables, and a baseball field. This spot is also an excellent choice during the fall season when the leaves are changing. 

Kingsland Park | 258 Rutgers Place, Nutley

Nutley’s Kingsland Park connects to the town’s other parks and is tucked into a residential neighborhood. This 10.10-acre spot features a gorgeous gazebo and a stunning waterfall. MG suggests setting your picnic blanket down near the waterfall or somewhere on the island in Kingsland Lake. 

Mills Reservation | Normal Avenue + Reservoir Drive, Cedar Grove

Mills Reservation is another go-to spot in Essex County for those looking to get a glimpse of the Manhattan skyline. Atop the First Watchung Mountain, Mill’s Reservation has several sitting areas like a bench and rocky formation for those to settle down and enjoy the scenery. 

Taylor Park | 100 Main Street, Millburn

Millburn’s Taylor Park is located in Downtown Millburn. This park features a playground, a gazebo, tennis courts, a basketball court, walking paths, and Taylor Pond where people used to swim. MG suggests picnicking near the pond and taking in the fantastic views of the water.

 

 

Verona Park | Porcello Lane, Verona

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Located in Downtown Verona, the Verona Park features tennis courts, a playground, boating options, walking paths, and bocce courts. MG suggests picnicking near the Verona Park Lake or in a spot where one can view the waterfall. 

Yantacaw Brook Park | 30 Club Road, Montclair

One can easily miss Yantacaw Brook Park, an 11.5-acre park tucked into a residential neighborhood in Montclair, but it is an excellent spot for those interested in a quiet and relaxing picnic. The park contains a small pond and features shady, trees, low hills, and benches. 

Hudson County

Liberty State Park | 1 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Liberty State Park has a two-mile promenade that affords fantastic vantage points of Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and the Manhattan skyline. There are picnic tables in a grove of trees, and plenty of open space to get comfortable. 

Lincoln Park | 1 County Road 605, Jersey City

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Lincoln Park covers 293 acres in Jersey City and was the first park in the Hudson County Park System. This spot has tennis courts, a track, playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, a lake, bike paths, and a fountain. MG suggests picnicking at the Edgewood Lake Observation Deck or the Lincoln Park Fountain.

Pier A Park | 100 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken

Hoboken is one of North Jersey’s premier communities and features numerous spots along the Hudson River. Here, picnickers can enjoy the beauty of the Manhattan skyline, the Hoboken Terminal, and the Hudson River from Pier A Park. This park also has a gazebo.

Weehawken Pier | 1600 Harbor Boulevard, Weehawken

Weehawken Pier stretched 450 feet into the Hudson River. It features seating, lighting, and a view of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline.

Morris County

Echo Lake Park | 1028 Springfield Avenue, Mountainside

Mountainside’s Echo Lake Park is one of 36 parks in Union County and has some of the most immaculate foliage and greenery around. Echo Lake Park also has a dog park, a baseball field, a playground, and walking paths. MG suggests picnicking near Echo Lake or the dam.  

Morristown Green | 10 North Park Place, Morristown

The Morristown Green, also referred to as the Green, is in Morristown. This historical park was once a grazing pasture, military base, militia training ground, and a spot for public executions. Now, it is a public park with benches, statues, and walking paths. MG suggests grabbing lunch from somewhere nearby like The Committed Pig, Tacoria, or Millburn Deli, and enjoying it on a bench in the Green.

See More: A Guide to Parks with Splash Pads in Hoboken + Jersey City

Passaic County

Paterson Falls | 100 McBride Avenue, Paterson

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Paterson Falls are 77 feet high and 300 feet wide and, on average, dump almost two billion gallons of water a day. These falls are truly something to behold and can be viewed from a variety of spots at the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and Mary Ellen Kramer Park. Near the Alexander Hamilton statue are several picnic tables and down near the water is stadium-type seating. 

Ringwood State Park | 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood

Ringwood State Park is a 4,444-acre park with a 96-acre botanical garden. From the gardens, one can view the Ramapo Mountains. This spot also has a historic manor, a recreation area, a playground, biking and walking trails, fishing, sledding, and boating.  

Weasel Brook Park | 1 Westervelt Place, Clifton

Weasel Brook Park is a 19-acre park nestled in Passaic County’s Clifton. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers, this park features a playground, bike trail, spray park, basketball courts, and walking paths. The park is also home to the historic Vanderhoef-Westervelt House.

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