New Jersey is a beautiful state throughout all the seasons, but fall is my absolute favorite. There are so many magical places to visit and things to do during this time of year. New Jersey is filled with so many fall activities that are perfect to add to your fall bucket list. From beautiful hiking trails to pumpkin patches and apple orchards to fall festivals, there is an activity for everyone. Scroll down to see a list of fun fall activities in New Jersey and great day trip ideas that you can do this upcoming fall season!
One of my favorite fall activities to do in New Jersey is hiking to see beautiful fall foliage views. The peak fall foliage season in New Jersey is usually mid to late October. You can even still see some vibrant colors in the beginning of November. There so many parks that are great for hiking that range in difficulty and terrain to suit any level of hiking.
Bear Mountain State Park – This state park is located in the Palisades region of New York. It is about an hour drive from central Jersey. I recommend hiking the Bear Mountain Loop trail. It is a challenging 3.8 mile hike with amazing views. Before starting the hike, make sure to check out the beautiful lake views.
Mount Tammany – This hiking trail is located in Warren County, NJ. It is the southernmost peak of the Kittatinny Mountains at the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is considered one of the best hiking trails in New Jersey! This trail is a steep and rocky 3.5 miles and gives you an amazing view of the Delaware Water Gap.
Stairway to Heaven – This trail is located near Glenwood, NJ. It is a 7.5 mile hike where you will walk through a boardwalk, suspension bridge, and a cow pasture. Then, you take a steep windy incline over a rocky terrain that will reward you with great views at the end!
Hacklebarney State Park – This park is located in Long Valley, NJ. Two beginner easy hikes are the Hacklebarney Loop Trail and the Red, Yellow, and White Loop Trails. They are both a little over 2 miles. It’s a gorgeous park to explore and it’s so pretty to visit in the fall.
Breakneck Ridge – This trail is located in the Hudson Valley in New York. It is a challenging 3.2 mile loop trail. At some points, it feels like you are legit rock climbing haha! It’s a popular hike and gives you awesome views of the Hudson Valley.
Storm King Mountain – This trail is also located in the Hudson Valley in New York. It is a moderate 2.4 mile hike. You get to scale up two mountains, Butter Hill and Storm King. You will pass multiple viewpoints and get great fall foliage shots of the Hudson Valley!
Pumpkin picking is a must! It’s such a fun fall activity. My family and I do a cute tradition where we paint our own pumpkins every year. There are a ton of amazing farms to visit for pumpkin picking in New Jersey. Two of my favorite farms to go pumpkin picking is Battleview Orchards and Happy Day Farm.
Battleview Orchards is a family owned and operated farm in Freehold, NJ. Fun fact – they are actually the oldest Pick Your Own orchard in New Jersey! You can pick your own strawberries, sour cherries, peaches, nectarines, apples, and pumpkins. They also have a farm store that is open all year where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, home baked pies, breads, pastries, apple cider, and their famous apple cider donuts. Their pumpkin picking starts on September 24th through October 30th.
Happy Day Farm is a cute farm in Manalapan, NJ. Their fall festival and pumpkin picking is from September 10th through October 31st. With your admission ticket, you have access to over 35 activities. They have a sunflower field, pumpkinville, corn maze, tractor rides, and a feeding zoo. Don’t forget to take a photo of their cute pumpkin house!
I’ve always considered apple picking the start of the fall season! It is one of my favorite fun fall activities in New Jersey and my family makes it a tradition every year. The apple season in New Jersey starts in late August and goes through October. The peak picking time is usually September 1st through October 15th. One of my favorite orchards to visit is Battleview Orchards in Freehold, NJ. Their hot and fresh apple cider donuts are the best!
Check out a list of the best farms to go apple picking in New Jersey here!
Burnt Mills Cider
Burnt Mills Cider is a cidery located in Bedminster, NJ. They have a variety of ciders to try – their fall spice is my favorite! It’s a perfect weekend activity. You can bring chairs or a blanket to hang out on their lawn and relax with friends or family all afternoon.
Tour a Winery
Exploring the vineyards and tasting wine is a great fall activity in New Jersey. A great winery to visit in New Jersey is Laurita’s Winery in New Egypt, NJ. The winery prides itself on making very fruit-forward wines concentrating on the classic European varietals like chardonnay, cabernet, merlot, pinot gris, and more!
Laurita’s Winery always hosts so many cool events. They have a grape stomp festival, food truck festivals, comedy nights, country line dancing , and pumpkin painting. They even host a 5K run called “Run the Vineyards.”
Check out their events calendar page here!
Fall Festival at Alstede Farms
Alstede Farms is located in Chester, NJ. You can pick your own strawberries, peas, raspberries, blueberries, beans, peaches, blackberries, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, flowers, potatoes, apples, and pumpkins. In addition to pick-your-own, they have live entertainment, children’s activities, friendly farm animals, an adventure maze, sunflower trail, a farm store, homemade ice cream and even wine tastings provided by Tomasello Winery.
They also have fun farm events and festivals. One of their cool events is a pancake brunch, which includes an all you can eat farm to table buffet, tractor drawn wagon ride, and admission to their fields and orchards. They have blueberry and peach pancakes in the summer and apple and pumpkin pancakes in the fall. Check out their events page for more information!
One of the most fun fall activities in New Jersey is to visit an alpaca farm! I recommend visiting Bluebird Farm Alpacas. They are a 15-acre farm located in Peapack, New Jersey that is the home to 21 adorable alpacas. At their farm, you get to learn, meet, interact with, feed, and take photos with their alpacas.
They offer three different tour options. Each tour begins with the staff explaining the differences between an alpaca and a llama, how to pet an alpaca, and all about their farm! Their farm tour is $12 and the staff will guide you through their alpaca pens and introduce you to some of their alpacas. You will get the opportunity to feed, feel, and take photos with them.
A second tour, which is the one I got to experience, is their Farm Tour + Halter Training Combo for $22. After feeding them, you will get to explore the farm by taking an alpaca on a walk using a halter and lead line. If you are visiting the farm with children, who might be too little to walk an alpaca, they also have a $16 ticket where they get to accompany a halter trainer. Please note that Alpaca Tours are available on weekends by reservation only. Private tours are also available during the week. You can reserve online and purchase tickets here!
It was an amazing experience and I love that you were able to interact with all the alpacas. It was a lot of fun getting to explore the farm while walking your very own alpaca! They are so adorable and gentle and its cute that they have their own unique personality.
New Jersey is called the Garden State for a very good reason! It is filled with so many flower fields, gardens, and farms throughout the state. I love visiting a sunflower field every year and it’s such a fun fall activity to do in New Jersey! Even though some sunflower farms start blooming in mid-July, you can find sunflowers all through September. Sunflower farms are absolutely beautiful and so fun to visit! Many of the farms even let you pick sunflowers to bring home for your very own bouquet. Some of my favorite sunflower farms to visit are Happy Day Farm in Manalapan, Holland Ridge Farm in Cream Ridge, and the Sussex County Sunflower Maze in Sandystone.
Here is a list of more beautiful sunflower fields in New Jersey for you to visit!
Take a Fall Day Trip from New Jersey
Day Trip to the Catskills
The Catskills is a two hour drive from New Jersey and its filled with adventures, breathtaking views, and beautiful mountains. The Catskills is made up of a bunch of cute charming towns like Phoenicia, Woodstock, Tannersville, Hunter, and more. For beautiful fall foliage views, I recommend checking out Kaaterskill Falls. This is a beautiful two stage waterfall. A fun activity in the Catskills is taking a tour with Rail Explorers through the fall foliage! This is a pedal powered vehicle that rides on railroad tracks.
Read more about my trip to the Catskills here!
Day Trip to New Hope
New Hope is a little town that is right on the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Shop on Main Street to check out all the cute boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, and flea markets. Stand in two states at once by crossing the bridge between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. On the New Jersey side, there is the town of Lambertville which is also filled with a bunch of shops and restaurants.
Explore the local wineries by starting at Main Street Wine Cellar and then following the Bucks County Wine Trail. You can find a list of all the wineries here! I recommend grabbing lunch at Nektar Wine Bar and checking out the cool popcorn shop Clusters Popcorn.
Read more about my day trip to New Hope, PA here!
Day Trip to New York City
New York City is always a fun day trip idea from New Jersey. I recommend visiting Central Park towards the end of October / beginning of November to see beautiful fall foliage. Some of my favorite spots to visit in Central Park are Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, Bow Bridge, Gapstow Bridge, and Central Park Lake.
Check out my New York City Blog Posts:
Day Trip to New Paltz
Take a day trip to New Paltz and spend the day exploring Minnewaska State Park. New Paltz is about a two drive from Central Jersey. This park is located on the Shawangunk Mountain ridge and only a 20 minute drive from New Paltz. You will find over 50 different hiking trails that range in length and difficulty. The park is open from 9am to 8pm and there is a parking fee of $10 per car. I recommend arriving before 9am since there can be a long line of cars waiting to get in.
If you are looking for an easy scenic hike, I recommend doing the Minnewaska Lake Loop Trail. The trail is 1.9 miles and you get to see different beautiful viewpoints of the lake.
If you want to see a waterfall, check out Awosting Falls. This is an easy smooth trail that’s only 1.1 miles. This is a great trail to combine with the lake loop trail.
For a more challenging moderate hike, I recommend checking out Gertrude’s Nose Trail. This is an 8 mile loop trail. It takes about 4-5 hours to complete. It’s a long strenuous loop that has several steep sections. It is completely worth it because you get amazing views over the Hudson Valley! It’s also a great hike to do in the fall with all the beautiful fall foliage.
Check out more fun things to do in New Paltz here!
Hope you enjoyed my post on fun fall activities in New Jersey!
If you want to plan a fall foliage weekend trip – check out my blog post on the best fall vacation destinations in the East Coast