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Cows, mountains, and whitewater rafting … in New Jersey

SmarterTravel

New Jersey’s Skylands region is home to a side of the state rarely seen, and represents what is left of a long and proud rural tradition (you heard me correctly—the Garden State did earn its nickname, after all). Warren County is a great place to base your stay (the towns of Blairstown and Hope are good options), with a rolling patchwork landscape of farms, woodlands, and open meadows. To the west lies the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, with more than enough wilderness and water to keep outdoors enthusiasts busy.

From July 27 to August 2, the Warren County Farmers’ Fair in Harmony Township is the place to be for a firsthand taste of the area’s agricultural industry. All the staple activities are here (tractor pulls, livestock shows, 4-H classes and demonstrations), but the fair has the added appeal of the Hot Air Balloon Festival—and the opportunity to go up for a ride.

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area winds along the New Jersey and Pennsylvania shores of the Delaware River. Hiking (including a section of the Appalachian Trail), biking, camping, and all varieties of water activities can be found within the park’s 67,000 acres. Warren County also boasts a number of state parks and forests, which, while smaller, offer peace and quiet.

Other attractions include the Land of Make Believe, a family-oriented amusement park, pick-your-own picnicking at one of the numerous area farms, winery tours, and even a Can-Am league baseball game.

To plan your trip, start with the Skylands of New Jersey Tourism Council and the Warren County CVB.

The next installment of our 50 Stateside Escapes series publishes tomorrow, featuring a trip to Georgia’s Pine Mountain.

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