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Best Hikes and Accessible Trails for Seniors Near Hackettstown

Boardwalk trail at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Situated in a valley along the banks of the Musconetcong River is the charming and historical town of Hackettstown, New Jersey. The diverse and passionate community is surrounded by Schooley’s Mountain and BucksHill peak, boasting plenty of fresh mountain air and hiking trails for seniors. 

Older adults, including active seniors living at The House of the Good Shepherd, can take advantage of accessible and easy hikes in New Jersey. While many hiking trails are close to town, residents at The House enjoy hiking trails and picturesque sights right in their backyard. Along the scenic Musconetcong River, Stephens State Park offers six miles of marked trails for walking and hiking ranging from flat to steep and rocky. 

Riverfront Park Loop is a 1.7-mile route around two adjacent parks in Hackettstown, Riverfront Park and SandBar Park. The easy 45-minute hiking trail is a popular attraction for hikers, trail runners, and walkers, and is accessible for those using wheelchairs or other mobility equipment. Open year-round, the loop combines paved paths with a gravel-based nature trail and benches along the route for resting. 

A 15-minute drive from The House is Allamuchy Mountain State Park, with access to hiking trails for seniors (and some of the state’s best trout fishing!) near the Musconetcong River. Starting from a 26-foot elevation, nature lovers can explore one of seven easy hiking trails with hand-curated maps and plenty of photo ops.

The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, located 45 minutes from The House, is a 12-square-mile natural oasis where migrating waterfowl stop, rest and feed. In 1968, Congress designated the eastern half of the refuge as a wilderness area, which features  eight miles of trails with restored wetlands, providing a more natural outdoor experience without roads or buildings. 

Visitor traffic on njHiking.com shows that some of New Jersey’s most popular hikes are an hour or less away from The House.  

High Point – Monument Trail (under an hour). Visitors can climb the monument’s 220 stairs to view the surrounding areas. At 1,803 feet, it’s the  Garden State’s highest elevation point.

Pyramid Mountain – Tripod Rock (40 min.). Offering two overlooks and three glacial erratics: Tripod Rock, Whale Head Rock and Bear Rock. 

Sourland Mountain (just under an hour). Visitors can traverse over boardwalks and through boulders of Devil’s Half Acre and Roaring Rocks. 

Hacklebarney State Park (20 min.). With Black River as its centerpiece, this park is stunning in the fall.

South Mountain – Hemlock Falls (under an hour). Hikers can take in views from historic Washington Rock, Hemlock Falls and the Rahway River.

Buttermilk Falls (30 mins). Location of New Jersey’s highest waterfall, where visitors can hike steeply uphill to connect with the Appalachian Trail.

Stairway to Heaven (just under an hour). A steep climb up the “stairway to heaven” leads to Pinwheel Vista, one of the best views in New Jersey. This attraction offers wheelchair-accessible attractions, including boardwalks and a suspension bridge. Visitors also can enjoy fields of wildflowers and a hardwood forest.

Mt. Tammany (30 mins.) The steep trail offers lovely views of the surrounding area, including Mt. Minsi and a fantastic overlook of the Gap, a break in the Kittatinny Mountains carved by the Delaware River. 

A senior living community with endless opportunities to connect with nature

Retirement living at The House of the Good Shepherd is being surrounded by natural beauty –– pollinator gardens and lush, riverside woodlands spanning 15 acres. Our picture-perfect senior living community is located in a quiet corner of a vibrant college town, nestled against a state park with accessible walking and hiking trails and a trout-stocked river. Listen to our three-part podcast series on the history, daily life and mysteries of our campus. These conversations will help you discover why a move to The House represents myriad opportunities  to connect with nature, nurture your spirit and find lifelong peace of mind.