Featuring ancient glacial boulders, an impressive mountain range, and a peaceful campground, Jenny Jump State Forest is worth the trip. Located in Warren County in the northwestern sector of New Jersey, at an elevation of 1,090 feet, Jenny Jump State Forest is spread over a length of six miles and broadly encompasses the Jenny Jump Mountain Range. This state park offers a rich and diverse habitat thanks to over 4,400 acres of forests and mountains rising from the encircling farmland areas.
From the Summit Trail, you can look over the beautiful view of the lush fields of the Great Pequest Valley and the Delaware Water Gap. The walking and biking trails also lead to astonishing views of the scenic Mountain Lake. Upon the mountainside, the park contains extensive hiking trails that are a result of glacial boulders and outcroppings from nearly 21,000 years ago during the Wisconsin Ice Age. The park also offers much in terms of other activities, including hunting, fishing, boating, picnicking, and camping, which makes it an ideal destination for any outdoor lover.
Jenny Jump State Forest's unique features are its astronomy observatory, a diverse ecosystem containing wildlife such as deer and wild turkeys, and rugged mountain landscape. The major facilities of Jenny Jump State Park are also accessible to people with disabilities so that no one feels left behind. RV travelers can stay at the park as camping is available for smaller RV rigs in a 22-site primitive campground. Peak season at Jenny Jump State Forest runs from April until the end of October.
Getting to and from Jenny Jump State Forest can be a little tricky, depending on the size of your RV and where you are traveling from. There are no main access points to the area right off the main road, so you will need to either exit near the town of Hope or head north from the US-46. We recommend sticking to a GPS guided route so that you don't get lost on your journey. If you need to get any supplies before your trip, there are a few towns that you can visit, including Hackettstown (around 9.5 miles away), Columbia (around 12 miles away), and Netcong (about 20 miles away). The closest city to the park is Easton, which is approximately 25.5 miles to the southwest. Navigating the roads within the park and campground can be a little challenging for inexperienced RV users because some of the roads are quite tight. Within the campground, there is a small hill that can be hard to navigate, so we don't recommend any RV over 25 feet drive in this area. If you are visiting for the day, there is a parking lot at the main entrance, which is easily accessible.
Jenny Jump State Forest has one RV-friendly campground that will be the best place for you to call home during your trip to the area. Located in a tranquil forested area, the campground is known for being very peaceful due to its small size and a limited number of sites. There are only 22 RV and tent sites for you to choose from, all of which come equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, and grills. None of the sites at the campground have electrical or water hookups. Other amenities within the campground include toilets, water collection points, a phone, and easy access to some of the forest trails. Please note that pets are not allowed in the campground and only RVs 25 feet or under will be able to stay. Reservations can be made online up to 11 months in advance, and the campground is open from the beginning of April until the end of October.
Apart from the RV campground, there are also two group campsites available for those who are traveling with more than just their RV. Campsite A is big enough to accommodate up to 25 people, while Campsite B can accommodate up to 40. Both of these group sites have fire rings, picnic tables, pit toilets and are located in separate areas from the other campsites. Like the RV-friendly campground, the group campsites can be used from April until the end of October.
For those that desire a bit more privacy, eight shelters have been built near the top of Jenny Jump Mountain, each one offering spectacular views of the valley below. The shelters have furnished living rooms with wood-burning stoves and two bedrooms, each with double-deck bunks accommodating up to four people. An outdoor grill is provided for cooking along with a picnic table with nearby showers and flush toilets. Unlike the group and RV campground, these accommodation shelters are available for you to stay in year-round. Since there are only eight shelters, we recommend that you make a reservation, which can be done online or by calling the park up to 11 months in advance.
The hiking trails that branch out of Jenny Jump provide exemplary views of the area's landscape. These trails are of various levels of difficulty, and they each offer unique experiences, from panoramic vistas to more peaceful walks through the lower-lying sections of the park. The 3.7-mile, multi-use, Mountain Lake Trail loops around the outer portions of the park, and allows both mountain bikers and hikers. The rest of the trails are hiking-only trails, and each one is color-blazed for easy navigation. The Summit Trail and the Spring Trail are the most popular of these hiking trails because they provide jaw-dropping views of the Delaware Water Gap and the Pequest Valley. The Blue Trail, a fairly straight path, starts at the Park Office and ends at Mountain Lake.
Jenny Jump State Forest has two small lakes that have healthy fish populations, making them ideal fishing spots for anglers of all ages and experience levels. At the Ghost Lake, a car-top boat parking area offers anglers the chance to take their boats to fish in the deeper waters of the lake for game fish like the sunfish, catfish, and largemouth bass. Meanwhile, at the Mountain Lake, anglers with lesser ambitions can toss their fishing lines from the shore while relaxing and enjoying the scenic views of there surroundings.
Towards the end of the Wisconsin Glaciation (about 21,000 years ago), the melting ice dwindled from Jenny Jump Mountain, leaving behind massive boulders, sediments, debris, and rocks in its wake. Surpassing a mile in denseness, this glacier leveled valleys and mountain tops that resulted in the landscape we see today. The dramatic impact of this natural phenomenon can be found all across Jenny Jump State Forest that is often visited by historians and researchers alike. Exploring these glaciers is also very popular with photographers as they can take one of a kind pictures in these unique surroundings.
Within the park boundaries, there is an astronomers’ observatory built by the United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey (UACNJ) in 1995. The Greenwood Observatory, as it is now known, is open to the public for stargazing on specific nights from April until October every year. Jenny Jump State Forest is also home to other smaller observatories like the Brady, a solar observatory. The Jenny Jump Mountain Ridge area has some of the darkest skies in the New Jersey region, making it a great place to stargaze and a popular camp out destination for novice and professional astrophotographers.
One of the many joys of boating is the panoramic views and the peace you experience while on water. Boating along the shoreline or in deeper waters will give you a different perspective on nature and its marvels compared to being on the shore. The forest surrounding the lake looks astonishingly different from a boat as you can see so much more and can almost trace the landscape scoping out lovely flora and fauna that you would have otherwise missed being on land. The tranquillity, scenic views, and therapeutic sounds of rippling water and surrounding nature make for a gratifying and memorable boating experience.
Picnics are simple pleasures that kids of all ages can enjoy, so grab a blanket and your favorite snacks and goodies and head out to Jenny Jump State Park where you can enjoy a peaceful picnic surrounded by the beautiful sights and sounds of nature. A small designated picnic area is available for use by families and visitors in a secluded, shaded region of Jenny Jump State Forest. The picnic area is equipped with picnic tables and BBQ grills so that you can do some cooking and comfortably relax.