Things to do in NJ's Highlands – NJ's Outdoors at its Best!

Waterfalls at the DelawareWater Gap

By Henry Skirbst

The sound of flowing water has a therapeutic effect. It can help wash away the tension of a tough day. As one leaves the roar of highway traffic from Route 80 at the Delaware Water Gap, a number of hidden respites await!

The Delaware River is the dominant feature of flowing water. Feeding it, however, are numerous more obscure streams and rivulets that bear a refreshing identity all their own. Embedded throughout many of these smaller waterways can be found cascading waterfalls as diverse as the many people who unknowingly pass by them every day.


fishingAn Angler’s Paradise

Discover the awesome beauty and outstanding fishing only minutes away from anywhere in the Highlands. A multitude of sparkling lakes and ponds and miles of rivers and streams offer spectacular year round fishing opportunities for trout, musky, walleye, pike, channel catfish, striped bass and more. Go to to find out where the fish are and learn how to get them on the end of your line.

Fishing has Never Been Better in New Jersey.

bearTry the Skylands Birding & Wildlife Trails!

Do you want to get outdoors and experience the natural world, but you don’t know where to start? Are you tired of looking out your window at the same old squirrels and House Sparrows? Planning a trip to the NJ Skylands, and your kids want to do something “green?” Have you ever wondered why bird watching is one of the fastest growing pastimes in our country?

It’s time to get out from behind the computer screen and hit the trails – the Skylands Birding and Wildlife Trails, that is! These trails have everything you need for a naturally fun wildlife-viewing weekend in a free, pocket-sized package! Pick up a brochure for Sussex, Warren, or Hunterdon County and you’ll be on your way to exploring many of the 100 wildlife viewing sites we’ve identified throughout New Jersey’s Skylands!


heronExplore The Upper & Middle Delaware River

The magnificent upper and middle Delaware River is one of the most under-used stretches of recreational fresh water in the United States. Twenty million people attest to its pristine quality through drinking and using 700 million gallons of it every day. The Delaware is one of the cleanest bodies of fresh water in the US and it boasts the largest fresh water port in the world at Philadelphia.

Take a ride in a canoe, raft, or kayak from one of the many liveries that dot its shores and enjoy the lazy three knot current as it takes you through some beautiful formations including, Delaware Water Gap, the falls at the Lehigh River confluence, the Elephants’ Feet, St. Anthony’s Nose, Nokamixon Rocks, and the Palisades to name a few. Paddle quietly enough, and you just might see some of the hundreds of bald eagles that have returned to the area along with the rare golden eagles, cormorants, red-tailed hawks, mergansers (diving ducks), red knots, great blue herons, white egrets, and Canadian geese to name a few.


Wine Tour in New Jersey

Tasting the Good Life on the Highlands Wine Trail
by Dr. Audrey Cross

The world was shocked in 1976 when a California wine toppled France in an international blind-tasting competition.  Unrivaled for centuries, wines from the New World were challenging its position.

Closely regulated, French wines are grown in “appellations” – areas and regions of the country which have ideal soil and weather conditions to produce premium wines.  Today the US recognizes 188 officially designated “appellations” spread across 25 states. 

Needless to say, the majority (95%) are in California. New Jersey’s first appellation, called an AVA or American Viticultural Area, is located right here in the Highlands.  Named “Warren Hills AVA” it covers 226 square miles and includes within its borders Four Sisters Winery and Brook Hollow Winery near Belvidere and Villa Milagro Vineyards in Finesville.  Other wineries that make the Highlands their home include Westfall Winery and Ventimiglia Winery in Sussex County, and Unionville Vineyards, Old York Cellars and Beneduce Vineyards in Hunterdon county.  So, dust off your picnic basket, wipe off your wine glasses and head out to taste the good life in the Highlands!


Visit a Wildlife Management Area

Have you ever noticed diamond-shaped signs posted on trees or fence posts along country roads? Scattered throughout New Jersey are parcels of state land often overlooked by those seeking out wild places to explore. These multiple-use public lands are Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), administered by the NJ DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. Managed for fish and wildlife habitat, a variety of wildlife-associated recreation is available on most areas. While hunting and fishing are probably the two activities most common on  WMAs, they are also prime locations for birding, wildlife viewing and photography, cross country skiing, hiking and mountain biking.


Download the Skylands Ecotourism Brochure. The Skylands Region of New Jersey includes the counties of Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren and makes up a large portion of the Highlands.

This guide will give you all the information you need to plan your visit to the Skylands Region. Whether you are looking for places to cross country ski, bird watch, hike, bike, fish or just relax at a scenic bed and breakfast in the great outdoors of New Jersey, you will find it in this guide.