By Angelina Rosado
Assistant Entertainment Editor
As spring break is finally here after two years of lockdown, many of us commuters and those who aren’t going back home are trying to figure out what to do.
If you’re staying in the area, here are some charming hiking trails and parks a short drive away from our campus. The hidden wonders of the forests and trails of northern New Jersey! Free and close by, they are a perfect place to unwind, gather with friends, or keep yourself fit and refreshed during the break!
- Located only a few minutes away in Hackensack, Borg’s Woods Nature Preserve gives us a chance to take a dive into the forest, and uncover the wonders of this 14 acre preserve with soothing streams, dirt pathways, and wooden bridges. A very quiet, yet scenic place perfect for instagram photos, or simply just breathing in the sweet fresh air.
- A little further away, Overpeck County Park covers a vast 811-acre area with elevated panoramic views of Bergen County – Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield Park, and Teaneck. The park has playgrounds, biking trails, sports fields, an outdoor theater and riverside porches/boardwalks on Overpeck Creek and the Hackensack River. Pack a picnic, and take a stroll through the park after you eat.
- About 15 minutes away, check out Fort Lee’s Historic Park. Here you can get the history of the region, going back to the days when New Jerseyians farmers used the ferry to supply George Washington’s troops in the Revolutionary War. You can also get a breath-taking view of New York City, the Hudson River, and the George Washington Bridge on the Burdett Landing overlook. This area is a great viewing site to have a picnic or even take a short walk to Main Street and River Road in Fort Lee with its stores and restaurants.
- About 25 minutes away in Woodland, Garret Mountain Reservation offers a more inclined experience as hikers and viewers get to climb to a view of Northern New Jersey and New York City! With trails for hikers and even a few steep stairways, each trail also has a parking area on a road that stretches around the mountain, for access to each checkpoint/overlook. You can also get to know the historical side of Garret Mountain, as a few trails also have attractions to visit like the Lambert Tower, an old silk mill. A perfect place to enjoy nature. Hey, you can even enjoy some ice cream as Mister Softee trucks often cruise the area.
- Some 30 minutes away, in Mahwah, Ramapo Valley County Reservation offers a more exhilarating adventure outdoors with five looped hiking trails around the 1,200-foot high mountain, part of a range that stretches from Bear Mountain in New York all the way down to Pennsylvania. Enjoy the scenic views with your choice of two- to six-hour trails with views of the mountain’s lake, and maybe a few encounters with friendly dog walkers. Reach the top and go for a swim in the lake to cool down before heading back!
With spring break offering a well-deserved chance to escape from the trials of college work, the trails, scenery, and landscapes offer experiences to get in touch with the nature and beauties of New Jersey – just a short drive away.
These parks and trails are located within 30 minutes of the Metro campus in Teaneck, NJ.
Photo by Angelina Rosado