Last Chance! 7 Beautiful Fall Foliage Spots in New Jersey Right Now

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: October 22, 2022
© Didner
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The great news is that New Jersey is gorgeous this fall. The state, which houses more than 146 native and non-native tree species, offers some of the best fall colors found in America. The bad news is that if you live in New Jersey, your state is almost past its peak.

By the 31st of October 2022, New Jersey and most other northern American states will be past their peak foliage season. If you’re planning on taking advantage of the little time left, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive list of New Jersey’s beautiful fall foliage spots right now.

Why Do Leaves Change Color in Fall?

Autumn Leaf Color, Leaf, Autumn, Backgrounds, November
Leaves change color in the fall because they stop producing food, leading to chlorophyll breakdown.


You probably know that leaves get their green color from chlorophyll, but did you know that when trees stop producing food in the fall, it leads to the breakdown of chlorophyll? This causes leaves to lose their green color and exposes the natural yellow, gold, red, orange, and brown hues they have.

Like flamingos, some plants have carotene pigments which give them a reddish or orange hue. Plants also have anthocyanin and flavonol pigments which contribute to their lovely colors in the fall.

What Parts of New Jersey Are Past Their Peak?

Sadly, if you live in Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Union, Hunterdon, Somerset, or Middlesex City, you’re currently at your peak, and by the 24th of October, you’ll be past it. It leaves you only a few days, so schedule a leaf-peeping getaway if you can.

That leaves Mercer, Monmouth, Burlington, Ocean, Camden, Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, and Gloucester Cities, which are currently near peak but will officially enter this stage on the 24th. If you live in these cities, you have from then till the 31st to see good color.

7 Beautiful Fall Foliage Spots in New Jersey Right Now

1. Mercer County Park

Mercer County Park
Mercer County Park has an incredible diversity of colorful trees.

©Famartin / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

Mercer County Park’s 2500 acres provide the perfect leaf-peeping location. The park is decorated with an incredible diversity of black oak, maple, sugar, and sassafras trees. It also has picnic areas, a wildlife center, and even a capital city farm. 

As a bonus, Mercer County Park has a family-friendly leaf-bingo scheduled for the post-peak season. If you’re certain you can identify your leaves, this is an opportunity to test your knowledge in a fun way. There is no participation fee, but participants can win many prizes.

2. Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area

The Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation area has parts of it in New Jersey’s Monmouth County. Established in 1972, the park was established to preserve native plants and wildlife. Consequently, it’s one of the best locations to view fall colors during peak season.

Sandy Hook NRA has red oak, spruce, and holly, which are especially lovely at this time of the year. According to the National Park Service, the park has green spaces, historic structures, and cultural landscapes, so you have a variety of locations to visit as you leaf peep.

3. Wells Mills County Park

Autumn, Falling, Leaf, Backgrounds, Autumn Leaf Color
Located in New Jersey’s Ocean County, Wells Mills County Park is the largest park in the county.


Wells Mills County Park is located in New Jersey’s Ocean County and is the county’s largest park. It is complete with a hiking trail, nature center, and even a picnic area, making it a great option to go leaf-peeping this fall.

Wells Mills has a 910-acre pine and oak forest, and its hiking trail is an unforgettable way to view gorgeous fall colors. If you’re visiting this area, prepare for some boardwalks through the wetter sides of the forests as you hike through the large trees.

4. Camden County Park

Camden County Park has picnic areas, playgrounds, and colorful deciduous trees.

©Henry Montesino / public domain – License

Camden County Park is a system of over 21 parks spread across 2,000 acres. The park has picnic areas beautifully decorated by trees, and taking a walk through them is nothing short of breathtaking. Some of the most common trees you’ll spot are pine, willow oak, crape myrtle, magnolia, and even dogwood.

If you’re visiting the park specifically for the fall colors, you should check out the wildlife trail at the Maria Barnaby Greenwald Memorial Park or even take your dog along to Timber Creek Dog Park.

5. Cape May County Park Central

Cape May County Park Central has a wide area of forests preserved in their natural state.

©WhisperToMe / CC0 1.0 – License

Cape May County Park Central is a great place to see fall colors this year, as the park has many forested areas maintained in their natural states. Sluice creek cypress, Atlantic white cedar, and black cherry trees are some of the trees you’ll spot on the park’s grounds. You can enjoy a picnic, a walk, or even play golf on the park’s disc golf course.

The park is entry-free and visits to the zoo and parking are free. It’s a great location for a budget visit, but if you want to use the pavilion or gazebo, you have to pay and book in advance.

6. Cumberland Valley Rail Trail

Autumn, Backgrounds, Beauty, Branch - Plant Part, Bright
The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail is a 13.7-mile trail enclosed between two rows of trees.

© Bogdanov

The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail is 13.7 miles of trees, trees, and more trees. Some of the many tree species spotted around the area are beech, ash, red maple, hickory, and white oaks. Most of the trail is enclosed between thick trees under the open sky, giving a beautiful view, especially in the fall. There’s even a specific Oakville Area where you can leisurely view various grassland species.

The trail also has farms and grassland habitats that house several animal species, including red foxes, kingfishers, and the American kestrel. If you’re visiting the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail, be sure to stop at the valley museum, but stay off surrounding lands as many of them are private property. 

7. Riverview Beach Park

Forest, Autumn, Footpath, Multi Colored, Autumn Leaf Color
Riverview Beach Park has some of the loveliest and most colorful trees you can spot in and around the park.

© Schartner

Formerly a farm and then an amusement park, Riverview Beach Park is one of the most well-tended parks with a rich history. Not only does it have picnic areas and a still-thriving amusement park, but it also offers a gorgeous view of the Delaware River.

If you’re considering Riverview Beach Park for leaf-peeping, look no further. Some of the loveliest and most colorful trees you can spot in and around the park are silver maple trees, rhododendrons, and of course, the Salem oak tree.

Up Next:

Discover 7 Incredible Places To See Fall Foliage in Virginia

7 Unique Turtles in New Jersey

10 Amazing Waterfalls in New Jersey State

The 3 Best Aquariums in (and Near) New Jersey

More from A-Z Animals

The Featured Image

New Jersey, Morris County, Morristown - New Jersey, Landscape - Scenery, Rural Scene
Mercer, Monmouth, Burlington, Ocean, Camden, Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, and Gloucester Cities will enter peak foliage season on the 24th of October 2022.
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  1. New Jersey Forest Service, Available here:
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  3. Cumberland Valley, Available here: