City Escape: New York City

Text: Yuval Naveh • Photography: Yuval Naveh

Escape from the busy and noisy Big Apple metropolis into the picturesque, relaxing farmlands and forests of northern New Jersey. Experience beautiful mirror lakes and running streams in the unspoiled wilderness. Small, rustic towns and villages will take you back 100 years. View the majestic Buttermilk Falls and ride the historic Old Mine Road alongside the mighty Delaware River.

Length

Approximately 210 miles

Meetup Spot

Fair Lawn Promenade Shopping Center, 16-31 NJ-208, Fair Lawn, NJ 

Lunch Stop

Piggy’s Deli & BBQ, located in a strip mall, is a traditional barbecue place offering delicious meat, slowly smoked with hickory wood. Find it at 1930 NJ Route 57, Hackettstown, NJ. 

Scenery (5 out 5) 

Along the way, you’ll travel in the mountains and through dense forests, farmland, and valleys, and alongside the Delaware River, waterfalls, lakes, and streams.

Difficulty (4 out 5) 

There are endlessly winding forest roads, sharp curves with blind corners, and elevation changes in the mountains (up to 1,300 feet). It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll spot wildlife; watch out for deer and wild turkeys. A short off-road dirt section requires some attention, and you might encounter slow tractors and pickup trucks near farming areas.

Road Conditions (3 out 5) 

Most of the roads are in good condition, but there is occasional roadside sand. Some sections may have small potholes, especially after winter. A 3-mile section into and out of Buttermilk Falls State Park is a packed dirt road, with some potholes; it is rideable by any motorcycle, but with care.

Points of Interest

1. Old Mine Road
This 250-year-old scenic roadway, named for the copper mines at Pahaquarry, NJ, is one of the oldest continuously used roads in the U.S. It runs through the Delaware Water Gap area toward Kingston, NY. www.tinyurl.com/old-mine-rd

2. Buttermilk falls
Buttermilk Falls is one of New Jersey’s tallest waterfalls. It’s located along a dirt road, so there is no need to walk to see it. Optionally, there’s a 1.4-mile (one-way) trail that begins with a climb to the top of the falls and then rises about 1,000 feet to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, where you can enjoy great views of the valley. www.tinyurl.com/butter-falls

3. Delaware Water Gap National
Recreation Area
The 1,000-foot-deep Delaware Water Gap cuts through a large ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The wild, unspoiled, and prehistoric Delaware River flows in the gap and separates New Jersey and Pennsylvania. www.nps.gov/dewa

4. Allamuchy Mountain State Park
Miles of trails wind through this park’s forests and marshlands. The area is known for great trout fishing along the Musconetcong River. www.tinyurl.com/allamuchy-mtn