As the leaves change from green to shades of red, orange, and yellow, the foliage makes for beautiful scenery. New Jersey is known to have some gorgeous views, specifically in the fall. With all of the hills and mountains the state has, there is always a sight to see during this time of year. If you’re looking for something to do, why not go on a relaxing drive? Head out on one of these New Jersey scenic drives during this fall season.
1. Palisades Scenic Byway
The New Jersey section of the Palisades Scenic Byway is 13 miles long. Located inside of the Palisades Interstate Park, you’ll have some beautiful views of New Jersey, and even some of New York. The Palisades is known for its cliffs and amazing views, so you might want to hop out of the car at some point. With over 30 miles of hiking trails and lookout spots, you’ll really be able to see fall foliage at its most beautiful, nearly 500 feet in the air.
If not, you can stay in the car and still appreciate the mesmerizing views of New Jersey and New York during the fall.
2. Ocean Drive
One of the many best New Jersey scenic drives is located in South Jersey. Connecting Atlantic City to Cape May, you can expect some great views of the Atlantic Ocean, in addition to New Jersey’s greatest beach towns and even some marshes. It is especially great to drive on this road in the fall, as the traffic is much less than in the summer. Stopping at any of the locations, you’ll be able to see red, yellow, and orange leaves all over.
3. Monument Road
Located inside of High Point State Park, Monument Road will have some of the best views of New Jersey that you can imagine. This road is about 1,800 feet above sea level and traverses through the Kittatinny Mountains. The road will take you to the base of High Point Monument, where there are lookout points.
From this elevation, you’ll be able to see New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania’s gorgeous foliage.
4. Belvidere Road
Spanning from Phillipsburg to Belvidere in Warren County, this road is one of my favorites to drive on. Starting in the suburbs, you’ll eventually leave and be struck with the breathtaking views of farmland and hills. Spanning only about 12 miles, this is a nice, short trip to take on any fall day.
When you drive through between the hills, you’ll appreciate the gorgeous changing leaves surrounding you.
5. Delaware River Scenic Byway
Spanning the edge of the Delaware River from Frenchtown down to Trenton is the Delaware River Scenic Byway. Whether you stay on for the full 32.8 miles or just drive for a few, there is plenty to see. With architecture dating back to the 17th century, hanging trees, wildlife, and nature sounds and sights, you’ll see some of the most beautiful views that the Garden State has to offer. You can even take stops and visit sites like Washington Crossing Park and even the Delaware and Raritan Canal.
In the fall, you’ll get to see some of the best foliage in the state. Combined with the river engulfed in the foliage, driving down this path will seem like a scene out of a movie.
6. Route 519
Spanning 88.54 miles from Delaware Township to the New York state line is New Jersey’s longest county road. Being a two-lane road, this is great for a casual cruise in the fall. You’ll mainly pass through wooded areas and farmland, barely hitting any residential areas. Route 519–as the locals call it–encapsulates the beauty of Jersey’s rural areas. Especially in the fall, these areas showcase nature at its finest.
While on the ride, there are plenty of places to stop. With vineyards, farms, hot dog stands and more, 519 will keep your interest for the perfect fall drive.
7. Western Highlands Scenic Byway
Located in Sussex County, this byway passes through the Newark Pequannock Watershed, so you’re guaranteed to see some amazing views. You’ll drive through farms, parts of the Appalachian trail, and various historical parts of the state. If you decide to park, you can visit the Black Creek National Register Indian Site, hike, bike, birdwatch, and more.
Most importantly, the Western Highlands Scenic Byway has beautiful fall views that you won’t want to miss. As you get higher in elevation, the views will only get better.
8. Route 542
One of the New Jersey scenic drives cuts right through the Pine Barrens, this drive ensures some gorgeous fall scenery. Spanning 20.57 miles from Hammonton and connecting with U.S. Route 9 in Bass River township, there is plenty to enjoy. This two-lane route is perfect for a relaxing drive.
At many points, you’ll be surrounded on both sides by trees. As the leaves change colors, it’s sure to be a great fall sight.
9. Garden State Parkway
I bet you didn’t expect to see this on the list. However, for any who have driven on this road in the fall, you’ll know that first, it is much less crowded in the summer, and second, it has some amazing scenery. Specifically, the more southern portions of the GSP have great views. Running alongside the coast of NJ, you’ll be able to see the Atlantic Ocean, marshes, cross-over bridges, and more. And you’ll get the fall scenery around you that you want.
While driving, why not stop at one of the beach towns for a stroll? They’re just as beautiful in the fall as in the summer.
10. Millstone Valley Scenic Byway
Driving through this 27.5-mile byway, you’ll pass through some of the state’s many Revolutionary War-era architecture and historical sites and a canal. There are plenty of trees in this area, ensuring that you’ll see the changing colors of leaves that fall is known for.
While driving, you can stop and visit George Washington’s last war headquarters called Rockingham, visit Duke Farms, or even explore the Delaware and Raritan Canal.
Plan on taking any of these scenic drives through New Jersey this fall? Let us know in the comments.
Main image by John Michael Lindsey