10 New Jersey Scenic Drives To See Fall Foliage

by Kayla Mutchler
New Jersey scenic drives

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 find 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. 

Palisades Interstate Parkway...

2. 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.

New Jersey scenic drives

Trees in the fall at High Point State Park | Photo by Laith Zain

3. 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. 

4. 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.

Hawk's Nest

5. 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.

6. 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. 

Wawayanda Mtn to Vernon Valley

7. 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. 

8. 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.

garden state parkway

9. 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.

10. Clinton Road

This eerie road in West Milford has been luring visitors from around the country for decades. In addition to having scenic views of the water and orange-laced trees that spread for miles in the woods, the road is allegedly haunted.

Legends surrounding the 10-mile stretch vary— some saying a paranormal force torments the road, while others say it has been the meeting place for cults and witches over the years.  No matter what you believe, driving on the road at night can be terrifying. Clinton Road holds both a beautifully scenic drive, as well as a plethora of haunting tales.

Clinton Road

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 

About the Author/s

All posts

Kayla is a senior communication major at the University of New Haven. When she's not writing, she's keeping up on the latest pop culture news, listening to music, and cooking.

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Robert Mutchler October 13, 2021 - 7:16 am

I always enjoy reading your articles and I cannot wait for the next one.

Dee Ception October 18, 2021 - 7:25 pm

Head out on one of these NEW JERSEY scenic drives during this fall season!!!! Just one small problem, Kayla: you will not be driving on the Hawks Nest so prominently displayed in your piece. Remember, your article is about driving, right? It is located in New York. And the Delaware River below, guess what state is on the other side. Exactly, it’s Pennsylvania, not New Jersey.

Jay Yuan October 28, 2021 - 9:49 am

Thanks for the article. The photo under “Delaware River Scenic Byway” looks like the Hawk’s Nest on Route 97 in NY along Delaware River along NY and PA border. I drove through it last week.

Suzanne October 21, 2022 - 9:08 pm

Would be nice to include specific starting and end points. My gps won’t just find “route 519”. Or the byways. I need an intersection and a town. Or another website which lists the byway info.


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