Hacklebarney State Park

Hacklebarney State Park

NJ State Park Service
119 Hacklebarney Rd, Long Valley, NJ 07853
Open daily, dawn to dusk
(908) 638-8572   Website    Google Maps     Trail Map GeoPDF

Gravitas:   Challenge:     Proximity:

Special notes for parents
This is a lovely, small state park. You can access some of the lovely bits on paved walk-ways, others on hard-pack carriage roads, and still more on narrow scrambly trails. So it’s a great place to take your kids to gain experience. The Black River is lovely, as are the drainages for Trout and Rhinehart brooks. Pack a lunch and be prepared to wade in the streams on a warm day.


For beginning to intermediate hikers, Hacklebarney gives you a taste of what wilderness hiking is all about.  The park is truly beautiful, with trails that overlook tiny, pristine brooks that still support NJ’s wild native brook trout, and descend through dense woods towards the Lamington (aka Black) River.  It’s about 70 minutes by car from Trenton.

The main trails are paved, making the Intermediate-level hills accessible for beginning hikers

The topography is quite hilly, and much more varied than a typical “beginner” hike.  However, the main trails are nicely paved:  footing is easy and even though there’s over 200 vertical feet from the parking lot to to the lowest point on a paved trail, we think most beginners won’t have any problem (and there are plenty of park benches along the way if you need to catch your breath).  Staircases are provided for the steepest bits.

There’s a set of secondary trails that offer a bit more challenge.  They are not paved, and some are fairly rugged.  Maximum vertical change is over 300 feet.  Execute a loop into both the Trout and Rhinehart Brook drainages, sticking mostly to the secondary trails, and you’re looking at a fun Intermediate hike.  If you get tired, you can connect back to the main trails and simplify your walk home:  you may still need to climb, but the walking will be considerably easier than on a typical wilderness trail.  (Note the parking lot is located on top of a plateau, at nearly the high point of the park.  You’ll start walking downhill on most trails.).

Really, the only downside is the Park’s popularity.  I went on a recent Tuesday afternoon and was surprised to find a couple of dozen cars in the parking lot.  The parking lots are enormous, with room for a couple of hundred cars.  If the lots are full, this relatively small park would be overrun.

Still, for a glimpse of some of NJ’s most beautiful terrain in a setting that’s quite accessible, it’s tough to find a nicer spot than here.

For fishermen, the Black River is heavily stocked in season, and is the stream where most fishermen go.  Rhinehart and Trout Brooks are quite skinny water.  They do support wild brook trout, but few and far between.

  1. Laurel Hostetler
    | Reply

    Delaware Water Gap, just up route 29, right?

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