The Garden State has over 40 state parks and 11 state forests. One of the most well-known and attractive all-year-round destination is the High Point State Park. High Point State Park is great for hiking, picnics, winter sports, relaxation, history hunting, camping, swimming, canoeing, and much more.
High Point State Park is located in Sussex County, New Jersey in the Kittatinny Mountains. It provides visitors superb views of New York state, starting from Jervis Port and all the way to those that are lucky enough to see Empire State building in New York City. From the highest point in New Jersey, visitors can also see parts of the Pocono Mountains, Delaware River, farmland, scenic views of other lakes, and the Catskill Mountains.
Things to see and do in High Point State Park
- Multiple trails for hiking and exploring Kittatinny Mountain
- High Point Monument
- Skiing in the winter
- Picnic and fishing in the summer
- Scenic drives and walks in the fall
- Partake in the Appalachian Trail
- Camping, boating, swimming, and canoeing
- Hunting, horseback riding, snowmobile riding, dogsledding, cross-country skiing
High Point State Park is known for being the highest elevation point in New Jersey, which was donated by Colonel Anthony R. and Susie Dryden Kuser. Susie Kuser even built the High Point Monument that is the trademark for this state park to honor war veterans in 1930.
The High Point Monument is open to the public Memorial Day through Labor Day. The monument has two hundred steps, but it offers breathtaking views of New Jersey, New York, and Delaware, and even Pennsylvania.
Besides the monument, there are over 10 hiking trails all ranging from easy to hard difficulty. Of course, the Appalachian Trail is one of the most famous and important trail in New Jersey. The Appalachian Trail goes from Katahdin Mountain in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. Since the trail runs through 14 states on the east coast, New Jersey is one of them. It’s said that at least once a year more than 3 million people hike on the Appalachian Trail.
For those that are not into hardcore hiking but love to get out of the everyday routine and want to unwind in nature, High Point State Park offers picnic areas and swimming around Lake Marcia. Boating, fishing, and canoeing are allowed at Sawmill Lake and Steenykill Lake.
During the winter months, the state park is very attractive to skiers. There is a ski center located by Lake Marcia which allows people to ski with a trail pass.The ski center also rents ski equipment. If there is not enough snow, a trail pass is not required and skiing is open for everyone for free. Skiing is free on the south side of Route 23 by the Appalachian Trail parking lot.
Also, there are plenty camping sites around High Point State Park; even ones that allow dogs so the whole family can go on a camping trip! FYI, here is my short but sweet list of top camping gadgets!
How to get to High Point State Park?
The state park is located on Route 23 North in Sussex, NJ. The park is the last point in NJ before entering Port Jervis in New York.
Essential information about High Point State Park
- Entrance Fees: $5.00 on weekdays and $10.00 on weekends for NJ residents only from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend (Non-residents: $10 for weekdays and $20 for weekends).
- Parking: Several paved parking lots around Lake Marcia and one by the High Point Monument. The Appalachian Trail parking lot is located right before entering the state park’s grounds and is free of charge during summer.
- Restrooms: Multiple restroom facilities are located throughout the state park around the visitor center and the High Point Monument.
- Dog-Friendly: I went off-season and had no issues bringing my dog there as long as it’s on a leash. Check with the state park during Memorial Day through Labor Day. Dogs are not allowed around the beach area in Lake Marcia, but there are dog-friendly camp cabins in High Point State Park.
Get the High Point State Park trail map here and its step-by-step trails guide here. Check the official NJ state park site for current updates on road closures, construction, camping, boating, fishing, and other important information.