My last post telling about our train commute to New York City from New Brunswick showed much of what is ugly about New Jersey. Many people only have the impression that they receive from the New Jersey Turnpike of the stretch between Newark Airport and New York City. But New Jersey has some beautiful areas and in the interest of helping people see a more balanced picture I thought I would share some.
In the southern part of the state there is a huge section called the Pine Barrens. The area is dotted with small towns and large areas of forests with recreational activities such as canoeing, off-roading and hiking.
Known as the Garden State because of its past history of farms feeding much of the New York area, agricultural use of land is located in the southern, western and northwestern sections of the state now. Pick-your-own farms are located throughout the state where you can get fresh produce.
New Jersey was one of the original 13 Colonies and has a long history. There were Swedish settlements in the south and the Dutch and then English influence from the North. New Brunswick is pretty representative with some old buildings remaining from the pre-Revolutionary War colonial period.
Finally, New Jersey’s northwest corner has hilly terrain as part of the Appalachian Mountain system. From small mountain lakes to wonderful hiking trails, the region offers wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities.
So, jokes aside about New Jersey, and I am one who is also guilty, saying I am proud to be FROM New Jersey, not IN New Jersey, the state is MOSTLY beautiful. Although most people visit New Jersey only as a way to get to New York City, consider spending some time there and you may be surprised.