Although it’s traversed by miles of highways and public railways, the Garden State is also home to thousands of acres of preserved greenspace.

Get yourself back to nature at the 50-mile Batona Hiking Trail, established in the 1960s by Philadelphia-area conservationists to link two of the biggest preserved wild spaces in the state, the Bass River and Wharton State Forests.

At Bass River, you can take a lifeguarded dip along the Eastern shore of Lake Absegami, or break out the boat and experience the tranquility of one of New Jersey’s lovely woodland refuges from the water’s surface.

The largest single parcel of the New Jersey State Park System, Wharton State Forest is home to 122,000 acres of wild space, with miles of trails for hiking and biking, waterways for canoeing, and some of the best wildlife observation available in the state. It’s also home to the historic Batsto Village, an iron and glass manufacturing center that predates the Industrial Revolution.

The 250-acre Palmyra Cove Nature Park encompasses wetlands, woodlands, meadows, and a freshwater Tidal Cove, right at the foot of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge; the 210-acre Rancocas Nature Center treats visitors to a three-mile hiking trail through meadow, forest, and wetland habitats.