Jenny Jump Sign
Photo taken by my husband.

Vacationing as a large family can be costly.  As our family grew, accommodations that could fit our family could not fit our budget.  Several years ago, we purchased a travel trailer (RV) to use for our cross country trip. That is another story which I will someday share  but this story is about our camping weekend at Jenny Jump State Forest in Hope, New Jersey.

Jenny Jump State Forest is located in the northwestern section of New Jersey on the six mile long Jenny Jump Mountain Ridge.  The park has several beautiful hiking trails on the mountainside which feature large glacial boulders and outcroppings formed by the Wisconsin glaciation approximately 21,000 years ago.   The trails, ranging from easy to some moderate sections, offer amazing views of the mountains including the Delaware Water Gap.

One legend has it that the name of the park comes from the story of a girl named Jenny who was chased by a tribe of the Lenni Lenape along the mountain’s edge.  To save her purity, her father yelled to her, “Jump Jenny Jump!”  We usually don’t tell the little kids what happened to Jenny after that.  🙂

My husband’s family has been visiting Jenny Jump State Forest during the fall ever since he was a boy.  Camping at Jenny Jump has now become a yearly tradition in our own family.  We usually camp in the same spot every year.  It’s the one spot where we can maneuver our 27 foot trailer into with little difficulty.  This year, however, someone forgot to reserve the spot early so we had to settle for a less desirable campsite.  Unfortunately, that site, though very nice, was a challenge to back the trailer into. (To view larger pictures in galleries, click on a picture or place mouse over pictures to see captions)

Once we settled into our site, we relaxed and enjoyed our surroundings.  The fall colors are not at their peak yet but the colors are beautiful nonetheless.

Fall leaves

There is a magnificent overlook right outside the park entrance where we made a special trip to watch the sunset.

Three wonderful things about camping.

And then there’s the hiking. We have been many places in the US, but there is nothing quite like a hike at Jenny Jump in the fall. There are boulders and rocks for kids to climb and scramble up on.  There are hickory nuts and acorns aplenty for little hands to collect.  The colors of the changing leaves on the trees and the crunch of fallen leaves under our feet add to the beauty and wonder of our surroundings.   And the views from the summit trail are stunning.

Seeing the brilliant afternoon sun shine through the golden and orange colored leaves at Jenny Jump warms the heart and lightens the soul. It was wonderful having a relaxing break as a family from school and work.

Trail at Jenny Jump

In light of the government shut-down of national parks across the country, I was all the more grateful for being able to enjoy the beauty of New Jersey (Yes! New Jersey!) at a state park.

We have visited state parks in several states across the country and found some pretty amazing places.

Have you visited any state parks in your own home state?

Which state park is your favorite?

Go!  Explore!  Support your state parks.  Start a new family tradition and make memories.  Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.