New Jersey Nature: A Guide to the Free Outdoors

So according to my weather app, it’s going to be 60 degrees and sunny tomorrow. Last time I checked, we were in the middle of February but perhaps that nap I took last night lasted longer than I thought. I know I’m ignorant about many things in life, but I thought I could at least be aware of where we are in the year. In any case, I’ll choose not to question such awesome weather during a time where I should be out in the cold somewhere cursing mother nature as I slip on ice and spill my venti nonfat mocha all over the place (still bitter, that sh*t costed me over 5 bucks!).

So this weird and unpredictable weather has definitely been working in favor of us poor, college students! Not only have our walks to class been nicer, but there is also more to do on the weekends while we’re ballin’ on a budget. Don’t limit yourself to the typical movie night or diner trip… Nature is out there, free of cost, and waiting to be explored. I don’t think you ever really outgrow a nice trip to the park.

Despite New Jersey’s splendid reputation of being “the armpit of the country”, we are actually home to some of the most beautiful landscapes. Below is a list of my top five local parks, where you can have a great time without emptying your wallet.

  1. Belleplain State Forest
  2. Camp Glen Gray
  3. Cooper River
  4. Allamuchy Mountain
  5. Barnegate Lighthouse State Park

Each of these sites will allow you to enjoy a day of wholesome and authentic fun. Whether it be going for a hike, simply taking a walk, or playing a pickup game with some friends, there is plenty to do and it won’t cost much money at all. So, hey, why not take a break from being stuck inside four walls when there is so much adventure waiting literally outside your door? The forecast is on your side, so go out and take it in while you can! Because despite such great weather, the fact is, it’s still February. And who knows, this time next week you could be cursing mother nature and slipping on ice.

*I took the featured photo (located at the top of this post) at Cooper River in Pennsauken, New Jersey!

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