Easy Backpacking Trips for Beginners

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Appalachian Trail, Delaware River, New Jersey/Pennsylvania

The 2,190-mile long Appalachian Trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine is definitely for expert backpackers only, but even beginners can tackle stretches of the famed path. One of the easier options involves a 16-mile trek spread out over two days. New backpackers can jump on the Appalachian Trail at the evocatively named Rattlesnake Swamp Trail as it meanders North through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. Look for the trail marker that indicates when you are leaving the wonders of the Garden State for the natural beauty of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Watch for hawks circling New Jersey’s Kittatinny Ridge, check out the glacial Sunfish Pond, and hoof it up Mt. Minsi for incredible views of waterfalls, Lake Lenape, Mt. Tammany, and the entire Delaware Water Gap. Be sure to reserve a campsite at one of the many spots in each state so when you’ve reached your limit of hiking, you can kick off your boots, pitch your tent, and light up a fire. If you want to hang with the hiking pros, hit the trail in June when the people walking the Appalachian Trail will be making their way through the region.

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