A guide to running New Jersey's Appalachian Trail

A guide to running New Jersey's Appalachian Trail

Wait don't you make websites? Why are you talking about running?

We spend a lot of time designing websites and editing photos but we started this company because we love being outside. That's why we do things like randomly decide to run and document each section of the AT in our home state.

How will this guide work?

I will run each individual section of the trail on NJ's 76 miles from North to South, I'll take notes and document the runs and report back, easy as that. I am using the NJ/NY section AT guidebook for navigation. It can be purchased here.

NJ SECTION 04 HIGH POINT STATE PARK to CULVER'S GAP [Oct 2016]

This section is the one I was most excited to run given its location. I grew up on Culver's Lake and spent many of my days peering down at the lake from the top of Sunrise Mountain. My brief recap: This section PUNISHED ME. I've heard from a number of other runners that this is the hardest section to run. All in all it really is amazing to traverse this ridge and get a lookout every 20 steps. The first 3 miles are hands down the best and easiest to run so make your time up there. Notable highlights: The first ridge 2 miles into the run is a stellar view to the south east. Sunrise mountain is also a great view but usually packed. The culver's fire-tower however, is a great chance to run up some stairs and let your legs rest and get a rad view of the water gap.

 

NJ SECTION 03 Rt. 284 to HIGH POINT STATE PARK [sept 2016]

Do you like running uphill? I hope so because this section is 10.1 miles of uphill. It includes the highest point in the state of NJ and you start 1400 ft below this point at the trailhead. The early portion of this section is through valley lowlands along dairy farms and on the edges of hardwood forests. All in all I'd say that you can run 65% of the trail, the rest is made up of baby head rocky portions and slippery bog bridges. In my opinion your best bet is to run at tempo for the first 6 miles and from there plan on dialing it back to about 50% effort overall. There are some great short sections to run after that 6 mile mark but they are broken up by very rocky sections.