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Boardwalk Fun

Posted by: Jenny Tananbaum - October 20, 2014

15 Great Family Boardwalks

Summer is the perfect time to head out for some boardwalk fun – so to help out with your next family outing, here’s our list of 15 great boardwalks in the Tri-State area.  And before you think all boardwalks are just wood planked sidewalks lined with cheap, cheesy souvenir shops, think again! We’ve got the best ocean side boardwalks, city promenades, amusement park and arcade boardwalks AND nature boardwalks.  So grab your kids and get ready for some great family fun!

  1. Point Pleasant

    The perfect place for a day trip, the one-mile Point Pleasant boardwalk is anchored by Jenkinson’s Aquarium and Jenkinson’s Amusement Park.  There is also mini-golf, candy stores, arcades and much more! Summer extras include fireworks on Thursday nights, movies on the beach and kiddie beach shows.

  2. Hawk Rise Sanctuary

    A reclaimed landfill, the boardwalk and gravel trail goes past the mound that once was a pile of garbage, then heads into the woods.  There are interpretive signs along the route describing the process and identifying wildlife that is once again making this area along the Rahway River home.  (For GPS, enter the address of the nearby animal shelter: 1811 Lower Road, Linden)

  3. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

    Grab a pair of binoculars and head off on the 1½ miles of boardwalk trails past wetlands filled with lilies, frogs, turtles, snakes and waterfowl.  At the Helen C. Fenske Visitors Center, there are child-friendly exhibits on the area and maps available. (Visitor Center Address: 32 Pleasant Plain Road, Harding Township)

  4. The High Line

    The High Line in New York City is actually an elevated public park that runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. It is built on a former railroad line and is lined with flowers, trees and fantastic roof top views – and makes for a unique and fun walk!  There are various access points along the route: Gansevoort Street (elevator access), 14th Street (elevator access), West 16th Street (elevator access), West 18th Street, West 20th Street, 23rd Street (elevator access), West 26th Street, West 28th Street, West 30th Street (elevator access).

  5. Cape May

    Technically not a boardwalk but rather a paved promenade, it is a beautiful 2-mile walk along the water with spectacular views. There are a few stores and arcades. While in Cape May, don’t miss the FREE Cape May County Zoo, a trolley tour of historic downtown, and Cape May Bird Observatory.  (Cape May is located at Exit 0 off the Garden State Parkway)

  6. Wildwood

    Looking for some classic boardwalk fun?  Head to Wildwood – thirty-eight blocks of amusement parks, water parks, shops, restaurants, arcades and more! (Exit 4B from Garden State Parkway)

  7. Cheesequake State Park

    A unique park that lies in two distinct ecosystems, trails weave through salt water and freshwater marshes to upland forests.  Begin your visit at the Interpretative Center, where you can learn about the wildlife and vegetation of the park, as well as Native Americans and Early Colonization in the area. (300 Gordon Rd, Matawan)

  8. Pochunk Trail

    A short section of the approximately 2168 mile Appalachian Trail, the Pochunk Train in Vernon is a mile long boardwalk and suspension bridge that rests between the Pochunk and Wawayanda Mountains in Vernon Valley. The trail – which is NOT a loop so it is one mile there and one mile back - ambles past marshes. Look out for turtles, snakes, and tons of wildflowers and cattails. (Located on County Route 517 in Vernon)

  9. Ocean City

    The Boards, as they are known in Ocean City, are chock full of family entertainment, including two amusement parks: Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and Playlands Castaway Cove. Every Thursday night is Family night on the beach from 6th-14th Street. Eateries and shops are also available along the Boards. (Ocean City is accessible from either Exit 25 or Exit 28 off the Garden State Parkway)

  10. Bushkill Falls

    Perhaps not technically a boardwalk trail, it is still a must-do family day trip (and the wooden bridges are boardwalk-like). Known as the Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania, 4 trails, in varying length and difficultly, lead visitors past amazing views of the falls. Other activities on site include mini-golf, panning for gemstones, paddleboats, fishing, and a maze. (Bushkill Falls Rd, Bushkill)

  11. Atlantic City

    Construction of the AC Boardwalk began in 1870, and now, the 4-mile promenade along the water, remains one of the most famous boardwalks in America.  And don’t think it’s all gambling and adult fun – not only are the ocean views breathtaking, but there’s also Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Steel Pier Amusement Park, and, of course, tons of shopping and restaurants.  Don’t forget to visit Lucy the Elephant – the world’s largest zoomorphic wooden animal! (Atlantic City is located at the end of the AC Expressway)

  12. Cattus Island County Park

    Located on 530 acres adjacent to Barnegat Bay, there are 4 distinct trails, including a wheelchair friendly trail. Sections of the boardwalk meander through marshes.   Other activities on site include The Cooper Environmental Center, a butterfly garden, and playground. (1170 Cattus Island Boulevard, Toms River)

  13. Lord Stirling Park

    Named after Lord Sterling, an American General in the Revolutionary War, the approximately 925 acre park has 3 miles of boardwalk trails (there are over 8 miles of trails in total) along habitats consisting of floodplains, swamps, rivers, intermittent streams, marshes, meadows, natural and man-made ponds, fields, and forests. The Somerset County Environmental Center offers exhibits on the area.  (190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge)

  14. Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia

    The views of the Delaware River are enough to make the walk worthwhile, but there are also plenty of great stops along the way to keep the entire family happy – including Independence Seaport Museum and Paddle Boat rentals at the Penn Landing Marina. If you have the time, take the Riverlink Ferry across the river to Camden and enjoy Adventure Aquarium and the Camden Children’s Garden.  After dark, stay for a movie under the stars along the banks of the river back in Penn’s Landing (check schedule and times)

  15. Richard W. DeKorte Park

    Located in the New Jersey Meadowlands (and right off of Interstate 95), the park is an active migrating way station along the Atlantic Flyway. There are 3.5 miles of paths, including the Marshway Discovery Trail, which is a floating boardwalk that crosses a tidal marsh.  Also on site is an Environmental Center.  (2 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst)

Written by Jenny Tananbaum, Suburban Mom

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October 20, 2014
Categories:  Fun Things To Do
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