Terrain By State: New Jersey
The Appalachian Trail along the Kittatinny Range in New Jersey is rugged and more remote than one might expect considering its proximity to large population centers, with abundant wildlife, including an active bear population.
Elevation changes are generally moderate and vary from relatively flat and gentle to short, steep, rocky pitches. Other sections cross bogs and wetlands, including a wildlife sanctuary that features a wide spectrum of bird species. The Trail crosses the Delaware River at the picturesque Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
A highlight of the southern section is glacial Sunfish Pond, but you'll want to hike mid-week or off-season to avoid crowds.
Difficulty Ratings for A.T. Sections
Because the A.T. spans a great variety of terrain, ranging from relatively flat and easy, to extremely difficult, the following scale was created as a general guide:
1 = Flat and smooth
2 = Flat terrain but uneven treadway, or slight elevation change
3 = Moderate elevation change, but well graded trail, or flat trail with very rough treadway
4 = Strenuous climbs, but of moderate duration, or short but steep climbs
5 = Lengthy graded climbs, alternating with easier sections
6 = Extended climbs that may last hours or shorter climbs with difficult footing
7 = Includes rock scrambling that is relatively easy and of short duration
8 = Includes rock scrambling that is somewhat challenging
9 = Rock scrambling that is difficult and extended
10 = Use of hands required for extended periods of climbing, footing precarious, and leaping may be required — not recommended for those with fear of heights and not in good physical condition. Shorter hikers may be at a disadvantage