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Only in Jersey can hikers cruise along salt marshes under the shadow of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and a historic railroad. The 5.5-mile loop around Liberty State Park affords precisely this opportunity.
From the park headquarters, the Hudson River Walkway heads directly toward the Statue of Liberty. The Verrazano Bridge is in the distance to the south.
Turn north onto the Liberty Walk. Fishermen line the shores, hoping to catch the flounder that frequent these waters. Ellis Island appears to the right of the promenade; to the left is a sprawling salt marsh. The Liberty Walk then wraps around the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, which shuttled newly arrived immigrants from Ellis Island into New Jersey during the 19th century. Ferries are available to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from the terminal’s pier. Walk to the northernmost point, where views of Manhattan, the Hudson River, and Jersey City unfurl.
From here, the route turns inland along the Morris Canal Basin and loops back into the heart of the park. A paved, multi-use trail winds around gardens and memorials. Once it reaches the Interpretative Center, cut through a marshland full of phenomenal birding spots. Then merge back onto the Liberty Walk and retrace steps back to the finish.
-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan
Mass Transit from New York City: Take the PATH subway to Hoboken. Then get on the Light Rail to Jersey City State Park. Ride the shuttle bus to the ferry slip.
- Distance: 8.9
Location: 40.693147, -74.057388
From the Park Office, walk toward the South Lawn and turn R. Head toward the walkway that skirts the playground and group picnic area.
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Head south on the Hudson River Walkway.
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Turn L and continue on the walkway.
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Reach a lookout that showcases Verrazano Bridge and Upper New York Bay. After enjoying the scenery, turn L and merge onto the Liberty Walk. The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island are to the right.
Location: 40.702277, -74.0452958
Cross the driveway and bear R to reaccess the Liberty Walk. Ellis Island is to the right.
Location: 40.7061878, -74.038419
Turn R at the bench circle and continue walking toward the Hudson River.
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Turn L and head toward the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal. Piers line the rightside of the Liberty Walk. Across the river is downtown Manhattan.
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Reach Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, a historical site. Here walkers can purchase ferry tickets to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Continue north past the building.
Location: 40.708917, -74.034648
Turn L walk all the Morris Canal Big Basin. The Jersey City waterfront is directly in front of the platfrom here.
Location: 40.7096619, -74.0402341
Reach the New York Water Taxi. City residents can take the taxi for $25 in which case the hike begins and ends here. Turn L and take the Liberty House’s walkway. Then cross Audrey Zapp Drive to access the park’s multi-use path.
Location: 40.708539, -74.040212
Walk straight on path for roughly twenty feet then turn R.
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Turn L and cross over parking lot exit. Freedom Way will be parallel to the path here.
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Turn L @ Y-junction then stay right on the path.
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Bear L @ Y-junction.
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Turn L for a short detour into the Christopher Columbus Plaza. When finished, retrace steps back to the trail and head SW.
Location: 40.705689, -74.044647
Go straight @ three-way trail junction.
Location: 40.704737, -74.045326
Go R @ Y-junction.
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Head straight @ four-way junction.
Location: 40.7025518, -74.047576
Continue straight @ three-way.
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Bear L @ Y-junction.
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Bear R @ four-way.
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Bear R @ Y-junction.
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Reach Interpretive Center. Turn L and walk through the patio and garden to access the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area.
Location: 40.698267, -74.0540368
Bear R on gravel path through designated natural area. The trail winds around a salt marsh, a great spot for birding.
Location: 40.697617, -74.0537158
Go L @ Y-junction, heading toward the Hudson River. A small pond will be to the left.
Location: 40.69776, -74.050967
Bear L @ Y-junction. The trail forms a lollipop shape in the marsh.
Location: 40.697482, -74.050698
Turn L on the very short connector trail then continue to bear L onto the paved path.
Location: 40.697777, -74.0502878
Go R onto gravel path and continue R onto the Liberty Walk.
Location: 40.691974, -74.054266
Go R at the South Lawn, passing the Liberation Monument on the left. The marsh will be to the right. Continue straight to the Park Office to end the hike.
Lady Liberty greets visitors to the bay
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Seagull on street light
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Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal
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Miss Freedom docked at the park
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Liberty Science Center boat cruises out of the marina
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Entrance to designated natural area
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Path through natural area
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Statue of Liberty in the distance
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Tulips grow near the entrance to Ellis Island
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