Over the summer, Jack and I were looking for something relaxing yet adventurous to do. We stumbled upon a website that offers the top scenic roads of New Jersey. We decided to take route 521 into our own hands and find out what the drive had to offer. A mini road trip can call for some leisurely sights while staying within the comfort of the car. There are side road destinations if desired, but the drive alone calls for good music, family bonding, and hidden sights of New Jersey that cannot be seen from taking the main road.
What to Expect
Since this trip was only a drive, it was more laid back than our usual hike. It starts off driving through a small town and then slowly integrates itself into farmland. Starting off on the humble community of Blairstown we drove north past Bear Swamp Wildlife Management Area back to Highway 206. It was a bit hilly but it truly allowed for sightseeing of the types of the beautiful landscapes that New Jersey has to offer. We passed several small lakes and parks that were quaint and looked promising for some peace and quiet but it was cold out so we kept driving.
Eventually, route 521 passes a road sign that advertises for Swartswood Lake State Park. We took the detour and after following the signs, found ourselves at the state park (parking was free which was also a major plus). Again, it was cold so we did not stay very long but the park as a whole had a lot to offer. There were plenty of trails branching off from the main parking lot and even a swimming area that is open during summer and he warmer months.
It was relaxing to pass by barns and cows without actually having to get out of the car. The winding road allowed for a smooth travel and it passes through plenty of small towns to
stop and grab a bite to eat or to just walk around. The road is also historic as it passes by old houses and landmarks that can only be seen on this trip
Drive east on I-80 and take exit 12. Take Hope Blairstown Rd (eventually just Hope Rd) all the way to highway 94. Take a sharp right turn onto Stillwater Rd and just follow the blue signs for route 521.