Boulder Hops and Star Gazing

Jenny Jump State Forest

Jenny Jump State Forest stretches between the four Warren County Townships of Frelinghuysen, Hope, Liberty, and Independence some 12 miles southeast of the Delaware Water Gap. Park headquarters and the main section are perched between the historic villages of Hope and Great Meadows, while the most southerly segment approaches Mountain Lake just north of the Pequest River at Buttzville.

Ghost Lake

The ancient rolling terrain of Jenny Jump Mountain provides spectacular vistas of the Kittatinny Mountains and the Water Gap to the west, and the vast panorama of the Great Meadows to the east. A haven for those who love a hike and a good view, the Park promises special rewards for devotees of geology, astronomy, mountain biking, bird watchers, bass fishing, and all season camping.

The forest contains outcroppings estimated to be 1.6 billion years old, some of the oldest rocks on earth, whose banding marks belie their origins deep beneath the earth's surface. Later lifted by intercontinental collision to form ancient mountain chains 15,000 feet high, this fault is part of a larger ridge and valley geologic province that stretches to Alabama. Much later, only 21,000 years ago, a glacier's terminus a few miles south meant the birth of Great Meadows and the Pequest River. Water from the melting glacier accumulated behind the terminal moraine to form the prehistoric Lake Pequest. The lake's outlet waters eventually cut through the natural dam, draining the lake, leaving muck soil formed from the decomposed organic matter that accumulated on the lake bottom. In the late 1800s, areas were cleared, drained and used for intensive cultivation of vegetables and sod in this uniquely fertile soil, the Great Meadows.

The glacier, which was over a mile thick, finally receded 21,000 years ago, leaving behind moraines, kettle holes, erratics, and other features. An erratic is a rock that was transported by glacial ice to its present. site. Limestone boulders, originally part of the 500 million year old Kittatinny Limestone formation, came from the Kittatinny Valley to the northwest.

This boulder came from the valley near the Paulinskill River and is approximately 470 million years old.

A geologist can go to school along the nine miles of hiking trails at Jenny Jump, lined with glacial debris plucked from mountaintops and left here where the mile-thick sheet of ice ceased to advance. For the rest of us, these monumental features remain captivating, but strangely out of place. Over the shallow bedrock and between huge boulders and ledges lives a mature hardwood forest, some of whose trees have invaded the rock with roots wedged in ever widening crevices. Rows of white pine, planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps, fringe the hardwoods. The Corps, who occupied this land in the 1930s, also built the original roads and the Orchard Trail picnic area, probably planning a public recreation area even before its acquisition by the State of New Jersey.

Beginning near park headquarters, the Summit Trail reaches its peak at 1090 feet where it meets the Ghost Lake Trail which winds down the southeast side of the mountain. Ghost Lake, also accessible from Shades of Death Road for car top boat launches, offers great bass fishing before it is overtaken by weeds each year. Man made and fed by an artesian well, the lake reaches a maximum depth of only 10 feet. Park management has acquired a grant to address the weed problem and extend the lake's life.

Outcrops along Jenny Jump's Summit trail yield impressive vistas.

On the southeast side of the ridge in the park's main section sits the Greenwood Observatory, established by the United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey in 1992. At its 1,100 foot perch, the telescope is not only a little closer to the stars, but enjoys one of the few "dark sky" locations in New Jersey, relatively devoid of light source pollution. The facility is a 10' x 10' roll-off roof structure housing a 16 inch Newtonian Telescope for use by all UACNJ observers and for public programs. On the property, a building, converted from a private residence, houses a lecture room for public programs, a sales desk offering books and other astronomy related items, a display room, a radio astronomy/ham-radio room, and a maintenance shop.

Greenwood Observatory

The upstairs has a large meeting room and an office/library. For those wanting to observe all night, a full kitchen, bath, and a bunk room are available. The 16 inch telescope magnifies up to 800 times which allows you to see Venus, Mars, and more remote planets; hitch your wagon to other galaxies and nebula (remnants of an exploding star); or have an up-close and personal with the man in the moon. There are two hour programs each Saturday evening from 8-10 pm which may include topics ranging from a children's guide to the stars to current issues in astrophysics. Subjects for the weekly programs are announced at the park office or on the UACNJ website. Whatever your particular interest, you will enjoy an enthusiastic group of hosts, eager to help you on your way across the universe.

The relationship between the Park and UACNJ, actually a a loosely associated umbrella networking group for New Jersey area amateur astronomy clubs, has been a fruitful one. Five additional observatories are under construction, three of which will be run by member clubs. The UACNJ will maintain a solar and a research observatory with a special chronograph and a hydrogen alpha telescope which looks at the sun in red wavelengths. A seventh observatory is in the planning stages and will house the recently donated 28 inch reflecting telescope in a building on top of mountain with full domed roof. When these projects are complete, the UACNJ facility at Jenny Jump will be the largest in the tri-state area dedicated to amateur astronomy.

The Park's main section and headquarters are located off of Route 519 just northeast of Hope. On the southwest side of the village, also accessible from Route 519, lies another non-contiguous section of Jenny Jump State Forest. Acquired by the state in the1930s (but not part of the original CCC camp, this heavily wooded section overlooks Mountain Lake, a residential community. A five mile, multi-use, trail loop is accessible from a parking area on the north end of the lake. The rugged trail is not groomed, but it is clear for adventurous mountain bikers who can append a rough ride with a smooth cruise around the lake and stop for a bite to eat.

Camping at Jenny Jump takes place only in the main section, where there are 22 tent and trailer wooded sites with fire rings and picnic tables. There are also two group sites that will accommodate 25 and 40 campers. Jenny Jump is one of two New Jersey State Parks that offers shelters, each of which has a living room with a woodstove and double-deck bunks, with showers and toilets located nearby. The shelters, which will comfortably accommodate four people during any season, can be rented by the night. Since there are only eight of them however, you should book well in advance. For more information write Jenny Jump State Forest, Box 150, Hope, NJ 07844 or call 908-459-4366.

Nearby accommodations and attractions

  • Delaware River Railroad Excursions
  • An adventure every season on scenic steam train excursions along the Delaware River staffed by enthusiastic volunteers! Catch the Warren County Winery Train, River and Steam Train Ride, Mine Train, Day Out With Thomas and many more!

    100 Elizabeth St., Phillipsburg, 1-877/872-4674

  • Shippen Manor Museum
  • Restored c.1754 stone ironmaster’s home associated with Oxford Furnace. Colonial and Victorian rooms, costumed docents, open-hearth cooking, period music. Open first and second Sundays, 1-4pm. Genealogy library also open Mondays, 9-12. Special programs for schools.

    8 Belvidere Ave, Oxford 07863, 908/453-4381

  • The Loft at Jack's Barn
  • At once simply elegant and elegantly simple, this rare venue incorporates an exceptional event space with old world charm, making your event unforgettable!. Whether large, small, or somewhere in between, we guarantee your experience with us will be remarkable! Personal tours by convenience of appointment only.

    1487 Route 31, Oxford 07863, 908/857-2054

  • Inn at Millrace Pond
  • Located just one mile south of I-80, the inn includes comfortable guest rooms, wireless internet, exciting contemporary dining and intimate Fireside Tavern in a restored 1769 stone gristmill. An on-site meeting house provides a unique campus setting without distraction.

    319 Hope Johnsonburg Rd. (Rt. 519), Hope 07844, 908/459-4884

  • The Farm In Harmony
  • 7-acre military themed Corn Maze, with mini maze for little ones, open Wed.-Sun. through November 10. Fresh produce at farmstand or schedule pick-on-demand. Homemade soaps available online. Always a discount for Veterans with proper ID.

    231 Brainards Road, Harmony 08865, 908/283-0721



03 Jun 2014, 08:27
I was wondering if anyone has hiked from the campground at jenny jump to the land of make believe.. i want to plan a trip, but alas, i am a city girl that doesnt drive.
10 Apr 2013, 12:29
\r\n I was the only person spending the night in the campground in cabin 4, February, 2011. Four times during the night there were episodes of strange flashing lights outside that lasted about 15 seconds.\r\n\r\n I have no idea what they were since it was a clear night, no storms. Very eerie!\r\n\r\n sm
16 Mar 2013, 06:43
COME SEE THE STARS AT UACNJ OBSERVATORY- FOR FREE\r\n \r\nCome join us for a night with the stars.\r\n\r\nWe are the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ at the UACNJ Observatory located on Far View Road in Jenny Jump State Forest, Hope, NJ. \r\n \r\nWe run FREE outreach PUBLIC NIGHT events, every Saturday night starting in April thru October 2013 with our programs starting around 8PM and viewing till 10PM. \r\n \r\nOur web site is at www.UACNJ.ORG for any additional information and directions.\r\n \r\nAt the Observatory we have various club owned telescopes including a 178mm refractor, 16" and a 14" reflector. \r\n \r\nEach of these telescopes give slightly different views of the sky and are fun to compare the views.\r\n \r\nThe telescopes, depending on the weather, are opened to the public to look through and see the many wonders in the night sky.\r\n \r\nMany of our members also have telescopes setup, but PLEASE ask the members before approaching any telescope that you wish to look through.\r\n \r\nIf you have never seen the planets through a telescope you are truly missing one of the worlds best views, but planets are the only objects visible, one can see star clusters, double stars, galaxies, nebula and other deep sky objects.\r\n \r\nMany deep sky objects like Andromeda and the milky way are clearly visible at Jenny Jump by eye or through binoculars. So if you have a pair bring them.\r\n \r\nThese outreach nights are not only a learning experience but they are a fun family outing opportunity.\r\n\r\nIn addition to public viewing we also have a talk starting around 8PM on various astronomy topics in the UACNJ observatory meeting room. \r\n \r\nplease check our web site at for a list of topics that will be presented.\r\n \r\nChildren are encouraged to come with Adult supervision BUT Astronomy isn't only for kids.\r\n \r\nIT'S FUN FOR ALL AGES.\r\n \r\nSee you there!\r\n--------------------------------\r\n\r\nKen Taylor \r\nVP - UACNJ - United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey\r\n
11 Feb 2013, 17:50
Hi i wanna rent the group cabin for 25 people.Is it clean modern or rustic ? or if you have any persenal stories you and your family/friends you want to share also if anyone has pictures of the group cabinshe send them to me at] any little bit of info helps thanks
06 Nov 2012, 08:38
I have been trying to get in contact with Jenny Jump state park for information regarding a stay, but i have not heard from anyone there and noone is picking up the phone...HELP
12 Sep 2011, 07:08
My family and i just got back from camping this weekend with only one complaint. The misquitoes were horrible. I don't know if they are always this bad here or if it's from all the rain we have been getting. Also the observatory was cool for me, informational and great oppertunties for star gazing with people who know what they are looking at.
08 Aug 2011, 07:39
I made my reservation at Jenny Jump in the afternoon for a cabin. We get all the way there very late at night and NO KEY TO THE CABIN WAS LEFT AS THEY INSTRUCTED IT WOULD BE!!!!! Young girl took reservations 10 minutes before it was time for her to leave for the day and did not put the key out for us!!! SHE SHOULD BE FIRED FOR THE KAOS SHE CAUSED US!!!
25 Jul 2011, 17:33
I am a wondering photographer with a tent in my trunk. I wandered pa and nj and ended up at the observatory and spoke to a bunch of astro photographers. They showed me some amazing photograpy. I decided to stay and hang out so I went to the bottom of the mountain to the camping area and no one was there! I was too afraid to camp in the middle of no where where no one can hear you scream. I ended up going home. I plan to go back and hopefully meet up with the astro photographers again. It was dark but definately looked like a place I can wonder and do wildlife/nature photography. I did get some incredible sunset shots off the Rock Jenny Jumped off of at the observatory. You can see the valley below. I think next time I will bring a friend to protect me in the wilderness at night.
28 Jun 2011, 16:52
Melinda,\r\n\r\nThe park is still there. It's called the Land of Make Believe in Hope. I grew up near there, and live in Texas now. But I make trips back and always try to get there.
Winnie Means
25 Jun 2011, 16:32
Neat Site! This is a really great site -thanks for the insight, I'll stop by for more updates next time I am on the site!\n\n<a href=""></a>
Skylands Visitor
25 Jun 2011, 13:34
Andy,\r\nThe park phones were knocked out by a storm late last week. Try the Worthington SP number, (908) 841-9575. They should be able to help you.
24 Jun 2011, 15:18
I have called the administrative office at least 30 times in the past two days in hopes of getting a response. The line has been busy for the past two days and I understand the office must be busy; however, it is becoming a big problem that I cannot reschedule my reservation date. I have called your number from three different phone lines because I thought there was something wrong with my phone; however, the lines were still busy!\r\nWanting to contact Jenny Jump has become a hassle for me when all I wanted to do was reschedule my reservation date. If someone can answer my concerns please let me know at your earliest convenience and I would greatly appreciate it. \r\n\r\nAgain, I am sure this park is awesome and the people I have spoken with on the phone prior to these past couple days have been very friendly and helpful. However, I would appreciate it if someone would let me know what is going on. Because the phone lines have been busy, my 24 hour window to change the reservation date as said in the agreement has passed. Again, I only want to talk to someone from Jenny Jump to reschedule my reservation date. Thank you.
06 Jun 2011, 22:08
when I was a child there was an Indian/Frontier theme park within walking distance of the site where Jenny is purposed to have jumped. I vaguely remember going there with a church youth group. I don't suppose the theme park is still there - it was a small, local place. But my memories will last forever.
03 Jun 2011, 18:29
I used to climb on that boulder when I was a kid. I think they put a fence around it now.
18 Mar 2011, 09:40
to whom it may concern,\r\n\r\nI am currently being attacked by a bear? what should i do? Is there another forum I could post on to get more immediate help? \r\n\r\nThe bear is now gnawing on my left arm....\r\n\r\nAlso, why are there bears here? What kind of camp allows bear to stay so close to visitors? I expect better for Hyatt, err, Jenny Jump.
15 Mar 2011, 08:12
Was looking on here to see if anyone had made posts about the shelters. Only saw a few but the one about cobwebs was pretty funny. Did they realize they were going to be in the woods? LOL. Anyway, I have stayed in a few different NJ State parks in camp sites, cabins & yurts. But not in any of the shelters and wasn't sure if they have electric in them like the cabins I've rented. Looks like it's time to call the office.
18 Oct 2010, 15:28
I just went hiking today on the Ghost Lake and Summit and Swamp trails. Nice fall day, I only saw 2 people. But what is up with that horrible shooting?
01 Oct 2010, 09:52
i was wondering when dose the camp site close for the season bc i have friends that wont to go camping
Sara Edmiston
23 Sep 2010, 07:24
I would like to know where I can make reservations for a tent site or a cabin site for Saturday October 9 through Sunday October 10, 2010? Price?
13 Aug 2010, 22:06
To whom it may concern, my wife just kicked me out of the house, I have clothes and shoes (so I can wear them). Was just wondering how I can apply for long term housing at one of the shelters. I will keep this on the QT if needed. Also does it come stocked with food and are oil changes permitted at the location?
george norkaitis
03 Aug 2010, 15:50
looking for camp grouds in LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE PARK area
05 Apr 2010, 09:34
Offical Website \r\n\r\n
patrick w
29 Dec 2009, 12:47
I am interseted to do some winter camping with my boy scout troop in Feb. 2010. Are you open all yerar round, and what are your rates. Thanks Pat
21 Nov 2009, 10:56
Jenny Jump is a great place to camp and hike.
31 Aug 2009, 04:06
why do you want a green tent so much?\r\nbears like smells.\r\n\r\nso dont keep any soap in your tent.
Blanco Nino
04 Aug 2009, 14:05
Nice catch...Too bad you got sacked!!
Frank Stallone
04 Aug 2009, 14:02
I love the park and my family are currently enjoying it for the most part...quick question, what is the best way to treat a three year old with a snake bite? She just wont stop crying.\r\n\r\nThanks
Warner/Cox Family
29 Jul 2009, 13:07
We got a group site last year for a week for our family of 9 and it was awesome. The kids all enjoyed themselves and so did us Parents. We loved it so much we are doing it again this year, but this year we decided to bring more Family. So here we go again, just called and reserved three family sites for a Family of 15 who are going to enjoy the nature with no electronics for a whole week. We all can’t wait, Thank You, Jenny Jump State Park, for making our vacation always one to remember!!!!!
No Wonder
20 Jul 2009, 11:20
No Wonder the world is what it is today with fools like this in the world. I wish the dinosaurs were around still, so they could eat the idiots.
17 Jul 2009, 07:54
This may be the funniest forum I have ever read. Who are these fools??
Athena (I Love Jenny Jump)
06 Jul 2009, 08:29
My close friends and I have been going for 6 years now and it's become our home away from home. The bathrooms are clean the staff is awesome and the Ghost Lake trail is our favorite.
28 Jun 2009, 10:10
I'm interested in coming to stay on the ground,camping or renting a cabin, this Mo-Tues.\r\nplease letmeknowifpossible asap.\r\nthanks
15 Jun 2009, 12:46
We just stayed for the weekend at shelter 6. It was so loaded with cobwebs and bugs that we spend both nights in our car. Friends stayed in cabins 1, 4, and 5, which were very nice, finished wood inside, and clean. Shelters 6 and 3 have unfinished ceiling, open beams, loaded with webs and whatever lurks within. The hiking was very good, with great views. Nearby observatory was very cool. Electrical outlets in bathroom did not work.
24 May 2009, 13:16
The Shelters and Campsites at Jenny Jump are great. I highly recommend the shelters they are clean and the trails are great.
15 May 2009, 22:55
All questions and reservations should be directed to address above. I cant belive people would post their names, address, email,and even phone numbers on a forum. Asking to rent a tent IN GREEN you have to joking. Bears dont hang outside of tents. If they smell your chips inside they will just walk in. And they dont use the zippers. And they exit through the back! This is a camping site, not a shelter, if you want shelter try the YMCA. Some people should stick with Best Western then camp. You'll also be surprised when you find out the camps do not provide hair dryers and little soaps. Good Luck
18 Apr 2009, 12:15
For all info call the Jenny Jump State Forest Office at 908-459-4366
Anna Cascone
02 Apr 2009, 14:02
I have recently moved from California, where I was a Gardener for the Griffith Park Observatory. I really enjoyed working for the observatory, but because one of my parents, being elderly, took ill. Therefore, if you could send me an application for possible employment in the Warren County area, I would be very greatful.\r\nMy address is: 204 Washington Garden Apts., Washington, NJ 07882 tel:908-223-7271. Thank you. \r\n
23 Mar 2009, 17:34
Iwant to rent a tent. Do you rent tents? A green one please.
25 Feb 2009, 03:30
For Maia Y Mc Dowell or anyone with information about the background of the area.\r\nI am interested in the history of the name of the park and /or interesting names in the park such as Ghost Lake. If you have any details or suggestions for resources please post here. Thanks a lot!
03 Jan 2009, 17:17
This is for comments, like...nice park, good views, not reservations. sheesh.
01 Jan 2009, 10:49
wanted to find out if any cabins are available this weekend. 1-2-1-3,09\r\n\r\nthanks
barb g
22 Dec 2008, 05:30
Is there an open shelter for Dec 27-29 2008? Also, the cost? Are leashed dogs allowed? Thank you, Happy Holidays
Frank P.
19 Dec 2008, 17:36
Went with friend and family Hunting\r\nno luck but had a great time with the eco system, its very scientifically fantastic\r\nand the people are great. Great Time and good people.
carey davis
16 Sep 2008, 11:46
I am interested in a shelter or camp site on October 3, 4, 5. Our friends (C. Petersen) have rented a shelter and we would love to be close to them if possible. Please let me know what is available or offer me a time to call you.\r\n\r\nCarey
bearing beauty
30 Aug 2008, 16:01
lmao...these comments crack me up. "there's a bear outside my tent and i don't have a cell phone" lol...but you brought your computer? and uhm...if you're looking for a reservation...WHY dON'T YOU TRY CALLING THE OFFICE????? some ppl are just SO smart. maybe you shouldn't be camping at all...
14 Aug 2008, 14:58
I would like to rent your cabins for the LABOR DAY weekend for a church gathering. Let me know what I need to do. \r\nThanks
Theresa Castrantas
09 Aug 2008, 19:09
I am interested in a shelter. What is the cost during the week and weekend?
Dawn Shanko
13 Jul 2008, 05:34
kathy hopkins
12 Jul 2008, 13:36
I would be interested in renting a cabin for the last weekend in august arriving friday and leaving sunday could you please e-mail me more information
05 Jul 2008, 14:31
This is for all the people who look for information . Go on the internet, look under NJDEP parks and forest department. You will find a list with all the state parks, phone #s and addresses.
29 Jun 2008, 18:28
Im currently camping at Jenny Jump. There is a bear outside my tent, I don't have my cell phone in here. Could someone please alert the ranger.
Spruce Moose
25 Jun 2008, 17:41
what the hells is wrong with you people? do you know how to use the internet? no one gives a damn about what you're interested in, and all inquiries probably should be made with a real person.
katherine J Armas
23 Jun 2008, 11:05
Suzanne Snyder
07 Jun 2008, 13:19
We would like to book 2 cabins for next summer 2009 from Thursday June 4 through Sunday June 7.\r\nCan we do it by email or over the phone?
kenneth kohler
04 Jun 2008, 09:59
looking for a tent site the weekend of june 13-15
Aedin Higgins
03 Jun 2008, 11:21
We have been trying to book a camp site for this weekend( fri.6, Sat 7 ) but are unable to get through by phone .
Maia Y. McDowell
31 May 2008, 20:13
Born in 1950, my parents brought us to camp at Jenny Jump State Park every year; our trips are some of my fondest childhood memories. \r\n\r\nIn reviewing the park website, I see no mention of the origin of the park's name. My parents told me that in the 1700's a young teenage colonist named Jenny lived in a nearby settlement. Indians attacked the settlement. The colonists were aware that anyone who could not flee quickly would most likely be scalped. Jenny fled with the others. As she reached the cliff, she heard her fellow colonists crying, "Jump, Jenny, jump!", and she jumped to her death.\r\n\r\nI pray that the park will be spared in any budget cuts.
28 May 2008, 12:28
Can you tell me if you have fishing capabilities near the sheltered camping? And can you tell me the cost? Thank you
Aida I. Coleman
18 May 2008, 04:31
Hello, \r\n\r\nI'm inguiring about shelter camping over the Memorial day weekend. Can you please tell me if any are available. \r\n\r\nThank you in advance.
Alan Ogletree
08 May 2008, 13:47
Info on retreats @ the park
10 Apr 2008, 14:59
470 million year old boulder at Jenny Jump??! You've got to be kidding me... Lol \r\nIt's very sad that they are trying to close NJ state parks. I can't believe High Point State Park is on the list!! Please call your local representatives and the governor's office and let them know what these parks mean to us!!
09 Apr 2008, 12:42
03 Apr 2008, 12:59
I would like to inquire about availability on shelters and tent sites for Memorial Day Weekend(if possible close to each other). Please let me know. Thank you.\r\n
Jackie Ayers
02 Apr 2008, 06:23
The news is showing several state parks that are to be closed in New Jersey. Jenny Jump is on the list. NO,NO,NO - this is a wonderful place - please tell me they aren't really closing down. What will we do, we've been coming there for years! I hope the "powers to be" will find a different way to crunch the state budget!
Maryellen Driesse-Rodriguez
29 Mar 2008, 06:37
Hi I am interested in sheltered camping for the week of April 21st - April 28th. The availability and cost? Thank you.\r\n
tina droegemeier
03 Feb 2008, 12:33
I would like to know of availability of trailer camp site or shelter May 19-21 of 08 and costs of both. Thanks for your time
28 Dec 2007, 14:10
Jenny Jump has great winter camping with outstanding shelters!
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