New Jersey is America's most densely populated state, but you'd never know it in the million or so acres of state parks and wildlife refuges that make up Pinelands National Reserve. That's the official name, but to Jersey natives, the area will always be the Pine Barrens, an apt adjective for the flat, sandy-soil forest and eerie cedar bogs. And never mind its rare conifers and orchids – this is foremost the home of the sinister Jersey Devil. Ask any local you meet about it – or read John McPhee's 1968 classic, The Pine Barrens.
The 50-mile Batona Trail cuts through east–west, rewarding hikers with wild blueberries in midsummer. The route passes the Apple Pie Hill Fire Tower, giving a view over a veritable sea of forest from Atlantic City to Philadelphia. Call ahead to ensure the tower is open.