Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Mahwah, NJ

  • Published 2022/11/27

Mahwah is the largest municipality of New Jersey’s Bergen County in terms of geographical size.

This is because it’s home to some of the largest natural wonders in New Jersey, particularly the Ramapo and Campgaw Mountains.

With sprawling mountain ridges, expect Mahwah to have some of the state’s best reserves, hiking trails, and other outdoor attractions.

While famous for its mountains, Mahwah also has a great urban culture despite its small population.

Mahwah is also close to Newark and New York City, making it a great addition or stopover to your New Jersey and New York itinerary.

To get your trip started, check out this list of the best things to do in Mahwah, New Jersey.

Explore the Trails at Ramapo Valley County Reservation

The waters of Ramapo Valley County Reservation

Matt Kremkau /

Ramapo Valley County Reservation is easily the best attraction to Mahwah and a can’t-miss destination for outdoor adventurers traveling to New Jersey.

It’s a scenic area where you can best immerse yourself in the beauty of Ramapo Mountain, with over 3,000 acres of nature and wildlife to explore.

There’s a lot to see at Ramapo Valley County Reservation, ranging from serene waterfalls and scenic nature trails to wildlife like deer and foxes and bodies of water such as ponds and streams.

Picnic table at Ramapo Valley County Reservation

Matt Kremkau /

The walking trails here are well laid out, and you can bring your pooch with you during your adventure.

Just note that Ramapo Valley County Reservation is susceptible to heightened bear activity, so check its status with the rangers before going.

Ramapo Valley County Reservation can be accessed along Ramapo Valley Road along the west side of Mahwah.

Cascades at Ramapo Valley County Reservation

Sydney Wilhalme /

Experience Breathtaking Views at Hawk Rock

If you want to reach a good elevation in Ramapo Mountain, Hawk Rock offers one of the best experiences in the mountain.

It’s one of the mountain’s scenic spots where you can get fantastic views overlooking Mahwah.

However, the real charm behind Hawk Rock is your path to reach it.

The trail leading to Hawk Rock boasts some of the best flora and rock formations in the mountain, particularly known for its diverse flowers and the presence of various cacti.

In fact, it has an interconnected area called Cactus Ledge.

The hike to Hawk Rock isn’t too challenging for new hikers, making this an ideal hike if you’re doing it for fun.

You can begin your ascent through the Ramapo Valley County Reservation.

Enjoy a Lakeside Stroll at Continental Soldiers Park

Continental Soldiers Park is a multifaceted recreational park along Ramapo Valley Road, found near Ramapo Valley County Reservation.

It’s particularly famous for its soccer fields, but the real gem of Continental Soldiers Park is its access to the Ramapo River.

The riverside area where Continental Soldiers Park resides is unique, as the river flows through a basin that creates a mini lake right next to the park.

This area is serene and picturesque, perfect for a tranquil stroll or doing some light fishing.

This part of Mahwah has some of the prettiest and most peaceful nature trails, so put this park atop your list.

Do Winter Sports at Campgaw Mountain Ski Area

Campgaw Mountain is another geographical wonder in Mahwah, known for the Campgaw Mountain Ski Area.

Known as the premiere destination in New Jersey for winter sports activities, Campgaw Mountain Ski Area is a must-visit if you’re looking to do snowboarding or skiing.

The beautiful slopes are well-maintained and offer picturesque scenery, making this place one of the most memorable destinations in New Jersey.

Another particularly hit sport here among the locals that you can try out is their snow tubing service.

Campgaw Mountain Ski Area isn’t a big ski resort compared to other ones in the U.S., making it a great place for beginners and kids.

The ski area is found along Campgaw Road.

Play Disc Golf at Campgaw Disc Golf Course

If winter sports aren’t your thing, there’s also the Campgaw Disc Golf Course for you.

The disc golf course is a unique experience as you’ll experience a lot of elevation doing it at Campgaw Mountain.

It’s a fantastic place to spend time with friends and family!

Campgaw Disc Golf Course will also require a bit of a hike, so it’s a great additional experience to experience mountainside disc golf.

This golf course is located right next to the parking lot of Campgaw Mountain Ski Area.

Go on a Hayride at Secor Farms

Secor Farms is a large nursery garden center that is an icon in Mahwah for its fresh and wide range of local produce.

More than a farm where you can buy fruits and vegetables, Secor Farms is a tourist destination on its own because of its petting zoo and picturesque hayrides that’ll surely leave a fond memory during your trip to Mahwah.

They’re famous for their autumn and winter produce here, having an abundance of pumpkins while also being the go-to place for the municipality’s Christmas trees.

Another thing that Secor Farms is famous for are their homemade apple cider donuts, so give that a try as well.

Secor Farms is found along Airmount Avenue, close to the border between Mahwah and the neighboring New York village, Airmont.

Dine Riverside at Mason Jar Family Restaurant and Bar

Despite its small population, Mahwah is also home to several great restaurants in New Jersey, with Mason Jar Family Restaurant and Bar being one of them.

An icon among locals, Mason Jar Family Restaurant and Bar offers great views of the Ramapo River, as it’s just along Ramapo Valley Road.

Besides its scenic location, the food and beer here are some of the best not only in Mahwah but in New Jersey as well.

They have their own dedicated wood-burning stove for some of the best-tasting pizzas, along with a wide variety of American rustic dishes like burnt ends, barbecued beef briskets, and lobster bisques.

If you’re feeling fancy, they also have all sorts of steaks, such as prime rib and filet mignon.

See the Les Paul Exhibit at Mahwah Museum

Mahwah Museum is a quaint small museum in the municipal proper of Mahwah, found along Franklin Turnpike.

It has all sorts of cool exhibits inside, but it’s best known for its assortment of Les Paul guitars on display.

Their focus on Les Paul guitars is because of Les Paul’s background as a Mahwah resident.

Besides getting to see his guitars, you can also find World War I artifacts here, explained in detail by the staff and historians in Mahwah Museum.

There are also a lot of model trains and township dioramas in Mahwah Museum, making this a desirable destination for kids to enjoy.

Dine Anytime at State Line Diner

Exterior of State Line Diner

Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another well-known food establishment in Mahwah that you should check is State Line Diner.

Both a municipal icon and a travel stopover, State Line Diner’s 24/7 business model, is a hit for many tourists, as it is conveniently found along State Highway 17.

There’s a wide variety of food at State Line Diner, but they’re best known for the baked goods and classic American diner dishes.

The diner also has a nice rustic touch to it, befitting the personality of Mahwah.

Whether you’re traveling late at night or looking for some of the most well-loved restaurants in Mahwah, State Line Diner is a must-try during your stay.

Take a Breather at Winter’s Park

If you’re looking for a park to relax with family-oriented amenities, Winter’s Park is a great addition to your itinerary.

Located in the heart of the municipality along East Ramapo Avenue, Winter’s Park is easily accessible if you stay at the hotels in Mahwah.

What makes this park special is its scenic pond called Winter’s Pond—a gorgeous spot to just relax and watch waterfowls that nest in the area.

There are several benches in the area, along with plenty of shade.

There’s also a gazebo and a playground that makes this a great place to take children with you.

Swim at the Beach in Darlington County Park

Darlington County Park is another vast recreational area in Mahwah, best known for Darlington Lake, which has man-made beaches for everyone to enjoy.

Its sandy beach sprawls across the wide banks of the lake, allowing the park not to feel crowded even during summer.

You can sunbathe, swim, or play beach volleyball along the lake, but that’s not where the fun ends.

Darlington County Park is also where you do other recreational activities, such as sports and hiking.

Sprawling with woodlands and various amenities for everyone to enjoy, Darlington County Park is one of the best attractions in Mahwah—found along Campgaw Road.

Play a Round of Golf at Darlington Golf Course

Part of Darlington County Park that deserves its own mention is the Darlington Golf Course—a public golf course that’s the only one in Mahwah.

It’s regarded by many locals as one of the best golf courses in Bergen County, making this a desirable addition to your itinerary if you’re a golf enthusiast.

The course is clean and well-maintained, offering a challenge due to its hilly nature.

The rates here are also affordable and some of the most competitive in New Jersey.

Darlington Golf Course is also run by a competent and friendly staff that will make your play all the more enjoyable.

See the Historic Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church

Whether you’re Catholic or not, the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church makes for a great stopover during your trip.

It’s a historic place in Mahwah, boasting intricate stone architecture that will pique the curiosity of any architecture and history buff.

The church’s interiors were also recently remodeled, adding a beautiful aesthetic that matches its rustic stone walls.

If you’re looking to attend mass, this church is also well-rated by locals for its energetic atmosphere.

The Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church can be found along Darlington Avenue near Continental Soldiers Park.

Pay a Visit to Scarlet Oak Pond Walk

If Continental Soldiers Park isn’t enough for your lakeside stroll, there’s another nearby area called Scarlet Oak Pond Walk.

Scarlet Oak Pond Walk is a scenic spot that lets you easily access gorgeous areas in Ramapo without needing to hike extensively.

The trail leads you deep into the woods, where you can witness tons of different flora and several ponds.

Scarlet Oak Pond Walk is pretty famous among locals, so don’t expect this to be a tranquil trek but more of a family-oriented one.

If you visit during the autumn months, this area receives a lot of fantastic foliage, making it a picture-perfect spot to take your family.

Have Fun at Fardale Park

If you have some downtime during your trip, Fardale Park is a perfect place to spend a slow day playing sports.

This is one of the best parks in Mahwah if you want to break a sweat, boasting soccer fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts.

The fields are well maintained, and there is plenty of parking, so you won’t have to worry about the place being overcrowded.

You can also mingle a bit with the locals here, as it’s situated in a residential area.

Fardale Park is conveniently located along Chapel Road, just a few minutes south of Darlington County Park.

Final Thoughts

Mahwah is a beautiful municipality in New Jersey that lets you enjoy the state’s rich geographical wonders to its full potential.

Surrounded by the Ramapo and Campgaw Mountains, Mahwah is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for all sorts of varied mountain activities.

Even if you’re not a big fan of the outdoors, Mahwah has intricately harmonized their surrounding nature with their urbanization, boasting various parks you can conveniently access throughout the municipality.

Close to New York City and Newark, Mahwah remains to be one of the more underrated places on the East Coast.

Convinced to go? The best things to do in Mahwah, New Jersey, are waiting for you!

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