Gov. Phil Murphy has announced plans to install electric vehicle charging stations at six state parks and forests.

With state parks among the latest recipients of funding to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure, will give visitors the opportunity to both appreciate and protect the environment, while quietly charging their vehicles during outings, said Environmental Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette.

The charging stations were made possible with funding assistance from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities as part of its Electric Vehicle Tourism grant program, which provides funding for chargers at tourist locations across the state.

In March, the BPU awarded more than $1 million in grants for the installation of electric vehicle chargers at 24 key tourist destinations across the Garden State.

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That includes $45,000 to the New Jersey State Park Service for 10 Level 2 charging stations at parks and forests across the state.

In July, BPU announced another round of awards, which included $150,000 for two DC fast chargers that will be installed at Liberty State Park in Hudson County.

New Jersey state parks receive millions of visitors each year, making them popular tourist attractions.

Photo Credit: (NJ DEP)
Photo Credit: (NJ DEP)
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Round Valley, which is accessible from Interstate 78, is the first state park area to receive two EV chargers. Round Valley has high visitation, especially in the summer. In 2021, Round Valley Recreation Area received more than 654,000 visitors and more than 3,000 overnight campers, according to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

“We’re pleased to offer this new amenity and are excited to see park visitors charge their vehicles while enjoying their day outdoors,” LaTourette said.

The DEP has prioritized which properties to receive the chargers based on electrical feasibility, parking lot layout, and structure.

Two charging stations are in place and operational at Round Valley Reservoir (Hunterdon County).

Other properties scheduled to receive Level 2 charging stations include Cheesequake State Park (Middlesex), High Point State Park (Sussex), Wawayanda State Park (Sussex and Passaic), and Wharton State Forest-Batsto Village (Burlington).

The timeline for installation and operations of the 10 Level 2 charging stations and the two fast chargers will be announced at a later date.

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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