Central Jersey does not include Monmouth (yet).

If it gets its own spot on the New Jersey tourism map, then it has to exist. Right?

A bill awaiting action in the New Jersey Legislature designates on paper a “Central Jersey” region, which would then need to be included in the state’s tourism marketing efforts.

“It deserves to be singled out and be a part of the economic force,” Rep. Roy Freiman, D-Somerset, told New Jersey 101.5. “There is a certain atmosphere and landscape associated with this area that is underexploited from a tourism, attraction, recreation and quality of life perspective.”

Currently, the state’s tourism map is divided into six regions: Skyland, Gateway, Delaware River, Shore, Southern Shore, and Greater Atlantic City.

By Freiman’s measure, the Central Jersey region would consist of “at least” the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset. An accompanying bill in the Senate says the same thing.

“As we continue to engage in dialogue and discussion, this may include some other parts of our state,” Freiman said.

As of now, these four counties are split between the Skyway, Gateway, and Delaware River regions of the map.

In response to the newly introduced legislation, Senator Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, said anything that doesn’t include Monmouth County should never be considered Central Jersey.

“You can’t change the laws of mathematics and you can’t change the borders of Central Jersey,” O’Scanlon said. “If they want to leave out Monmouth, they have to call it something else.”

Freiman said the bill wasn’t designed to put an end to it “Is there a Central Jersey?” debate (he says it exists, by the way) – Serious intentions went into the legislation to spend tourism dollars more efficiently and to promote all that New Jersey has to offer.

“When it comes to tourism, New Jersey is more than just a beautiful coast,” Freiman said. “We could celebrate so much more.”

As well as creating a tourism region in Central Jersey, the bill would require any use of federal COVID funds to be allocated to tourism based on the regions and activities most in need of economic support. In addition, the Department of Travel and Tourism would have to devote at least 10% of its annual budget to promoting agritourism.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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Say you’re from Jersey without saying you’re from Jersey

These are everyday phrases that only someone from New Jersey would understand. What else should be on this list?

These are the best hiking areas in New Jersey

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

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, there are many options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outside and enjoy nature, and it’s also a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of our listeners’ suggestions, I have some hiking etiquette tips from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and meet an uphill hiker, step aside and give the uphill hiker room. A hiker going uphill has the right-of-way unless stopping to catch his breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side trails unless they are marked as an official trail, stay away from them. If you leave the trail, you can harm the ecosystems surrounding the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and keep hiking.

Cyclists should give way to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give way to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey’s trails.

If you decide to take your dog with you on your hike, be sure to keep them on a leash and ensure all pet waste is removed.

Finally, keep the weather in mind, if the trail is too muddy it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

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

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