Jenny Jump State Forest – Hope, New Jersey - Atlas Obscura

Jenny Jump State Forest

Hope, New Jersey

Local lore claims this park is named after a young woman who jumped off a cliff. 


New Jersey’s Warren County offers many options for camping and taking that perfect picture of a rural wooded wonderland but few state forests have such a macabre history as the 4,466-acre Jenny Jump State Forest located in the town of Hope.

According to local lore, the state park derives its name from an unfortunate incident involving a girl named Jenny. Legend has it that long ago, the Minsi tribe of the Lenni Lenape came upon the young girl, Jenny, and her father along a mountain’s edge. Feeling threatened, Jenny’s father yelled to her to escape: “Jump, Jenny, jump!” Other sources, however, say the name could simply be an Anglicized form of the area’s original Lenape name.

Next to Jenny Jump Mountain there is an amusement park called the Land of Make Believe. In this park, a pair of scarecrows tells the tale of Jenny’s demise. You can also see the same mountain Jenny supposedly jumped from as well as what the park claims was her home. The house holds a plaque recounting this tale.

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