The 10 Longest Rivers in New Jersey

The Raritan River in New Jersey.
The Raritan River in New Jersey.

The U.S. state of New Jersey is located in the northeastern side of the nation, about 130 miles from the Atlantic Coast. The list of rivers in the state usually includes streams that have the same classification as rivers. All rivers in New Jersey drain into five drainage basins: the Hudson River Basin, Raritan River Basin, Newark Bay, Atlantic Coast, and Delaware Bay.

The 10 Longest Rivers in New Jersey

The longest river in New Jersey is Hudson River, which has an approximate length of 315 miles, while the Delaware River is a close second with a length of about 301 miles. The third longest river, the Raritan River, is considerably shorter, with an approximate length of 121 miles. The Wallkill River and Passaic River rank as the fourth and the fifth longest rivers in New Jersey, with approximate lengths of 88 and 80 miles, respectively. The two shortest rivers on the list are the Musconetcong and Hackensack rivers, with lengths of about 46 and 45 miles, respectively.

Hudson River

The Hudson River is a large river that flows in a north-south direction through the eastern side of New York state. The river originates from Lake Tear of the Clouds at a height of about 4,322 feet. In the first stages of its course, it is known as Feldspar Brook, and then as Calamity Brook after converging with Calamity Brook. After reaching Indian Pass Brook, the name changes to the Hudson River. The course of the Hudson River makes up the political border between New York City and Jersey City.

Delaware River

The Delaware River is another large river flowing through New Jersey, and has a drainage of an area of about 14,119 square miles in five US states. The river has two sources: the main (west) branch, located at a place near Mount Jefferson in Schoharie County, while the secondary (east) source is at Grand Gorge in Delaware County. Eventually, the river drains into Delaware Bay. In the past, the Delaware River and Raritan River were linked by the Delaware and Raritan Canal, which served as transportation route to the Atlantic Ocean. Parts of the river are now protected by the Delaware Water Gap National Protection Area, which was established in 1965 and covers an area of approximately 70,000 acres.

Raritan River

The Raritan River is the longest River in New Jersey that begins and ends completely within the state. Much of the central mountainous area of New Jersey attributes its drainage to this river, which has its mouth at the Raritan Bay. Since the pre-Columbian era, the river has been used for providing transportation and water. The Raritan River has its source at the convergence of the North Branch Raritan River and the South Branch Raritan River.

Hackensack River

With an approximate length of only 45 miles, the Hackensack River is the shorted on the list of the 10 longest rivers in New Jersey. The river has its source at West Haverstraw in New York, while its mouth is located at Newark Bay. At some point, the Hackensack River was the most polluted in the United States, but its cleanliness has improved since the late 2000s.

The 10 Longest Rivers in New Jersey

RankRiverLength (miles)Length (km)
1Hudson River 315507
2Delaware River301484
3Raritan River 121195
4Wallkill River88142
5Passaic River80130
6Great Egg Harbor River 5589
7Mullica River5182
8South Branch Raritan River 5182
9Musconetcong River 4674
10Hackensack River 4572

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