You seem like an experienced traveler, but like you mostly spend your time in the south, so just in case you don't know- plan your route to avoid spending time in the Hellhole And Zone Of Pestilence known as "New Jersey".
Pretty much anything anyone who hangs here would consider worth doing is illegal, and enforced by cops that think Adam 12 is a recent documentary
Hitchhiking is very illegal, and i would not be surprised if they have the death penalty for getting caught on railroad property. i actually have no idea about this; i do know NY has pretty severe railroad trespass laws, so be careful getting off any trains around Newburgh when you come to visit me.
The new jersey section of the Appalachian Trail was some of the nicest most beautiful hiking I done to my surprise. And not a few black bears. But, yea otherwise my experience of new jersey is it stinks, like, literally