25 Things to Know About New Jersey State Parks

Posted on: April 30th, 2020 by

If you have been a fan of Jersey Family Fun you may remember that last summer I set a goal of visiting all the New Jersey State Parks before my first born finishes high school in 2023. Last year, we visited 12 of the over 51 NJ State Parks. We were off to a great start!

Jenn with boys at Island Beach State Park
Island Beach State Park

I was excited for the summer ahead and looking forward to all the State Parks we could visit. When they first closed our schools I wasn’t too worried. Fewer school assignments, no organized sports, I thought this could be a chance to get a head start on this summer’s visits to the State Parks. When the announcement came that all the New Jersey State Parks were closed until further notice. I was devastated!

Then finally the news I had been waiting for. Today, April 29, 2020, Governor Murphy announced that our New Jersey State Parks will reopen at sunrise this Saturday, May 2, 2020. I was elated! I have so much great information to share with you about our State Parks that I wasn’t sure where to start. So I am starting with the 25 things I think you need to know about New Jersey State Parks.

This informational guide is based on our experiences, park brochures, information on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection website, and updates from their social media channels.

25 Things to Know About New Jersey State Parks

We’re all familiar with the local town and county parks, many of which are reviewed here on Jersey Family Fun. New Jersey State Parks and Forests are run by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and park lands were purchased/donated/acquired for providing outdoor recreational opportunities for the public.

New Jersey State Park Admission Fees

Some NJ State Parks have historic buildings within their confines, or have lakes or streams. Some do have playgrounds or visitors centers, but not all of them. Be ready for some walking and exploring. No matter what they offer each of our state parks is unique and you will find something you love about each one. All of them have a portion of the year where admission is free.

Visiting NJ State Parks with kids? You need the New Jersey State Parks and Forests travel journal to help you document your family’s best memories!

Which New Jersey State Parks have free admission?

The majority of New Jersey State Parks offer free admission year-round. About 15 of them do have a small admission fee between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.

  • Abram S. Hewitt State Forest
  • Allaire State Park is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Allamuchy Mountain State Park
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
  • Bass River State Forest is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Belleplain State Forest is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
  • Bull’s Island Recreational Area
  • Cape May Point State Park
  • Cheesequake State Park is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Corson’s Inlet State Park
  • Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park
  • Double Trouble State Park
  • Farny State Park
  • Forked River State Marina
  • Fort Mott State Park
  • Hacklebarney State Park
  • High Point State Park is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Hopatcong State Park is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Island Beach State Park is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Jenny Jump State Forest
  • Kittatinny Valley State Park
  • Leonardo State Marina
  • Liberty State Park
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Park
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park
  • Norvin Green State Forest
  • Parvin State Park is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Penn State Forest
  • Princeton Battlefield State Park
  • Ramapo Mountain State Forest
  • Rancocas State Park
  • Ringwood State Park
  • Round Valley Recreation Area is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Skylands is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Six Mile Run Reservoir Site
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Stephen’s State Park
  • Stokes State Forest is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Swartswood State Park is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Voorhees State Park
  • Warren Grove Recreation Area
  • Washington Crossing State Park is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Washington Rock State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Wharton State Forest
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Wharton State Forest – Historic Batsto Village is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day.
  • Worthington State Forest

What do New Jersey State Parks cost to enter?

Of the parks that do charge admission, they do so between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. These are the admission rates at the time of this article. We are listing admission fees for New Jersey residents. Nonresidents will pay a higher rate.

  • Allaire State Park – $5 per person on weekends and holidays.
  • Bass River State Forest – $2 per person if walking/biking, $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Belleplain State Forest – $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Cheesequake State Park – $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • High Point State Park – $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Hopatcong State Park – $3 per person if walking/biking, $6 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Island Beach State Park – $6 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Parvin State Park – $2 admission per day
  • Round Valley Recreation Area – $2 per person if walking/biking, $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area – $2 per person if walking/biking, $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Skylands – $5 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area – $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Stokes State Forest – $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Swartswood State Park – $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Washington Crossing State Park – $5 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Wawayanda State Park – $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area – $2 per person if walking/biking, $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Wharton State Forest – Historic Batsto Village – $5 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.

Do I have to pay to park at New Jersey State Parks?

Generally, parking is included with your admission. There may be special events where there is a charge for parking.

How can I save money on admission?

Families that plan to visit New Jersey State Parks more than 3-5 times during the summer can save money by purchasing an annual New Jersey State Park Pass.

The State Park Pass is available for New Jersey residents at $50; Non-Residents $75. This pass is free to senior citizens so be sure to sign up grandparents! It provides free entrance for one calendar year to the state parks and forests facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees. The pass does not cover camping fees or guarantee entry when facilities are filled to capacity or for special events.

You can buy a NJ State Park Pass online at https://yourpassnow.com/ParkPass/nj.

New Jersey State Parking Pass

New Jersey State Parks General Information

Where are the New Jersey State Parks located?

There are state parks in every region of New Jersey. Below, we tell you where each park is located, and link to their website. If we’ve developed a guide to exploring that New Jersey State Park with kids we’ll link to that as well.

Barnegat Lighthouse
Barnegat Lighthouse upclose
  • Bass River State Forest is in Tuckerton, Ocean and Burlington Counties.
  • Belleplain State Forest is in Woodbine, Cape May and Cumberland Counties.
    • Coming soon our mom’s guide to visiting Belleplain State Forest with kids.
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is in New Lisbon, Burlington County.
  • Bull’s Island Recreational Area
  • Cape May Point State Park is in Cape May, Cape May County.
    • Coming soon our mom’s guide to visiting Cape May Point State Park with kids.
Belleplain State Forest hiking trail
Belleplain State Forest
  • Cheesequake State Park is in Old Bridge, Middlesex County.
  • Corson’s Inlet State Park is in Ocean City, Cape May County.
    • Coming soon our mom’s guide to visiting Corson’s Inlet State Park with kids.
  • Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park spans multiple western counties
  • Double Trouble State Park is in Lacey and Berkeley Township, Ocean County
  • Farny State Park is in Rockaway, Morris County.
Corson's Inlet state park seagulls feeding
Corson’s Inlet State Park
Bridge at Parvin State Park
Parvin State Park
  • Island Beach State Park is in Berkeley, Ocean County.
    • Coming soon our mom’s guide to visiting Island Beach State Park with kids.
  • Jenny Jump State Forest is in Hope, Warren County.
  • Kittatinny Valley State Park is in Andover, Sussex County.
  • Leonardo State Marina
  • Liberty State Park is in Jersey City, Hudson County.
boy on train at Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal at Liberty State Park in Jersey City
Click to visit our guide to visiting Liberty State Park with kids.
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Park is in West Milford, Passaic County.
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park is in Manalapan and Freehold, Monmouth County.
    • Read our review of Monmouth Battlefield State Park.
  • Norvin Green State Forest is in Bloomingdale, Passaic County.
  • Parvin State Park is in Pittsgrove Township, Salem County.
  • Penn State Forest is in Jenkin’s Neck, Burlington County.

  • Princeton Battlefield State Park is in Princeton, Mercer County.
  • Ramapo Mountain State Forest is in Ringwood, Bergen and Passaic Counties.
  • Rancocas State Park is in Hainesport, Burlington County.
  • Ringwood State Park is in Ringwood, Passaic County.
  • Round Valley Recreation Area
Ramapo State Forest
Spectacular views at Ramapo State Forest
  • Skylands
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
  • Six Mile Run Reservoir Site
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area
  • Stephen’s State Park is in Hackettstown, Morris County.
  • Stokes State Forest is in Branchville, Sussex County.
Hike with your kids Hike the Stairway to Heaven Trail in Wawaynada State Park
Hike the Stairway to Heaven Trail in Wawaynada State Park
  • Swartswood State Park is in Stillwater Township, Sussex County.
  • Voorhees State Park is in Glen Gardner, Hunterdon County.
  • Warren Grove Recreation Area
  • Washington Crossing State Park is in Hopewell, Mercer County.
  • Washington Rock State Park is in Green Brook, Somerset County.
Voorhees State Park
Voorhees State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park is in Vernon and West Milford, Sussex and Passaic Counties.
  • Wharton State Forest is in Hammonton, Atlantic, Burlington and Camden Counties.
    • Coming soon our mom’s guide to visiting Wharton State Forest with kids.
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area
  • Wharton State Forest – Historic Batsto Village
  • Worthington State Forest is in Columbia, Warren County.
Wharton State Park ~ Atsion boy looks at lake from the edge of the hiking trail
Wharton State Park ~ Atsion

There are also state owned historic sites, some are within the confines of the state parks. Find them here.

Are there bathrooms at New Jersey State Parks?

Most New Jersey State Parks have bathrooms either indoor facilities, bathroom structures, or port-a-potties.

Currently, most New Jersey state parks have at least one bathroom opened, but not all.

Visitors should plan to use a bathroom elsewhere before or after their visit OR pee or poop in the woods. These devices can help make it easier should you have a bathroom emergency. You can purchase them on Amazon with our affiliate link.

Click to see our guide to portable toilets and products to help kids peep and poop outdoors.

Look into Leave No Trace principles for what to do if you need to use a bathroom while visiting the state parks. Do not litter by leaving toilet paper or tissues around. Additionally, be aware of brush so that you don’t come in contact with ticks and chiggers

Hacklebarney State Park Hiking Trails
Hacklebarney State Park

Which parks have visitors centers?

These New Jersey State Parks have visitors centers. Please check with them for hours as they vary from park to park. Most are open year-round but day to day schedules vary. Right now all visitor centers will be closed.

  • Allaire State Park’s visitor center is open seasonally
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
  • Cape May Point State Park
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • Double Trouble State Park
  • Fort Mott State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Island Beach State Park
  • Liberty State Park
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Park
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park
  • Skylands
  • Washington Crossing State Park
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area
  • Wharton State Forest – Historic Batsto Village
  • Worthington State Forest
Liberty State Park Visitor Center
Liberty State Park Visitor Center

Do any of the New Jersey State Parks have playgrounds?

Yes, many of the state parks have playgrounds. Not all playgrounds are equal though. While Liberty State Park has TWO phenomenal playgrounds, most of other playgrounds at the southern parks have the same set up as pictured below. We are still working on exploring the other state parks to see if theirs are different. Right now ALL playgrounds at New Jersey State Parks are closed.

Here are the New Jersey State Parks with playgrounds.

  • Allaire State Park
  • Bass River State Forest
  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • Bull’s Island Recreational Area
  • Fort Mott State Park
  • Hacklebarney State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Hopatcong State Park
  • Liberty State Park – AWESOME Playgrounds watch the video below
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park
  • Parvin State Park
  • Ringwood State Park
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
  • Round Valley Recreation Area
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area
  • Steven’s State Park
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Swartswood State Park
  • Voorhees State Park
  • Washington Crossing State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreational Area
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park has a playground nearby but not on the park grounds

Visiting NJ State Parks with kids? You need the New Jersey State Parks and Forests travel journal to help you document your family’s best memories!

Do the New Jersey State Parks offer events?

State parks offer lots of special events. Many are at an additional fee, but most are still a bargain! Find them here, listed by a few months at a time. While ALL park events are currently cancelled these are the state parks that regularly hold events.

Yearround Programs are offered at

  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Bull’s Island Recreational Area
  • Cape May Point State Park
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park
  • Fort Mott State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Island Beach State Park
  • Kittatiny Valley State Park
  • Liberty State Park
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Park
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park
  • Parvin State Park
  • Princeton Battlefield State Park
  • Ringwood State Park
  • Washington Crossing State Park
  • Wharton State Forest
  • Wharton State Forest – Historic Batsto Village
allaire state park in New Jersey
Allaire State Park in New Jersey

Seasonal Programs are offered at

  • Allaire State Park
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
  • Bass River State Forest
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
  • Corson’s Inlet State Park
  • Hacklebarney State Park
  • Hopatcong State Park
  • Jenny Jump State Forest
  • Round Valley Recreation Area
  • Skylands
  • Spruce Run Recreational Area
  • Stephen’s State Park
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Swartswood State Park
  • Voorhees State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreational Area
  • Worthington State Forest

Are there places to have picnics?

From picnic tables to gazebos to covered pavilions many of New Jersey State Parks have picnic facilities. Here’s a look at what’s available and where. Keep in mind right now picnicking is prohibited.

  • Allaire State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Bass River State Forest has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Belleplain State Forest has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Bull’s Island Recreation Area has picnic areas.
  • Cape May Point State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Cheesequake State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park has picnic areas.
  • Double Trouble State Park picnicking is permitted but there are no tables available.
  • Forked River State Marina has picnic areas.
  • Fort Mott State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Hacklebarney State Park has picnic areas.
  • High Point State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Hopatcong State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Island Beach State Park picnicking is permitted but there are no tables available.
  • Jenny Jump State Forest has picnic areas.
  • Kittatinny Valley State Park has picnic areas.
  • Leonardo State Marina has picnic areas.
  • Liberty State Park has picnic areas.
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park
  • Parvin State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Penn State Forest has picnic areas.
  • Ringwood State Park has picnic areas.
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area has picnic areas.
  • Round Valley Recreation Area has picnic areas.
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Stephen’s State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Stokes State Forest has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Swartswood State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Voorhees State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Washington Crossing State Park has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Wawayanda State Park has picnic areas.
  • Wharton State Forest has picnic areas and picnic shelters.
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area has picnic areas.
  • Wharton State Forest – Historic Batsto Village has picnic areas.
  • Worthington State Forest has picnic areas.
Gazebo on Parvin State Park hiking trails
Parvin State Park gazebo for picnics

Do they sell refreshments?

Some state parks sell refreshments seasonally, generally Memorial Day through Labor Day. It’s not clear if concession stands will open as normal this year. These state parks offer concessions on their property or nearby.

  • Allaire State Park
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park nearby
  • Bass River State Forest
  • Belleplain State Forest at the beachfront
  • Corson’s Inlet State Park nearby
  • Cape May Point State Park
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Hopatcong State Park
  • Island Beach State Park
  • Leonardo State Marina
  • Liberty State Park
  • Parvin State Park at the beachfront
  • Round Valley Recreation Area
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Swartswood State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park
  • Wharton State Forest
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area at beachfront
  • Wharton State Forest – Historic Batsto Village at the gift shop and vending machines in parking lot.

Are there gift shops?

Not all State Parks have gift shops. Those that do tend to have a small selection of gifts or souvenirs. There is not a lot of merchandise that is specific to New Jersey State Parks or each individual park. Here are the state parks we have visited that had gift shops.

  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Cape May Point State Park
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park
  • Wharton State Forest – Historic Batsto Village

Are dogs allowed at NJ State Parks?

Details coming soon on which New Jersey State Parks allow dogs.

Current Restrictions at New Jersey State Parks

Here are some of the current rules in place.

  • Passive recreation, including running, hiking, fishing, boating, kayaking and horseback riding will be allowed beginning at sunrise on Saturday, May 2.
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING rules MUST be followed. Please keep 6-10 feet away from others. DO NOT travel with groups other than your immediate family.
  • Limit your visit to 2 hours or less.
  • Parking lot capacity will be limited to 50%.
  • Restrooms will remain closed.
  • Picnics are prohibited.
  • Organized activities and events are currently cancelled.
  • Playgrounds will be closed as well.
Battery Lane Ammunition Railway at Fort Mott
Battery Lane-Ammunition Railway at Fort Mott State Park

Are all the New Jersey State Parks open?

Yes and no. All of the New Jersey State Parks are open with the exception of Corson’s Inlet State Park. Corson’s Inlet is restricted to those needing access to the boat launch. Like other state parks when the parking lot hits 50% of its capacity the NJ State Park will close.

Park Advisory: Corson's Inlet State Park Beach access is CLOSED until further notice. Parking lot access for boat launching ONLY. #NJStateParks #CorsonsInletStatePark

Posted by New Jersey State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites on Saturday, May 2, 2020

Which New Jersey State Parks are closed today?

Since being allowed to reopen, New Jersey State Parks have done a great job keeping resident updated on the status of each park. Each morning, park rangers will post which New Jersey State Parks are closed due to reaching maximum capacity. Visit their Facebook page and watch for the daily announcement. The post is updated throughout the day as New Jersey State Parks open and close.

Which NJ State Parks are the most likely to close?

These are the state parks that hit maximum capacity this past weekend (May 2 -3, 2020), either one or both days.

Leave your chairs and coolers home 🚫🏖🪑🚫 when visiting your local state park or forest!Keep your stay short — 2 hours…

Posted by New Jersey State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Which NJ State Parks have the smallest parking lots?

While we haven’t been to all the NJ State Parks, these are the state parks we know, based on our experience, that have the smallest parking lots.

  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Corson’s Inlet State Park
  • Parvin State Park

Do I need to wear a face mask at New Jersey State Parks?

The executive order does not require that park visitors wear face coverings, but it is strongly encouraged. Murphy said that requirements might come at a later date.

“We will be looking closely this weekend on how people adhere to both social distancing guidelines, as well as whether or not you are covering your face.”

Governor Murphy

Will the visitor centers be open?

The visitor centers will be closed.

Hacklebarney State Park in Long Valley New Jersey
Hacklebarney State Park

Yearround Activities at New Jersey State Parks

Can I hike at New Jersey State Parks?

All New Jersey State Parks EXCEPT Forked River State Marina and Leonardo State Marina have hiking trails.

Parvin State Park tree structure on Parvin Lake Trail
Parvin State Park

Can the hiking trails be used for biking?

These state parks allow some of their hiking trails to be used for biking. Please check trail maps and signage before biking.

  • Allaire State Park – Mountain biking
  • Allamuchy Mountain State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Bass River State Forest – Regular and mountain biking
  • Belleplain State Forest – Regular and mountain biking
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest – Regular and mountain biking
  • Bull’s Island Recreational Area – Regular and mountain biking
  • Cheesequake State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Double Trouble State Park – Mountain biking
  • Fort Mott State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • High Point State Park – Mountain biking
  • Hopatcong State Park – Regular biking
  • Island Beach State Park – Regular biking
  • Jenny Jump State Forest – Mountain biking
  • Kittatinny Valley State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Liberty State Park – Regular biking
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Parvin State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Penn State Forest – Mountain biking
  • Ramapo Mountain State Forest – Mountain biking
  • Ringwood State Forest – Mountain biking
  • Round Valley Recreation Area – Regular and mountain biking
  • Skylands – Mountain biking
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area – Mountain biking
  • Spruce Recreation Area – Regular biking
  • Stephen’s State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Stokes State Forest – Regular and mountain biking
  • Swartswood State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Voorhees State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Washington Crossing State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Wawayanda State Park – Regular and mountain biking
  • Wharton State Forest – Regular and mountain biking
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area – Regular and mountain biking
  • Worthington State Forest – Regular biking

These state parks DO NOT allow biking on their trails but have biking trails nearby.

  • Allaire State Park – Traditional biking
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park – Regular biking
  • Spruce Recreation Area – Mountain biking
  • Worthington State Forest – Mountain biking
a portion of a mountain bike in the forest Photo by Daniel Spase
Photo by Daniel Spase

Can the trails be used for horseback riding?

These state parks allow some of their hiking trails to be used as equestrian trails. Please check trail maps and signage before starting on the trail with your horse.

  • Allaire State Park
  • Allamuchy Mountain State Park
  • Bass River State Forest
  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
  • Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park
  • Double Trouble State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Island Beach State Park
  • Kittatinny Valley State Park
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park
  • Parvin State Park
  • Penn State Forest
  • Ramapo Mountain State Forest
  • Ringwood State Forest
  • Round Valley Recreation Area
  • Skylands
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Swartswood State Park
  • Washington Crossing State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park
  • Wharton State Forest
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area

Warmer Weather & Summer Activities at New Jersey State Parks

Which state parks offer swimming?

What I love about swimming at New Jersey state parks is the location and just how safe it feels. At the parks we’ve been to swimming is at a lake, but only part of the river is roped off for swimming and it’s usually staffed very well with lifeguards. My kids can’t get too far from me and it’s not too deep.

Keep in mind that not every state park with a beach offers swimming or kayaking. Here’s a look at the New Jersey State Parks that offer swimming.

  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, swimming is available nearby but not on the park grounds.
  • Bass River State Forest
  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Hopatcong State Park
  • Island Beach State Park
  • Leonardo State Marina, swimming is available nearby but not on the park grounds.
  • Parvin State Park
  • Round Valley Recreation Area
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Swartswood State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area
Parvin Lake Beach Concession stand
Parvin State Park beachfront

Which New Jersey State Parks offer kayaking or canoeing?

  • Allaire State Park, rentals are not available.
  • Allamuchy Mountain State Park, rentals are available nearby but not at the park.
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, available nearby but not at the park.
  • Bass River State Forest, rentals are available.
  • Belleplain State Forest, rentals are available.
  • Bull’s Island Recreational Area, rentals are available.
  • Cheesequake State Park, rentals are not available.
  • Corson’s Inlet State Park, rentals are available nearby but not at the park.
  • Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park, rentals are not available.
  • Double Trouble State Park, rentals are available, but not in the park.
  • High Point State Park, rentals are not available.
  • Hopatcong State Park, rentals are available nearby but not in the park.
  • Island Beach State Park, rentals are not available.
  • Jenny Jump State Forest, rentals are not available.
  • Kittatinny Valley State Park, rentals are not available.
  • Liberty State Park, rentals are not available.
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Park, rentals are not available.
  • Norvin Green State Forest, rentals are not available.
  • Parvin State Park, rentals are available.
  • Penn State Forest, rentals are available nearby but not at the park.
  • Ramapo Mountain State Forest, rentals are not available.
  • Round Valley Recreation Area ONLY for campers, rentals are not available.
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area, rentals are available.
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area, rentals are available.
  • Stephen’s State Park, rentals are not available.
  • Stokes State Forest, rentals are not available.
  • Swartswood State Park, rentals are available.
  • Voorhees State Park, rentals and kayaking are not available at the park but are available nearby.
  • Washington Crossing State Park, rentals are not available at the park but are available nearby.
  • Wawayanda State Park, rentals are available.
  • Wharton State Forest, rentals are available nearby but not at the park.
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area, rentals are available.
  • Worthington State Forest, rentals are not available at the park but are available nearby.
Boys kayaking at Tuckerton Seaport

Where can I go fishing?

  • Allaire State Park
  • Allamuchy Mountain State Park
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
  • Bass River State Forest
  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
  • Bull’s Island Recreational Area
  • Cape May Point State Park
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • Corson’s Inlet State Park
  • Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park
  • Double Trouble State Park
  • Farny State Park, yes but with restrictions in place.
  • Fort Mott State Park
  • Hacklebarney State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Hopatcong State Park
  • Island Beach State Park
  • Jenny Jump State Forest
  • Kittatinny Valley State Park
  • Leonardo State Marina
  • Liberty State Park
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Park
  • Norvin Green State Forest
  • Parvin State Park
  • Penn State Forest
  • Ramapo Mountain State Forest
  • Ringwood State Park
  • Round Valley Recreation Area
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area
  • Stephen’s State Park
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Swartswood State Park
  • Voorhees State Park
  • Washington Crossing State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park
  • Wharton State Forest
  • Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area
  • Wharton State Forest – Historic Batsto Village
  • Worthington State Forest
asian child holding a fish from fishing

Which New Jersey State Parks offer camping?

Details coming soon.

Tent in the forest
Photo by Serkan Turk

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Which New Jersey State Parks offer winter activities?

Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing is available at these New Jersey State Parks. Check with park officials as far as dates, times, and trails.

  • Abram S. Hewitt State Forest
  • Allaire State Park
  • Allamuchy Mountain State Park
  • Bass River State Forest
  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
  • Bull’s Island Recreational Area
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park
  • Double Trouble State Park
  • Farny State Park
  • Fort Mott State Park
  • Hacklebarney State Park
  • High Point State Park, lessons and rentals are also available.
  • Jenny Jump State Forest
  • Kittatinny Valley State Park
  • Liberty State Park
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Park
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park
  • Norvin Green State Forest
  • Parvin State Park
  • Penn State Forest
  • Ramapo Mountain State Forest
  • Ringwood State Park
  • Round Valley Recreation Area
  • Skylands
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area
  • Stephen’s State Park
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Swartswood State Park
  • Voorhees State Park
  • Warren Grove Recreation Area
  • Washington Crossing State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park
  • Wharton State Forest
  • Worthington State Forest

Ice Fishing

Please check with the park for hours and rules regarding ice fishing.

  • Allamuchy Mountain State Park
  • Farny State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Hopatcong State Park
  • Jenny Jump State Forest
  • Kittatinny Valley State Park
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Park
  • Ramapo Mountain State Forest
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Swartswood State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park

Ice Skating

Please check with the park for hours, fees, and rules regarding ice skating.

  • Allamuchy Mountain State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Wawayanda State Park
Two children ice skating on ice skating rink
Photo by Immortal Shots

Maple Sugaring

Details coming soon. For more information on where to go Maple Sugaring, read our guide to the Best Places to go Maple Sugaring in New Jersey.

Maple Sugaring New Jersey

Sledding

Please check with the state park for rules and times regarding sledding.

  • Allamuchy Mountain State Park
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • Fort Mott State Park
  • High Point State Park
  • Hopatcong State Park
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park
  • Ringwood State Park
  • Round Valley Recreation Area
  • Swartswood State Park

For more ideas on where to go sledding in New Jersey visit our list of the Best Places to Go Sledding in New Jersey.

Two girls sledding in New Jersey

Snowmobiling

Please check with the state park for rules and times regarding snowmobiling.

  • Bass River State Forest
  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
  • High Point State Park
  • Hopatcong State Park
  • Penn State Forest
  • Skylands
  • Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Warren Grove Recreation Area
  • Wawayanda State Park
  • Wharton State Forest
  • Worthington State Forest

Snowshoeing

Details coming soon.

Get to know more New Jersey State Parks

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Posted in: All, Places to Visit in New Jersey, Things to do in Central Jersey, Things to do in New Jersey, Things to do in North Jersey, Things to do in South Jersey

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Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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