This past spring break I was determined to make the most of it with my boys. I wanted to get back outside and back to exploring some of the treasures New Jersey offers and the free places to visit in New Jersey. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and we were able to visit not one but two New Jersey State Parks. We had a glorious time. In fact, I had such a great time, that I left there buying a New Jersey State Park pass. While you don’t need the pass for free admission to Parvin State Park, it does provide for free access to other New Jersey State Parks that regularly charge admission.
Enjoy our review of Parvin State Park and then make sure to sign up for one of our Jersey Family Fun newsletters or save this link, because we’re not stopping after these two NJ State Parks. There are more to explore.
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Consider this your Mom’s Guide to Visiting Parvin State Park with Kids
Get to know Parvin State Park
Parvin State Park is one of only two New Jersey State Parks in Salem County.
From the website we learn,
“Parvin State Park has not only has pine forests typical to the area but also a swamp hardwood forest. Spring bursts out in bright colors and rich fragrances with blossoming dogwood, laurel, holly, magnolia, wild azalea and over 200 kinds of flowering plants.”
The state park is also rich with history. This park served as home for the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1933 to 1941, a summer camp for the children of displaced Japanese Americans in 1943, a POW camp for German prisoners in 1944 and temporary housing for the Kalmycks who fled their homelands in Eastern Europe in 1952. Signage along the trails serves both to educate and help us understand how Parvin State Park played a role in history.
What’s the address for Parvin State Park?
We used this address in our gps: 701 Almond Road in Pittsgrove, New Jersey.
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!
When is the Parvin State Park open?
Parvin State Park is open daily sunrise to sunset. The park office is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m..
How much does it cost to enter?
Admission to Parvin State Park is free. A charge only applies for entrance to the beach or to camp. Entrance fees are charged from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Admission to the beach is $2 per person or FREE for up to 6 people with a New Jersey State Parks pass.
Where can I park?
There are parking lots across from the Visitor’s Center, near the boat launch and near the Interpretive Center. There is no charge for parking.
Are there restrooms?
Yes, there are restrooms located in the main building that open towards the outside. There are also restrooms at the beach and the Interpretive Center.
Are there campgrounds at Parvin State Park?
The park offers campgrounds for tent camping, trailers, and cabins. Call (856) 358-8616.
What is there to do at Parvin State Park with kids?
From the beach to the playgrounds, the trails to the nature center you are sure to find lots to do at Parvin State Park with kids.
Your kids will probably also appreciate that they can play and find Pokemon for Pokemon Go along the trails.
Learn more about this New Jersey State Park at their Visitor Center
Parvin State Park does not offer a visitor center, but it does offer an Interpretive Center located at 903 Parvins Mill Road, Pittsgrove. The nature center is just off the Forest Loop/Blue Trail. Unfortunately, on our visit it was not yet open.
Enjoy these Parvin State Park Events for Kids
The park offers events and nature programs yearround such as First Day Hikes, National Trails Day, Halloween Hayrides, Santa at the Cabins, and more.
Click over to view the Parvin State Park Calendar of Events.
Are there playgrounds at the Parvin State Park?
There are four playgrounds available. Two are located at the Parvin Grove Day Use Area, one at Jaggers Point Camping Area, and one at Thundergust Lake Day Use Area.
Can you swim at Parvin State Park?
Yes, across from the main parking lot is a lifeguard staffed beach. Admission is $2 per person or free with a NJ State Park pass (up to 6 people.) Admission is charged and lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The beach makes use of Parvin Lake. Adjacent to the beach is a bathhouse, first-aid station, canoe rental and a concession stand. PLEASE NOTE: Effective August 6, 2020, for the remainder of the summer of 2020, lifeguards are on duty from 11 am – 5:30 pm, Wednesday – Sunday.
Picnic Groves with tables and grills and playgrounds are located on either side of the beach. Swimming is not allowed in the entire Parvin Lake, only in the designated swimming area while lifeguards are on duty. Check the swimming schedule prior to your visit. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted.
Pets are prohibited on the beach.
Is there a place to kayak or go canoeing?
Yes, visitors can kayak or canoe on Parvin Lake. There are entrance points at two locations. Canoe rentals are available on the property, to the right of the beach. They are run by an independent company.
Fishing is also permitted.
Does Parvin State Park have hiking Trails?
Located at the edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, you and your children can enjoy finding plants and animals that make their habitats in Southern New Jersey and the Pine Barrens. Several trails run through the hardwood and Atlantic white cedar swamps, pitch pine lowlands and upland pine and oak forests. Parvin is home to the state-threatened barred owl and the endangered swamp pink. Perhaps you’ll see them on your hike.
This State Park has 15 miles of trails throughout the park. There are 9 designated trails ranging in distance from .35 miles to 3.2 miles. The trails are open for hiking yearround and marked with signage to help hikers find their way. There are trails designated for biking and equestarian use.
We hiked the 3 mile green Parvin Lake Trail around the lake. The terrain was fairly easy and the trail was well maintained. There weren’t a lot of trail markers, but enough to keep us from getting lost. We crossed over a few bridges and wooden platforms for some great views. The overturned tree made for a very unique photo. My curious 10 year old even spotted 8 turtles.
Parvin State Park hiking trails
- Black Oak Trail 2.5 miles
- Flat Trail .35 miles
- Forest Loop Trail 3.2 miles
- Knoll Trail .5 miles
- Long Trail 2.9 miles
- Lost Trail .7 miles
- Nature Trail .67 miles
- Parvin Lake Trail 3 miles
- Thundergust Trail
Click over to view the Parvin State Park Trail Map.
Can I ride a bike on the trails?
- Yes, mountain biking and traditional biking are available on some trails. Please see trail maps and signage for more information.
Are there winter activities available?
- Yes, some trails are designated as allowing cross country skiing.
- Sledding, ice skating, ice fishing, ice boating, and snowmobiling are not allowed.
More important information about visiting Parvin State Park with kids
- There are picnic tables and pavilions available for guests.
- Grills for barbecuing are available for guest use.
- There are concession stands that sell food during the summer months.
- Dogs are allowed on designated trails if they are on a leash.
- There are wheelchair-accessible trails. See the trail maps, trail signage or park office for more information.
See more of our Parvin State Park photos in this Facebook photo album.
After hiking the 3 mile Parvin Lake trail, we stopped by the park office to pick up a New Jersey State Parks Pass. For $50 the pass covers our parking/admission to all NJ State Parks for the year. You can buy yours at the park office or click over to buy yours online from the NJDEP.
Where oh where should we go next?
For more information about Parvin State Park please visit the NJ Division of Parks & Forestry website. Click over to read more about our experiences at New Jersey State Parks or see our listing of NJ State Parks.