New Jersey State Parks

Although New Jersey is the most densely populated of the 50 states, a significant portion of its land resources is dedicated to public use and enjoyment through its system of State Parks. The list of parks and what each has to offer is available through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's website. Park land, forests, marinas, golf courses and other facilities are all available to visitors.

For anyone interested in a summertime trip to one of our State Parks or related facilities, a summary of amenities, schedules and services for each location is available through the DEP website, making it possible to plan a visit in advance. Information on a wide variety of topics, including hours and days of operation, permit requirements, seasonal offerings, and parking availability for campers and recreational vehicles is readily available.

The database permits users to search for parks by location and activity. For instance, when searching for parks that have camping facilities available, one of the results is the scenic Jenny Jump State Park in Warren County, which also offers canoeing and hiking. Reservations for campsites can be made online or by phone. Specific types of camping accommodations and rates for their use are also listed. On that same site, visitors can also view a list of the state's historic sites, with information on such sites as Batsto Village, located in the Wharton State Forest, a former bog iron and glass making industrial center that operated for 100 years during the 18th and 19th centuries. Another is the curiously named Double Trouble Village, a group of 19th century buildings located in its own eponymous state park. For activities closer to home, there is also a description of the activities and natural features to be enjoyed at the Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville.

The Division of Parks and Forestry site offers a calendar of events, by month and location, which are offered throughout the state park system. The calendar provides information on a wide range of activities that include bird walks, interpretive tours and presentations, concerts, musket firing demonstrations, kayak tours, horticultural workshops and historic reenactments.

The Batsto Blacksmith Shop is open for live demonstrations on weekends during the spring, summer and fall.  Please contact the Batsto Visitor Center for additional details; (609) 561-0024.

Kittatinny Valley State Park has several lakes that are home to brown trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegills, landlocked salmon, and assorted panfish; the lakes are available for ice- fishing during the winter.

- Jim S.