Bird Watching

10 New Jersey State Parks to Visit for Free This Summer

You may have heard that starting on Memorial Day this year, visitors to New Jersey state parks don’t have to pay admission all summer. While adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts rejoice, it’s worth noting that not all state parks are created equal in New Jersey. Some state parks are great for families and just enjoying nature, while others are a paradise for thrill seekers. With over 50 locations in the New Jersey State Park System, being able to enjoy 453,000 acres of forests, beaches, lakes and historic sites might be a bit difficult. So, to make sure you know where to go, here’s a list of the top ten New Jersey state parks to enjoy for free this summer and a quick rundown of what each one offers.



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ten High Point State Park

With its breathtaking view from 1,803 feet above sea level, High Point State Park does not disappoint. From the highest point, visitors to the park can take in all the spectacular sights of the surrounding region, including rich farmland, lush forests, gentle hills, and scenic valleys in three states. Visitors can also spot the blue line of the Delaware River here. In terms of activities, High Point offers great hiking trails and top notch camping.

Location: 1480 New Jersey 23, Sussex, New Jersey, 07461.

Contact: (973) 875-4800.

Hours: Doors are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.

9 Cape May Point State Park

For nature lovers looking for top-notch birding and a vast area filled with grasslands, ponds, forests, dunes and a must-see beach, Cape May Point State Park is for you. Not only is this beautiful state park just around the corner from historic Cape May and its famous lighthouse, but this park also has great beaches, hiking trails, monarch butterflies, fishing and much more. .

Location: Avenue Light House, Cape May Point, NJ 08212.

Contact: (609) 884-2159.

Hours: Doors are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.


8 Island Beach State Park

Here, park-goers can enjoy front-row access to the Atlantic Ocean, historic Barnegat Bay, white-sand beaches, abundant wildlife, and a plethora of native flora. Island Beach State Park visitors can choose to take advantage of the facilities and summer programs available or simply explore the various hiking trails in this recreation area. In terms of activities, this NJ state park also offers its guests fishing, waterfowl hunting, canoeing, sea swimming, sea picnics, windsurfing, surfing, scuba diving, etc.

Location: Rt. 35 S., Seaside Park, NJ 08752.

Contact: (732)793-0506.

Hours: Doors are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

seven Liberty State Park

For travelers who want to marvel at the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island without breaking the bank, then free entry to Liberty State Park can make it a reality this summer. Known as one of New Jersey’s most spectacular parks, visitors can view the magnificent skyline and easily appreciate the green oasis in the heart of metropolitan New Jersey’s North. During your visit, discover the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal (CRRNJ), the two-mile boardwalk, multiple picnic and playground areas, the Nature Center, and breathtaking views of the Hudson River.

Location: 200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305.

Contact: (201) 915-3403.

Hours: Open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

6 Kittatinny Valley State Park

If you are looking for fantastic glacial lakes, rivers, ponds and more, then Kittatinny Valley State Park should be part of your NJ summer park tour. Here, park-goers can experience a variety of waterways, including New Jersey’s deepest natural lake – Lake Aeroflex. Of course, it almost goes without saying that activities at this beautiful park include fishing, kayaking, and boating. But visitors can also go mountain biking, hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding.

Location: 199 Goodale Road, Newton, NJ 07860.

Contact: (973)786-6445.

Hours: The doors are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

5 Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

For visitors who prefer a one-of-a-kind state park with a great history, look no further than Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. Here, park-goers can savor the sweeping views of Barnegat Bay and Island Beach, and of course, appreciate this legendary lighthouse with a maritime site on the NJ Coastal Heritage Trail. Visitors should also stop at the interpretive center and learn all about ‘the history of Barnegat Lighthouse’, walk through one of the last remaining sea forests or try their hand at bird watching and fishing. . In the end, whatever you decide to do, don’t miss out on free admission to this park this summer.

Location: 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006.

Contact: (609) 494-2016.

Hours: Doors are usually 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.

4 Allaire State Park

There’s no better place for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts than Allaire State Park. So stop and travel to the 19th century and see ironmaking at its best, the village of Allaire and the Pine Creek Railroad. Park goers can also spend some quality time at the Manasquan River and participate in freshwater fishing. Alternatively, if fishing isn’t your thing, go hiking or happily study the more than 200 species of wildflowers, trees, plants and wildlife here.

Location: 4265 Atlantic Ave, Wall Township, NJ 07727.

Contact: (732) 938-2371.

Hours: This park is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

3 Hacklebarney State Park

yet another 19th century iron ore mining area is none other than Hacklebarney State Park. Now a favorite spot for hikers and anglers, this NJ state park offers visitors a chance to see the gushing Black River Gorge in all its beauty (complete with gray rocks and dark green hemlocks which seem almost majestically placed in the river). Visitors can also enjoy the woods of this area and walk along a diverse group of trails. This little slice of the great outdoors is the perfect escape for anyone looking to reconnect with nature and take a well-deserved respite from everyday city life.

Location: 119 Hacklebarney Rd, Long Valley, NJ 07853.

Contact: (908) 638-8572.

Hours: The doors are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

2 Washington Crossing State Park

Park-goers can experience first-hand General George Washington’s historic crossing of the Delaware River on this faithful Christmas Eve in 1776 at this famous state park. Thus, this park is ideal for lovers of history and everything related to America. It’s also a great place to take the kids. In addition to this important moment in history, Washington Crossing State Park is a great place for an afternoon picnic, great Instagram snaps, and some good old-fashioned relaxation. So if you’re in the area, check out this state park.

Location: 355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ 08560-1517.

Contact: (609) 737-0623.

Hours: This park is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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1 Corson’s Inlet State Park

Finally, a preserve for the last untouched stretch of the state’s waterfront, Corson’s Inlet State Park, is a must-see. With its stunning beauty, thriving natural habitats, dune systems, coastline and more, this park is a real sight to behold. Here, park-goers can hike, fish, crab, boat, and sunbathe. That said, it should be noted that this park does not allow swimming or dogs (no dogs allowed in the park from April 1 to September 15).

Location: County Highway 619, Ocean City, NJ 08214.

Contact: (609) 861-2404.

Hours: The main gates are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.