While our beautiful beaches are one of the best ways to beat the heat, New Jersey’s gorgeous lakes really shine in the summer. While we have quite a few to choose from, the following are all fantastic places to start.
1. Carnegie Lake, Princeton
This 262-acre man-made lake was created by the construction of a dam on the Millstone River. It is owned by Princeton University but open to the public for boating and fishing.
2. Lake Marcia, Montague
This lovely lake offers scenic mountain and monument views. Located in High Point State park, visitors can enjoy both sand and grass beaches for just $5 per carload on weekdays and $10 per carload on weekends. Picnic areas/grills are available.
3. Shepherd Lake, Ringwood
Enjoy amenities galore for $10 or less. Choose from boating, swimming or fishing on the lake's 74 acres and hike the surrounding state park. Boat rentals are available.
4. Lake Absegami, Tuckerton
Located in Bass River State Forest this 67-acre man-made lake was created in the 1930s. Enjoy swimming and canoeing here.
5. Tomahawk Lake, Sparta
This family friendly destination also offers a water park. The 20-acre lake features New Jersey's largest white sand beach and numerous attractions including mini-golf, volleyball courts, boat rentals and picnic areas.
6. Atsion Lake, Shamong
Located in Wharton State Forest, this 100-acre lake offers boating, fishing and swimming. If you'd like to stay more than a day, campsites are available for $20 per night and cabins start at $55.
7. Lake Hopatcong, Mount Arlington
At 4 square miles, this lake is the largest freshwater body in New Jersey. Besides swimming, enjoy other activities including cruises on the lake. The Miss Lotta offers lunch, dinner and specialty cruises from May - October.
8. Crater Lake, Kittatinnies
Located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Lake, visitors love swimming in this gorgeous glacial lake.
9. Lake Nummy, Woodbine
Enjoy swimming and picnicking on this gorgeous lake in Belleplain State Forest. For more on hiking trails in the area, visit
10. Lake Wawayanda, Hewitt
Enjoy swimming, fishing and boating in this beautiful lake. Canoe, rowboat and paddleboat rentals are available.
11. Sunrise Lake, Morristown
This lakefront beach club is open to the public with daily admission. There is much to enjoy here, from boating to swimming and an inflatable obstacle course on the water - a favorite for kids.
12. Round Valley Reservoir, Clinton
With beautiful clear blue water, this man-made gem is a favorite spot for scuba divers. Reaching depths of 180 feet, this is the state's deepest (inland) body of water. Swimming is permitted between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
When it comes to New Jersey lakes, this list is only the beginning. What is your favorite lake in the Garden State?