New Jersey has miles of incredible coastline and some of the best beaches in America. While it’s wonderful spending a summer day on the ocean, we also offer amazing lakes. While you’ll find hidden gems dotted throughout the Garden State, these are a few favorites. I’ve included a mix of our most popular spots and several local favorites; perhaps you’ll include them in your Memorial Day Weekend plans?
1. Lake Marcia, Montague
There are several lakes on the grounds of High Point State Park but Lake Marcia is a favorite. Offering spectacular views of the High Point Monument, it is the park's only swimming lake. Take a dip after a hike or relax all day. Grab a quick meal at the concession stand and bask in the sun's rays. If you'd rather be out on a boat, visit neighboring Steenykill Lake.
2. Atsion Lake, Shamong
This beautiful lake is located in the heart of Wharton State Forest. The swimming beach offers a refreshing respite after enjoying a day kayaking, exploring ruins, hiking, biking, bird watching or touring a restored ghost town. There's so much fun to be had in Wharton State Forest, the lake is just the beginning.
3. Sunrise Lake, Morris Township
Sunrise Lake is the place to be. Sure, you can swim, but there's so much more to enjoy. Rent a paddle boat, try your hand at a floating obstacle course, picnic and play volleyball. Tuesday mornings in July are reserved for tiny tots and you'll find opportunities for beachfront camping. Bring the whole family on June 23rd or August 4th for a night full of sand, s'mores, games and all sorts of fun.
4. Cooper River Lake, Collingswood
Part of the Cooper River and located in Cooper River Park, you don't want to miss a trip here. This park really has it all - fishing, boating, sailing lessons, a playground, picnic areas, bike paths, mini-golf, a sculpture garden and more. It's perfect for a day trip!
5. Tomahawk Lake, Sparta
This lake is a nice place to relax but it's better-suited for fun. It offers boat rentals, a waterpark, mini-golf, Papoose Land for the little ones and a beer garden for adults.
6. Wesley Lake, Asbury Park
Wesley Lake is sandwiched between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, offering access to beautiful beaches, boardwalk fun and a thriving downtown. After a dip in the ocean and a stop at the Pinball Museum, paddle boat on Wesley Lake before grabbing dinner at one of the great restaurants nearby.
7. Orange Reservoir, West Orange
You'll find this reservoir on South Mountain Reservation, along with hiking trails, waterfalls (Hemlock Falls and Blackrock Falls), a treetop adventure course and the Turtle Back Zoo. One of the best ways to enjoy the water? Dining alongside it at McLoone's Boathouse. A wonderful place to grab a meal, enjoy outdoor dining in the warmer weather. The reservoir also offers paddle boats and a picnic pavilion.
8. Lake Lenape, Mays Landing
This lake has its own lighthouse, though it's only just for show. Located in a picturesque park, it is a popular spot for boating. You'll also find opportunities for fishing, hiking, a playground and picnic area.
9. Mercer Lake, West Windsor
A popular fishing spot, this lake has also played host to the U.S. Olympic Team trials for rowing. It is equipped to handle the world's largest regatta events and is a true Jersey gem. Built in 1975 and funded by the sale of the lakebottom's gravel (used to create Interstate 295), all are welcome to get in on the boating action; visitors can rent boats and enjoy a day on the water. Amenities include a picnic area, accessible playground and snack bar (located in the marina). The marina also serves as a popular wedding and event venue.
10. Parvin Lake, Pittsgrove
Parvin Lake is one of two New Jersey lakes designated as a "trophy lake" for largemouth bass. It's also the only swimming lake in Parvin State Park. Enjoy a daytime hike and head to the nearby Delsea Drive-In theater at night for a double feature.
New Jersey’s lakes are wonderful summer day trip destinations and these ten are just the start. What’s your favorite New Jersey lake? Do you prefer swimming, fishing or boating? If you’d rather spend a day on the ocean, consider a getaway to Wildwood Crest – a top 2017 summer travel destination. Learn more
here. Perhaps rivers are more your style? Dine on the Mullica or tube on the Delaware.