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New Jersey

New Jersey State Parks

USA Parks
New Jersey
Gateway Region
Cheesequake State Park
Cheesequake State Park Trail around the lake © Barbara Curcio
Walking trail
300 Gordon Road
Matawan, New Jersey   07747

Phone: 732-566-2161
Reservations: 732-566-2161
Cheesequake State Park?s uniqueness lies in its geographical location. Not only is it situated in the middle of the urban north and the suburban south, it lies in a transitional zone between two different ecosystems. Open fields, saltwater and freshwater marshes, a white cedar swamp, Pine Barrens, and a northeastern hardwood forest are the main characteristics of the park.
Campsites: 53 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Flush toilets and shower facilities are within walking distance. Trailer sanitary station available. There is an 11-foot height restriction for vehicles entering the camping area. Open April 1st through October 31. $20 per night, six people per site, two vehicles per site.

Group campsites: The Gordon Field group area has fire rings, upright grills and picnic tables. There are six individual sites accommodating up to 25 campers each. The area facilities include flush toilets and potable water. Trash must be carried out. Open May 1st through October 31st. $25 per night.
Swimming is permitted in Hooks Creek Lake from Memorial day weekend through Labor Day weekend while lifeguards are on duty. Visitors will find a beach complex containing changing area, restrooms, a first-aid station and a concession offering refreshments, novelties and beach supplies. 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.
Permitted the day after Labor Day through the day before Memorial Day weekend. Canoeing, kayaking and boating with facilities for car top boat launching only. Boaters must comply with all NJ State Boating regulations. Electronic motors only.

Permitted the day after Labor Day through the day before Memorial Day weekend. Canoeing, kayaking and boating with facilities for car top boat launching only. Boaters must comply with all NJ State Boating regulations. Electronic motors only. No boat/canoe rental facilities

The six-acre Hooks Creek Lake offers an opportunity for freshwater fishing. Trout, Largemouth Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish provide the angler with a variety of freshwater species. Fishing is subject to all NJ Fish and Wildlife regulations.

Crabbing is also available from the Crabbing Bridge which is reachable from the lake parking area. The bridge and walkway are ADA accessible.

Several picnic areas with table and grills are located throughout the Park. For larger groups, we also offer two reservable picnic areas. The group picnic area at Farny Point holds a capacity of 150 people, provides shelter, playfields and playground equipment. The group picnic area at Spring Hill holds a capacity of 100 people and provides playfields and playground equipment. Group picnicking reservations are required for weekday events. A party of 20 or more people constitutes a group. They may be reserved for a fee:

$50.00 per day, plus applicable parking fees for reservations for Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

$75.00 per day for reservations for the Day After Labor Day to Friday Before Memorial Day.

Group Picnic Cancellation Fee: 50 percent of Fee.

*Groups of 20 or more people shall reserve picnic facilities at least five days in advance. Such group use is not permitted on Holidays except as authorized by the Superintendent. Reservations for picnic areas are handled by the individual park area offices.
There are five designated trails at the park. The Red, Yellow, Green and Blue pathways are for hiking and walking use. The White Trail (multi-use) is designated for hiking and mountain biking. Trail lengths range from 1.5 to 3.5 miles. Trail difficulty ranges from easy to moderate with inclines.
Area Attractions
Cheesequake Natural Area (386 acres)

A striking example of vegetation change along a gradient from coastal salt marsh habitat to upland forests can be observed from the various trails running through the natural area. The natural area displays a diversity of plant species and community types characteristic of both northern and southern New Jersey.

Interpretive Center

The Interpretive Center is located a short distance from the trailhead parking area on the Red/ Green/ Blue trail. Visitors are welcome to view the wildlife historical exhibits throughout the Center. Visitors can learn about the three habitats located within Cheesequake State Park. The Center also provides information on the Native American and early colonization of the area.

The center is open from Wednesday through Sunday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The Interpretive Center provides free weekly interpretive programming focusing on a variety of seasonal topics. Consult the Calendar of Events online or call the Center for details at (732) 566-3208.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 3 Triple check your camping reservations by 832F
Last night after dark we were bumped from our campsite by six rambunctious 30-somethings who wrongly insisted the site was theirs. Six on two, we lost. The park police affirmed there had been a double-booking. My man and I were given the option of camping in the office parking lot overnight. So sad. We got a refund, too, but it really was a bad experience.
November 14 Wonderful neighboring park by slc
Respite nature & so nearby for a meditative hike . . . a local gem for those of us who live along the Raritan bayshore.
July 4 Best lake by Mariana
Awesome,I have fun with my family in the lake.Chilling and relaxing.its amazing ,the water perminates clean and the people enjoy coming!lol me too.love it!

Area Fishing Related Businesses
Zimmer Fish & Game Conservation Assoc
4411 Arthur Kill Rd
Staten Island, NY
(718) 948-9599
Michael's Bait & Tackle Shop
187 Mansion Ave
Staten Island, NY
(718) 984-9733
Biggie's Bait & Tackle
65 Page Ave
Staten Island, NY
(718) 966-9206
Captains Marine Mercury & Force Outboards
202 Mansion Ave
Staten Island, NY
(718) 984-3346
Big Al's Bait & Tackle
7407 Amboy Rd
Staten Island, NY
(718) 605-6907
Capt Pauls Charters
81 Detroit Ave
Staten Island, NY
(718) 966-6990
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
BBs / Inns
The Manchester Inn, The Ocean Grove New Jersey Bed Breakfast and The Secret Garden Restaurant are steps from the white sandy beach and the gentle surf of the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy the cooling ocean breezes from our rocking chair porch while overlooking Ocean Pathway, Ocean Groves finest avenue
20.7 miles from park*

From the GSP: Make a right at the end of the exit ramp and follow to the first light. Make a right. At the next light make a right and follow road into the Park.

From Route 34 South: Make a left turn onto Disbrow Road which is the light immediately south of the Marketplace Shopping Plaza. Make a right at the end of Disbrow Road. Make a left at the first light and follow into the Park.

From Route 34 North: Make a right turn onto Disbrow Road which is the light immediately north of the Berg Animal Hospital. Make a right at the end of Disbrow Road. Make a left at the first light and follow into the Park.

New Jersey

New Jersey State Parks