Cheesequake State Park

300 Gordon Road, Matawan, NJ 07747


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.

Within the park, you will find trails for hiking/walking, a trail for mountain biking, a nature center, places to fish, picnic areas, a beach to swim, and planned activities and programs through the park system.



Activities:

  • Equestrian / Horseback
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Jogging / Running
  • Mountain Biking
  • Paddling - Kayak/Canoe/Row boat
  • Playing in the playground
  • Walking
  • Swimming

Amenities:

  • Sports / Athletic Fields
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Bathrooms
  • Beach
  • Boat Launch
  • Car Top Boat Launch Only
  • Nature / Environmental Center
  • Picnic / Sitting Area
  • Playground

Trails:

  • Boardwalks
  • Flat / Easy
  • Surface Type: Dirt
  • Surface Type: Sandy
  • Walking Paths

Parks & Gardens:

  • State Park
  • Park (General)
  • Scenic Overlook / Waterfalls


Trail & Path Info

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.

Things to See & Do

Nature Center

The Nature 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.

Fishing Lake/Crabbing Bridge

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.

Swimming Lake

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.

Winter Activities

Sledding is permitted on the hill adjacent to the Hooks Creek Lake parking area. Cross-country skiing is permitted on the roadways and field areas. Snow shoeing is permitted throughout the Park.

Picnicking Areas

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 Farry Point holds a capacity of 150 people, provides shelter and playfields. The group picnic area at Spring Hill holds a capacity of 100 people and provides playfields and playground equipment. Group picnicking reservations are required. A party of 20 or more people constitutes a group. They may be reserved for a fee:


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Related Groups / Organizations

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Get Up, Get Out and Go Explore New Jersey!

Find time every month... every week... and even every day to get off your couch and get some fresh air. Head to a local park or just walk around your neighborhood. Do anything besides sit there and stare. Go stretch your legs and find your next adventure.