Know the New Hiking How-tos
Island Beach State Park
Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 82. Follow NJ 37 East to NJ 35 South, and continue for two miles to the park entrance -- GPS Coordinates: 39.905223, -74.081437
Walk along one the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic Coast
The 13 miles of trails include the beach for horseback riding [restrictions apply], a paved bicycle path, and a canoe "trail" in Barnegat Bay. A recommended walk is the central paved road extending through the eight-mile length of the park, traversing the Northern Natural Area [659 acres], the Recreation Zone, and the Southern Natural Area [1237 acres], and ending at a parking area. From there, 1.5 miles of beach lead to Barnegat Inlet, the passage to Barnegat Bay, and the top tip of the park.
From the Gate House hiking south on the main road, short paths or roads branch off to the right leading towards the bay, and to the left leading towards the ocean beach. A suggestion is posted on the Friends of Island Beach State Park web site to use bug spray and to wear long sleeves and long pants on the bay side during June, July, August and September.
Use the Web Map link on this site for a trail map.
An undeveloped stretch of barrier beach and salt marsh on the north side of Barnegat Inlet, this strip of unspoiled dune land has an almost impenetrable barrier of brier, holly, bayberry, and other shrubs between the fore dunes and the bay. Little grows above the height of the dunes, which shelter the vegetation from killing salt spray.
The Barnegat Lighthouse is about 2,000 feet across the inlet. But getting to the Lighthouse from Island Beach State Park by car requires driving more than 40 miles, taking more than an hour.
An entrance fee is charged daily year around, except for the disabled and senior citizens -- use Contact Information on this site for details.