Swartswood State Park

1091 E Shore Drive
Swartswood, NJ 07877


Welcome to New Jersey’s first state park and historic landmark destination for outdoor recreation and leisure activities. Swartswood was established as New Jersey’s first state park in 1915 to ensure public access to the State’s third largest freshwater lake. Swartswood Lake is the park’s main attraction, welcoming visitors from all around to its calm waters for canoeing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, swimming or simply relaxing.

Facilities & Activities:

Picnicking: Picnic tables, picnic shelters, group picnic area, playground, food concession View the concession menu.
electric motors only, trailer launch, cartop launch, boat and canoe rentals, Swartswood Boat Rentals
Swimming (Swartswood Lake), shower facility
Winter sports: cross- country skiing, sledding, ice fishing (at own discretion)
Birding: bird observation facility


Duck Pond Multi-Use Trail
Spring Lake Trail
Bear Claw Trail
Grist Mill Trail
Nature trails
Handicapped accessible trail
Mountain biking
Horseback riding


Duck Pond Multi-Use Trail
This 0.6 mile-paved path provides a level surface for walking, biking, roller blading, skate boarding and is accessible for persons with disabilities. The trail meanders through a forested area along Duck Pond. Wayside exhibits found along the trail provide information on the unique natural features found in the area. A bird blind has been constructed to allow visitors to view birdlife in the area with little disturbance to their habitat.

Spring Lake Trail
This 2.8-mile trail begins at the end of the paved Duck Pond Trail. Follow the white markers along the natural hilly terrain through a secondary succession forest to the secluded Spring Lake. We consider this to be a moderate level hike.

Bear Claw Trail
This 0.8 mile trail is marked in yellow and begins at the Duck Pond parking area just to the right of our kiosk. This is an easy to moderate hike on an earthen, hilly path. The trail ends where it meets the paved Duck Pond Trail allowing you to combine the two trails for a full loop back to the parking area.

Grist Mill Trail
This 1.5 loop trail can be found at the most southern end of Swartswood Lake by the dam. The steep rocky terrain makes this a moderate to difficult hike with rewarding views of Swartswood Lake.


Campsites: 65 tent and trailer sites with a fire ring, picnic table and lantern holder. Maximum occupancy is six at each site. Flush toilets and showers facilities are within walking distance. Trailer sanitary and water stations available. Campsites 1-21 open all year round. Campsites 22-65 Open April 1 to October 31.

Group Campsites: Three group sites with picnic tables, a fire ring and lantern holder. Water and sanitary units are within walking distance of each site. Campsites accommodate a maximum of 20 people. Open April 1 through October 31.


The freshwater angler can enjoy year-round fishing in Little Swartswood and Swartswood Lakes. The lakes are stocked with brown, rainbow and brook trout in the spring. Summer and fall catches include bass, sunfish, catfish, walleye, perch and pickerel. Fishing is available along the shores or by boat. Fishing also is permitted in the mill pond near Keen's Grist Mill. Fishing is subject to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.


Most of the area east of County Route 619 is open to hunting. Game commonly found in the park includes ring-necked pheasant, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, gray squirrel, eastern cottontail and white-tailed deer. Hunting is subject to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.


Secluded picnic areas overlooking the lake can be found throughout the park with picnic tables and grills available at each site. Charcoal fires must be contained to the metal grills provided at the site. Visitors are free to bring their own metal grills. Wood fires are not permitted. Food and refreshments are also offered at the concession stand.

A playground and open playing fields are located near the picnic area. Volleyball and basketball courts and open areas for frisbee, golf and softball are located in the day-use area of the park.

Swartswood also offers a group picnic are for larger groups. It holds a capacity of 100 people, provides shelter, play fields and playground equipment.


Boat rentals are available in the park on a seasonal basis. Please call for hours of operation prior to your visit. The rental facility is typically open weekends only from May to the end of June. They are open seven days a week from July through Labor Day.


Swimming is permiited in the designated swimming area while lifeguards are on duty.  Please check our swimming schedule prior to your visit. Swimming hours are 10 am to 6 pm. Adjacent to the beach visitors can access facilities with changing areas, restrooms, showers, a first-aid station, and a concession building where food and beach supplies may be purchased.The facilities are accessible for people with disabilities.

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.

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