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Top 10 Public Lakes in New Jersey for Water Lovers: Activities and Highlights

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

New Jersey is home to many beautiful public lakes, making it a great destination for water lovers. Whether you enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, or hiking, there is something for everyone at these lakes. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 10 public lakes in New Jersey and the activities that you can do there.

Beautiful Lake Shenandoah Located In Lakewood New Jersey

 

1. Lake Hopatcong


Lake Hopatcong is the largest lake in New Jersey, located in Morris and Sussex Counties. This lake offers various water activities such as boating, water skiing, jet skiing, and swimming. Need a rental or looking for a fun adventure check out Lake Hopatcong Adventure Co. Additionally, the lake is home to many species of fish, including bass, catfish, and walleye, making it a great spot for fishing. There are many boat up restaurants on the lake to stop by for lunch or dinner.




 

2. Round Valley Reservoir


Round Valley Reservoir is located in Hunterdon County and is known for its clear water, which makes it an excellent spot for fishing. Spend the day at the Round Valley Recreation Area splashing in the crystal clear water. You can also bring your own to boat enjoy a day on the water. The reservoir is also surrounded by hiking trails and picnic areas, making it a perfect spot for a day trip. Round Valley is also the only state park to offer wilderness camping. These campsites are only accessible by backpacking 3 to 6 miles along steep and rugged trail or by boat.






 

3. Spruce Run Reservoir


Spruce Run Reservoir is also located in Hunterdon County and is a popular spot for boating and fishing. The lake has many coves and inlets to explore, and you can also rent boats or bring your own. Flat Water Paddle Co is located right on the lake and offers a variety of boat rentals. The surrounding area has several hiking trails, campsites, and picnic areas.



 

4. Lake Wawayanda


Lake Wawayanda is located in Sussex County and offers great swimming, fishing, and hiking opportunities. The lake is surrounded by Wawayanda State Park and offers hiking trails that lead to scenic overlooks and waterfalls. 19 miles of the Appalachian Trail stretch through the park. The lake is also home to various fish species, including bass, pickerel, and sunfish.



 

5. Merrill Creek Reservoir


Merrill Creek Reservoir is located in Warren County and is known for its great fishing and boating opportunities. The reservoir is also a great spot for birdwatching, with over 200 species of birds recorded in the area. The surrounding area has several hiking trails and picnic areas.






 

6. Greenwood Lake


Greenwood Lake is located in the skylines region and is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. Greenwood Lake is split between New Jersey and New York making it a two state destination! The lake is also surrounded by several hiking trails and picnic areas. During the summer, there are several events held on the lake, including boat races and fireworks displays. The area was once a popular resort community for a variety of celebrities.



 

7. Swartswood Lake

Swartswood Lake is located in Sussex County inside of Swartwood State Park. This area ia a great spot for swimming, fishing, and camping. The lake is surrounded by hiking trails and picnic areas, and there are several campsites nearby. The lake is also home to various fish species, including bass, pickerel, and catfish. Due to the smaller size of the lake motor boats are not permitted, however you can expect to see many colorful sailboats, kayaks and canoes!



 

8. Monksville Reservoir


Monksville Reservoir is located in Passaic County and is a popular spot for fishing and boating. The reservoir is surrounded by hiking trails and picnic areas, and there are several campsites nearby. Don't have a boat no Problem! You can rent a variety of boats from Flat Water Paddle Co.






 

9. Lake Aeroflex


Lake Aeroflex is located in Sussex County inside Kittatinny Valley State Park and is a great spot for fishing, kayaking, and hiking. The lake is surrounded by hiking trails that lead to scenic overlooks and waterfalls. Many of the trails located in this state park are rail trails converted from the old historic railways of New Jersey. The lake is also home to various fish species, including bass, pickerel, and sunfish. You'll also be able to take a stroll through the Kittatinny Valley Butterfly and Hummingbird garden.



 

10. Lake Assunpink


Lake Assunpink is located in Monmouth County and is a great spot for fishing, boating, and picnicking. The lake is surrounded by hiking trails and picnic areas, and there are several campsites nearby. The lake is one of the best areas in Central Jersey for birdwatching!



 

In conclusion, New Jersey is home to many beautiful public lakes that offer various water activities, hiking trails, and picnic areas. From the largest lake in the state, Lake Hopatcong, to the serene Lake Assunpink, each lake has its unique features that make it worth a visit. Whether you enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, or hiking, there is something for everyone at these lakes. So, if you're looking for a fun day trip or a weekend getaway, be sure to check out one of these fantastic public lakes in New Jersey.

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