Swartswood State Park
Newton, NJ

The park is medium-sized (1,744 acres). It contains Swartswood Lake in which you can swim, boat or fish. Boats with electric motors are permitted. A concession within the park rents rowboats, paddle boats, canoes and sunfish sailboats.

The hiking trails are short (5.7 miles total) but pretty. They'll take you to the smaller bodies of water in the park: Duck Pond, Frog Pond and Spring Lake. Mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed on some of the trails.

There are 65 family campsites and five yurts. Some are available year-round, and all are open from April 1 through October 31.

The three group sites are open from April 1 through October 31. Each can accept a group from seven to twenty people. Group Site A is the closest to Duck Pond (in some years we call it Duck Swamp), but I prefer site B because it has the most shade.

The family campground and the bath house at the Swartswood Lake have flush toilets and hot showers, but the group sites only have outhouses. (The lake and the family campgrounds are a short walk from the group sites.)

In the winter, you can go ice-sledding on Lake Swartswood or x-country skiing on the hiking trails. Snowmobiles are permitted on some of the trails.

Driving directions: Take Interstate 80 West to exit 25 in New Jersey. From there, pick up New Jersey Route 206 North towards Netcong. Follow 206 through Newton to County Road 519. Turn left on 519 and drive 1/2 a mile to County Road 622. Turn left on 622 and drive 4 1/2 miles to County Road 619. Turn left on 619 and go 1/2 a mile to the park entrance. The office, Lake Swartswood and the family campsites are on your right; the group sites and the hiking trails are on your left.

Web site: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/swartswood.html
Address: Box 123, Swartswood, NJ 07877-0123
Phone: 973-383-5230