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New Jersey

New Jersey State Parks

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USA Parks
New Jersey
Skylands Region
Swartswood State Park
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Swartswood State Park © Andy Smith
Swartswood State Park © Timothy Shields / CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Swartswood State Park
Swartswood State Park © JackTheVicar / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Entry gate for wSwartswood State Park on CR 619 in Sussex County, New Jersey.
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1091 East Shore Drive
Swartswood, New Jersey   07877
(lat:41.0736 lon:-74.8189) map location

Phone: 973-383-5230
Reservations: 973-383-5230
Established in 1914 as New Jersey's first state park, Swartswood is well known for its great fishing and tranquil surroundings. Little Swartswood and Swartswood Lake were formed by glaciers thousands of years ago and are now home to a variety of fish. Both lakes have been the focus of water quality improvement efforts including invasive aquatic weed control and watershed protection.

Whether you are on land or water, there is always a chance you will catch a glimpse of the spectacular wildlife in Swartswood from bald eagles to the unique plant life found in our sinkhole ponds.

The park is open year round with a variety of recreational activities available depending on the season. During the summer, colorful sailboats take to the water either on a leisurely sail around the lake or while participating in the sailing regattas scheduled throughout the season.
History of the Area
Established in 1914 as New Jersey's first state park, Swartswood is well known for its great fishing and tranquil surroundings. Little Swartswood and Swartswood Lake were formed by glaciers thousands of years ago and are now home to a variety of fish. Both lakes have been the focus of water quality improvement efforts including invasive aquatic weed control and watershed protection.
Campsites: 65 tent and trailer sites with a fire ring, picnic table and lantern holder. Maximum occupancy is six at each site. Flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities are within walking distance. Trailer sanitary and water stations available. Open April 1 through October 31. $20 per night.

Group Campsites: Three group sites with picnic tables, a fire ring and lantern holder. Minimum occupancy is seven and maximum is twenty. Water and sanitary units are within walking distance of each site. Open April 1 through October 31. $20 per night, per site.

Yurts: 6 yurt sites with a fire ring, picnic table and lantern holder. Yurts are circular tents built on a wooden frame with concrete floors. Each yurt has a skylight, lockable wood door, window screens with flaps and two double deck bunks, which can sleep up to four people. Assembly of additional tents is not permitted on yurt sites. $30 per night.
Nearby Accommodations
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BBs / Inns
A brick patio in ground swimming pool invite guests to step outdoors and enjoy their picturesque surroundings and provide a lovely spot for seasonal breakfasting, sunbathing or just plain relaxing
5.2 miles from park*
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Whistling Swan Inn - Stanhope, NJ
BBs / Inns
Nestled in the beautiful Skylands Region of New Jersey, the house now known as The Whistling Swan Inn was built in 1905 by Justice of the Peace, Daniel Best, for his wife, Sarah. Come visit Northwest NJ's finest Victorian Inn Voted Top Ten BB in US by Inn Traveler Magazine
11.8 miles from park*
From Memorial Weekend to Labor Day, while lifeguards are on duty, visitors can swim in Swartswood Lake. 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. View the concession menu. 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.
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. For more information visit the Swartswood Lake Boat Rentals web site.

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. View the menu.

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. It may be reserved for a fee:

$55 per day, plus applicable parking fee Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day $80 per day Day After Labor Day to Friday Before Memorial Day50 percent of Fee Group Picnic Cancellation Fee

Groups of 20 or more people shall reserve picnic facilities at least five days in advance. Such group use is not permitted on Holidays except as authorized by the Superintendent. Reservations for picnic areas are handled by the individual park area offices. No alcohol is permitted and all trash must be carried out.

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.
Things To Do in the Area
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Peters Valley is a non-profit education center and gallery for craft arts. Tour the studios on weekends during summer. Workshops May to September, 2 to 5 days. Expert instructors from US and abroad. Commute or sleep over for a mini-vacation close-to-home. Wood turning, weaving, jewelry, ceramics, blacksmithing, photography, papermaking, beading and more.
9.8 miles from park*

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 2 A rare gem of a find ! by C.K. Urban, CSW, MSW
park review stars; one to five My friends & I live in the urban areas & I am really not a city girl. I found the park three years ago & we visit every Fourth of July & every Labor Day. This Fourth of July we even went with the threatening skies. It srarted to pour just as we finished eating. The staff is wonderful and pleasant.
May 27 Our park views threatened by Linda in Swartswood, NJ
park review stars; one to five I live within walking distance of Swartswood Park and have gone countless times over the years. I agree that it is an absolute gem of a place but now those breathtaking views from the park are being threatened by a proposed 152-foot Nextel cell tower yards from Little Swartswood Lake. Although it would be erected on private land, it will be visible from all areas of the park, especially Little Swartswood Lake. It would pose a great hazard to the migrating birds that pass through and to the pair of nesting eagles. To see a photo mock-up of what the proposed tower would look like, and for more information, please visit
April 8 Favorite NJ State park to camp in. by Helene in NJ
park review stars; one to five We camp here every year - bathrooms are clean, many of their sites are large and well maintained. Rangers are helpful and really nice. Watch the bears and keep coolers in your vehicles at ALL TIMES!!!!
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Panther Lake Camping Resort
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Windy Acres Campground
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Beaver Hill Campground
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Mahlon Dickerson Reservation
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Green Valley Beach Campground
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Mountain Shadows Lake Association
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Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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Located near popular recreational attractions, including the Claws 'N' Paws Wild Animal Park, Steamtown National Historic Site and Promised Land State Park. NASCAR fans will enjoy a day at the races at nearby Pocono Raceway.
37.8 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

From Route 80, take exit 25, Route 206 north to Newton, about 12 miles. From Newton, make a left at the second traffic light (Route 206 and Spring Street) then make a left at the next light onto Route 519. Follow 519 for approximately 1/2 mile, then make a left onto Route 622 at Sussex County College sign. Follow Route 622 for about 4 1/2 miles. Turn left onto Route 619. The park entrance is about 1/2 mile south on Route 619.
Area Shopping
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Arts Crafts
The store at Peters Valley Craft Center offers original handcrafted art, jewelry, clothing, ceramics, and home furnishings. Unique items from over 300 artists offer distinctive ideas to embellish the home, treat yourself, or to select for a gift. Visit the Gallery upstairs for our latest exhibit of fine art craft.
9.8 miles from park*

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New Jersey State Parks