Cold, Snow Mean Fun Activities in the County Park System

December 14, 2012
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LINCROFT – Winter fun heats up when the temperature drops and snow flies in the Monmouth County Park System.

Whether you’re looking to fly down the sledding hill, strap on your cross-country skis or lace up your ice skates, the park system is the place to be. Open when there are 2 or more inches of snow, hours for the sledding hill in Holmdel Park, Holmdel, are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Groomed trails are open to cross-country skiers at Thompson Park, Lincroft, and Charleston Springs Golf Course, Millstone, as weather permits.

Ready for the sled hill in Holmdel Park, Holmdel.

Marked, ungroomed trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Clayton Park, Upper Free­hold; Hartshorne Woods Park, Middletown; Holmdel Park, Holmdel; Huber Woods Park, Middletown; Shark River Park, Wall; Tatum Park, Middletown; and Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold.  The park system’s deer management program will be underway until Feb. 16 at several of these sites. For complete details, please visit the website at Hours for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are the same as regular park hours: 8 a.m. until dusk.

Those who need equipment can head over to Thompson Park, Lincroft. Cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment is available for rent at the Thompson Park Ski Hut, located next to the Three Barns Parking Area. Rentals are available daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. Those who want should feel free to call ahead and check for size availability as sizes are limited. Cross-country ski equipment can be held for a maximum of two hours. Equipment rented after 3 p.m. must be returned by noon the next day. The cost is $15 to rent ski equipment and $10 for snowshoes. Evening rentals are also now available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at a cost of $10 with equipment being required to be returned at the end of the evening. Information is available at 732-842-4000, Ext. 4312.

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The fun really starts after a week or so of freezing temperatures when Holmdel, Shark River and Turkey Swamp parks post the “Skating Today” signs. Hours for ice skating are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thurs­day and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Manasquan Reservoir, Thompson Park and Turkey Swamp Park also will be open for ice fishing in designated areas, weather permitting. Always check with park rangers before heading onto the ice.

Additional information and condition updates are available on the park system website at

To learn more about these park system activities, visit the website or call 732-842-4000. For people with hearing impairment, the park system TTY/TDD number is 711.

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