New Jersey may be famed for its shore, glitzy boardwalks, and rolling farmlands, but winter brings its own excitement. In New Jersey, winter is time to get out and have fun.
Hit the slopes at Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon. Less than 50 miles from New York City, Mount Creek is the perfect place to enjoy a “snow day,” weekend getaway, or a mini vacation. With 167 acres to ski down, a 1,000-ft drop, snowboard and tube runs, there’s plenty of opportunity for fun – and with the region’s most extensive snow-making system, little chance for disappointment. With proximity to metropolitan areas and quality skiing, consider a weekday escape to avoid crowds, or check in for an extended stay slope side at the resort’s lodge or indulge in a luxury condo rental.
Perfect for families, Campgaw Mountain Ski Resort in Bergen, N.J., offers extensive areas for beginners and the smallest skiers. The county-owned ski area has one major slope, but five beginner and intermediate trails and a big “bunny” area. There are six 800-ft tubing runs. Campgaw Mountain bills itself as the best place in New Jersey for anyone new to skiing.
New Jersey is a great place to try out the fastest growing winter sport in the world, snowshoeing. Great locations to burn some calories while enjoying the great outdoors are plentiful in New Jersey.
High Point Cross Country Ski Resorts offers five miles of trails exclusively for snowshoeing. The center’s longest path, Monument Trail gains 500 feet in elevation and rewards hikers with a view of the Catskills and Poconos in the distance. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area provides miles of great trails suitable for beginners yet challenging enough for an experienced trekker. The Lamont Reserve and adjacent Rockleigh Woods Sanctuary offers the public 4.5 miles of trails through 200 wooded acres. Be rewarded with wintery views of the New York City skyline when you rise to the challenge at Ramapo Mountain State Forest, which has trails with challenging climbs ranging from about 200 to 1,100 feet.
Just because the lake is frozen doesn’t mean the fishing fun is done for the season. Winter is a great time to try out ice fishing. When lakes and ponds freeze solid, it’s time for the hardiest of souls to get out the fishing gear. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife encourages anglers to engage in the fun, productive, and social sport of ice fishing. How, where and when are subject to weather conditions, but generally ice must be at least 4 inches thick for safety.
Some popular “ice fishing” catch are the chain pickerel and yellow perch, while the Division has stocked several fishing species in recent years, including walleye, northern pike, tiger muskies and muskellunge. The division’s new Winter Trout Stocked Lakes program gives ice fishermen a chance at an icy trophy trout.
New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife suggests a few popular lakes for ice fishing. Cranberry, Jefferson, Aeroflex, Hopatcong, Musconetcong, Swartswood, Little Swartswood and Wawayanda in Sussex County; Greenwood, Pompton, Shepherd, Green Turtle Pond and Monksville Reservoir in Passaic County: Furnace, White, Mountain, Delaware and Deer Park Pond in Warren County; Budd Lake in Morris County, and Spruce Run Reservoir in Hunterdon County.
Up and down the state, outdoor ice rinks are ready for families yearning to burn off some energy, couples looking for an old-fashioned date, and other people looking to enjoy some icy fun in the great outdoors.
The Mercer County Ice Skating Center is an “open-air, sheltered skating facility” open seven days a week through Mid-March. The center has a little something for everyone, with a full snack bar, fireplace and lounge area, skate rentals and lockers. Middlesex’s outdoor Family Skating Rink overlooks the lake in beautiful Roosevelt Park. Skate with an ocean view at the Jersey Shore “Ice at the Pier.” Located at Pier in Long Branch, New Jersey, the rink is scheduled to be open through President’s Day weekend.
Canada and Vermont may grab the lion’s share of the maple glory, but New Jersey has its own thriving maple industry and winter is a great time to get a taste of what “Maple Sugaring” is all about, according to visit New Jersey.
On Sundays from early Feb to March 25, visit the Tenafly Nature Center to learn how to identify a maple tree and about the maple sugaring process. You can even enjoy a sweet taste. Saturdays and Sunday from Feb.17 to March 11 at the Basking Ridge Environmental Education Center learn about the history and centuries old process at the outdoor “sugar shack.”
Take advantage of a snow day and grab your sled for some old-school adventure. New Jersey’s rolling hills make it ideal for families to find a perfect place to hit the hills. Many state and county parks as well as golf courses offer sledding opportunities with convenient parking, rest rooms and snack stands.
In Northern New Jersey, Liberty State Park in Jersey City offers thrills with a view. Sled down the park’s hills while taking in the sights of the Manhattan skyline. Considered by some to have the best sledding in New Jersey is Jersey City’s Mosquito Park. It offers six acres of rolling hills and stunning views of the Pulaski Skyway.
In Central New Jersey, the Monmouth Battlefield State Park offers up a fun-for-all-ages long sledding hill just behind the Visitor’s Center. Thrill seekers from around the state head to southern New Jersey’s Fort Mott State Park and it’s steep sledding hill.
Wherever wintry adventures take you, Crossroads Trailer Sales in Newfield, N.J., can help you get there in a style in a new or used RV.