Want to find other ways to make a splash without the beach? Avoid crowds, parking, and pricey beach badges but still enjoy the water, sand and fun. Let's explore New Jersey's swimming lakes and watering holes to beat the summer heat with destinations that won't kill the gas budget.
1. Darlington Lake, 600 Darlington Ave, Mahwah, NJ 07430
Nestled in the Mountain of Mahwah, Lakes at Darlington County Park is open for swimming activities with a sandy beach, large picnic areas, and Wibit splash zones for older kids. Prices are $10 for Bergen County residents (ages 18-61) and $6 for Children (ages 5-17). The upper lake is also home to the Wibit Splash Zone water obstacle course! Active and super fun for kids and open to all residents of Bergen County above 39" tall, for an additional fee. 20 minutes drive from Northern Pascack Valley. Please visit the website for more info.
2. Wawayanda State Park, 885 Warwick Turnpike, Hewitt, NJ 07421
The white sand beach and breathtaking scenery location provide a truly enjoyable freshwater experience. There are changing areas, restrooms, a first-aid station, and a concession where food and beach supplies may be purchased. Inner tubes, rafts, and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Available to rent canoes or paddle boats to appreciate the lakes' panoramic view. Swimming is permitted from when lifeguards are on duty. Admission is charged per vehicle. About a 45 minutes drive from Northern Pascack Valley. Please check the website or call before visiting.
3. Hopatcong State Park, 260 Lakeside Blvd, Landing, NJ 07850
A sandy beach hugs the shore, with plenty of grassy places to lounge farther inland with picnic areas with grills so you can enjoy an outing with friends and family. The state's largest lake is busy with motorboats and personal watercraft. A small park, volleyball, and half basketball courts are near the bathhouse and concession area. A boat launch is available if you'd like to get out on the water and fish. Swimming is permitted when lifeguards are on duty. About a 45 minutes drive from Northern Pascack Valley.
4. Tomahawk Lake,155 Tomahawk Trail, Sparta, NJ 07871
Though it's considered a waterpark, with paid entrance fees and private, it is a waterpark lake that offers up a large white sandy beach, a 20-acre crystal clear lake for swimming, and a wide variety of waterslides, boats, and outdoor activities. It includes a large perimeter around the 25-acre lake with spacious picnic and recreation areas. It's a lake with amenities that your kids could spend end less hours enjoying. Tomahawk Lake is a classic summer place where you can bring your grill and do your cooking or purchase the food at the concession knowing you have all the advantages of a family-run facility. About 50 minutes drive from Northern Pascack Valley.
5. Lake Marcia at High Point State Park, High Point State Park, 1480 NJ-23, Sussex, NJ 07461
Spring-fed Lake Marcia is cool and refreshing, and the view from the lake to the High Point Monument is spectacular and vice versa. There is a sandy beach with lifeguards, a bathhouse, and food at the concession adjacent to the beach. Picnic tables and grills are located behind the beach area, available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Weekday admission is $5 for New Jersey, and weekends, it's $10 for state residents. Please check the website for updates about swim times! Check out the camping as well. About 1 hours and 10 minutes from Northern Pascack Valley.
6. Swartswood State Park, 1091 E Shore Dr, Swartswood, NJ 07877
Swartswood is one of the state's largest freshwater lakes. The park's main attraction draws families who enjoy swimming, fishing, boating, and kayaking in its calm waters. The lake offers a modest swimming area and a nice beach, both extremely clean and welcoming. In addition, visitors can rent pedal boats, canoes, and kayaks. Next to the beach, visitors can access restrooms, changing areas, showers, a first-aid station, and a kid-friendly (and reasonably priced) concession stand. Check out the camping as well. About 1 hours and 15 minutes from Northern Pascack Valley.
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Macaroni Kids Northern Pascack Valley is proudly serving Northeast Bergen County area families in Closter, Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan, Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Westwood, and Woodcliff Lake. Please follow us on social media @MacaroniKidNPascack on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.