Cheesequake State Park

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Cheesequake State Park
Cheesequake Park Main Entrance.jpeg
Entrance sign leading into Cheesequake Park
Cheesequake State Park is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Cheesequake State Park
Type State Park
Location Old Bridge Township, New Jersey
Nearest city Sayreville, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°26′6″N 74°16′13″W / 40.43500°N 74.27028°W / 40.43500; -74.27028Coordinates: 40°26′6″N 74°16′13″W / 40.43500°N 74.27028°W / 40.43500; -74.27028
Area 1,610 acres (6.5 km2)[1]
Elevation 52 feet (16 m)
Opened 1937
Etymology Lenape: Chiskhakink (Cheseh-oh-ke), meaning upland or "upland village”[2]
Operated by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry
Visitors 1,396,737 (in 2013)[3]
Open Year round
Status Open
Camp sites 53 sites plus 6 large group sites (available May 1-October 31)[4]
Hiking trails 5 trails, lengths range from 1.5 to 3.5 miles[5]
Designation Marine and Intertidal[6]
Website Cheesequake State Park
Hooks Creek Lake
Coordinates 40°26′22″N 74°16′10″W / 40.439318°N 74.269443°W / 40.439318; -74.269443
Type Man-made
Managing agency New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry
Surface area 10.6 acres (43,000 m2)[7]
Average depth 5.5 feet (1.7 metres)[7]
Max. depth 7.3 feet (2.2 metres)[7]
Water volume 72,800 cubic metres (72,800,000 litres)[7]
Residence time 259 days[7]
Map of Cheesequake State Park in Old Bridge, New Jersey

Cheesequake State Park (Lenape: Chiskhakink [8]) is a 1,274-acre (5.16 km2) state park located in Old Bridge Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey in the United States.

The New Jersey Legislature allocated $100,000 in 1937 to purchase property for this state park. The state first acquired a 250 acre tract of farmland and a Civil War era mansion from the Favier brothers in January 1938. Additional lands were acquired over the next two years, and the Civil Conservation Corps, part of the Works Progress Administration, helped develop the property. The park was opened in June 1940.[9] [10] [11] It is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry and is part of the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route.

The name Cheesequake was derived from the Lenape Native American word Cheseh-oh-ke, meaning "upland"[12] or "upland village".[13]

Geography, flora, and fauna[edit]

The park's lowlands consist of freshwater and saltwater marsh and a tidal estuary near the mouth of Cheesequake Creek on the Raritan Bay. It also includes hills of Northeastern hardwood forest, open fields, and a white cedarswamp. It includes a small parcel of Atlantic coastal pine barrens, consisting of pine forest in sandy soil, an isolated section of the much larger New Jersey Pine Barrens. It also includes the 6-acre (24,000 m2) Hooks Creek Lake, a freshwater lake where recreational fishing includes catches of trout, largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish. Crabbing is also available at the park.

Facilities, activities, and trails[edit]

The park includes an interpretive center and five marked trails for both hiking and mountain biking that run throughout the wooded hills and across long wooden bridges across marshland. The park has designated camping areas available by reservation. Swimming and boating are summertime activities, while sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are available in wintertime.

The Garden State Parkway runs through the park near Exit 120, but offers no direct access. A road runs underneath the Parkway to connect the northern and southern sides of the park. Some of the park is visible from the Parkway, including a picnic area. Aberdeen-Matawan (NJT station) is about two miles east of the park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cheesequake State Park". NJ DEP. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "CHEESEQUAKE STATE PARK OFFERS MUCH TO DO IN A SMALL PACKAGE". Hidden Gem's of the State of New Jersey. NJDEP. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "2013 – 2017 New Jersey Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan" (PDF). Green Acres Program. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Camping". Cheesequake State Park. NJDEP. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Trails". Cheesequake State Park. NJDEP. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Cheesequake State Park". MPA Global. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Middlesex County Water Quality Management Plan" (PDF). Total Maximum Daily Loads for Phosphorus To Address Nine Eutrophic Lakes in the Atlantic Coastal Water Region. US EPA. p. 16. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Lenape Talking Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  9. ^ "A Century of Forest Stewardship in New Jersey, 1905 - 2005," by Kevin Wright, p 52, 2005, accessed 31 December 2010
  10. ^ Matawan Journal, 27 January 1938, p 1, "Purchase Land For Cheesequake Park", accessed 31 December 2010
  11. ^ "The Civilian Conservation Corps: A Legacy Lives On In New Jersey's State Parks", DEP Focus, Fall 2008, Vol 1,Issue 2, p 1, published by the NJ Dept of Environmental Protection, accessed 31 December 2010
  12. ^ CHEESEQUAKE STATE PARK, accessed November 17, 2006
  13. ^ Cheesequake State Park: Cheesequake Cedar Swamp , accessed November 17, 2006

External links[edit]