Cheesequake State Park
|Cheesequake State Park|
Entrance sign leading into Cheesequake Park
|Location||Old Bridge Township, New Jersey|
|Nearest city||Sayreville, New Jersey|
|Area||1,610 acres (6.5 km2)|
|Elevation||52 feet (16 m)|
|Etymology||Lenape: Chiskhakink (Cheseh-oh-ke), meaning upland or "upland village”|
|Operated by||New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry|
|Visitors||1,396,737 (in 2013)|
|Camp sites||53 sites plus 6 large group sites (available May 1-October 31)|
|Hiking trails||5 trails, lengths range from 1.5 to 3.5 miles|
|Designation||Marine and Intertidal|
|Website||Cheesequake State Park|
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.   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.
Geography, flora, and fauna
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
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.
- "Cheesequake State Park". NJ DEP. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- "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.
- "2013 – 2017 New Jersey Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan" (PDF). Green Acres Program. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "Camping". Cheesequake State Park. NJDEP. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "Trails". Cheesequake State Park. NJDEP. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "Cheesequake State Park". MPA Global. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "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.
- "Lenape Talking Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "A Century of Forest Stewardship in New Jersey, 1905 - 2005," by Kevin Wright, p 52, 2005, accessed 31 December 2010
- Matawan Journal, 27 January 1938, p 1, "Purchase Land For Cheesequake Park", accessed 31 December 2010
- "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
- CHEESEQUAKE STATE PARK, accessed November 17, 2006
- Cheesequake State Park: Cheesequake Cedar Swamp , accessed November 17, 2006
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cheesequake State Park.|
- NJDEP Division of Parks and Forestry page on the park
- US Geological Survey page on the park
- NY-NJTC: Cheesequake State Park Trail Details and Info