Sunset Lake (New Jersey)
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|Location||Cumberland County, near Bridgeton, New Jersey|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Surface elevation||10 ft (3.0 m)|
Sunset Lake is a medium-sized reservoir located in and near the city of Bridgeton in southern New Jersey (Cumberland County). The reservoir lies mostly in the townships of Hopewell Township and Upper Deerfield Township. The lake was created by damming a stream that feeds to the area from above Seeley Lake. And a stream that feeds into the lake from the nearby Mary Elmer Lake also located in Bridgeton. The dam is located next to Park Drive, a major roadway that cuts throughout the city's park system and interconnects with Route 49. Just across the turnpike in Deerfield it opens over in the "Silly Pond". The water from Sunset Lake flows over the spillway dam and into the Cohansey River. Originally, the lake was known as Tumbling Dam Pond.
Sunset Lake (present day)
Sunset Lake is home to canoe rentals and a swimming beach (Stony Point Beach) operated by the City of Bridgeton Dept. of Recreation. The lake also offers picnic areas, a boat ramp (public access to Sunset Lake is provided from the Bridgeton City Park, just off of County Road 607) at Piney Point (a peninsula that juts out into the lake) and opportunities for fishing. People can kayak or canoe in the lake and carry their boats to the nearby stream that leads to the Cohansey River. Another canoeing option is the Raceway, a 19th-century earthen structure that was created as a mill race but since has been converted to recreational use. The Raceway meanders through the Cohanzick Zoo and dead-ends near Downtown Bridgeton (near the Nail House Museum). There is also a stream that one could take that feeds from Mary Elmer Lake (a nearby lake also in the Bridgeton Park System).
Early History of area:
Sunset Lake was once the home of Tumbling Dam Park, situated at the southeast corner of Sunset Lake in Bridgeton. The Park was located on the shore of the lake and started out as a boat rental and pavilion area for picnics during the Victorian era. Eventually the park evolved to include early amusement park rides, like the one built by a local company called Pretzel Amusement Ride Company a bowling alley, baseball fields, concession stands etc. Notable celebrities of the time also visited Tumbling Dam Park; among them were counted the Wright Brothers, and Anne Oakley. The Park was damaged during the Flood of 1934 but was repaired, only later to fall into disrepair in the 1950s. The Park was eventually torn down and the land sold to developers who built houses on it.
A derecho storm on August 13, 2011 caused the lake to rise and overflow its banks.
Since the storm the spillway dam was repaired and the lake is now open and stocked with fish.
Sunset Lake is inhabited by various species. Many turtles reside in the lake's waters, including snapping turtles. Geese, ducks, and seagulls are the primary avian residents of the lake area. Aquatic residents include sunfish, catfish, and fresh water clams along with leeches.
The City of Bridgeton hosts events from time to time at Sunset Lake
Annual Pig King BBQ
Various shows, concerts, and plays conducted at the Amphi-theater