Island Beach State Park
Island Beach State Park
Rt. 35 S., Seaside Park, NJ 08752
Property DescriptionMore than 3,000 acres and 10 miles of white sand beach attract swimmers, sunbathers, anglers and surfers. Modern bathhouses, beach access ramps, a mile of beach with lifeguards, historic buildings, trails, interpretive programs, bike paths and facilities for people with disabilities combine to make Island Beach State Park a unique place to explore. Shaped by storm and tides, the park is a narrow barrier island that sits between the restless Atlantic Ocean and the historic Barnegat Bay. Island Beach is one of New Jersey's last significant remnants of a barrier island ecosystem that once existed along much of the coast and is also one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic coast. More than 3,000 acres of coastal dunes that remain almost untouched since Henry Hudson first described New Jersey's coast from the ship, the Half Moon, in 1609. The dunes and white sandy beaches offer habitat to maritime plants and diverse wildlife that is almost the same as it was thousands of years ago. IBSP contains outstanding examples of plant communities such as primary dunes, thicket, freshwater wetlands, maritime forest and tidal marshes. The state's largest osprey colony, as well as peregrine falcons, wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl and migrating songbirds are found here. The park is nationally known as a unique resource with more than 400 plants identified, including the largest expanses of beach heather in New Jersey. It also features two Coast Guard stations from 1901 and 1938. Excellent location to study barrier island plants, see a red fox or observe migrating birds in May and October. Surf chairs and ramps at Ocean Beach Areas 1, 2 and 7 are available to assist people with disabilities to fish or reach the water's edge. Facilities and activities include summer programs, trails, recreation area, Barnegat Bay access, Island Beach Northern Natural Area (659 acres) and Southern Natural Area (1,237 acres). There's also fishing, waterfowl hunting (in sedge islands only), canoeing, ocean swimming, shower facilities and wheelchair access. Visitors enjoy ocean picnicking, sailboarding and surfing, scuba diving and interpretive programs. The park also features the Sedge Island Marine Conservation Zone and the Emily DeCamp Interpretive Center.
Garden State Pky. Exit 82 to Rt. 37 E. to Rt. 35 S. to park entrance.