Discovered by the Lenape Indians, Lake Hopatcong remains today a natural wonder worthy of exploration. It is New Jersey's largest freshwater lake offering residents and visitors outstanding boating, sailing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, water sports and more year-round.
Located just 30 miles from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and 40 miles from New York City via I-80, the lake's 45 miles of shoreline is home to restaurants, marinas and public beaches making it a great escape for a day, the weekend or an entire season. Public lake access points include Hopatcong State Park, which includes a ramp to launch boats seven days a week; a beach for swimming, sunning and volleyball playing; plenty of places to fish; a fully equipped bathhouse; and a concession stand offering food and beach supplies. The 159-acre park also offers picnic sites with grills, two playgrounds, large fields ideal for group play and walking paths.
The park is also home to the Hopatcong Historical Museum, which chronicles the lake's colorful history including its hay day as a magnet for the rich and famous in the early 20th century and the birthplace of the area's first roller coaster at Bertrand Island Park. Today, Lake Hopatcong is a recreation haven that boasts a myriad of marinas that rent slips for the day or season, as well as yacht and fishing clubs. The Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club hosts the annual 4th of July fireworks extravaganza over the water, an annual Antique and Class Boat Show every summer and colorful sailboat regattas on Sundays. Meanwhile, the lake is an angler's delight - sportsmen and women of all ages reel in trout, striper catfish, walleye, sunfish and more throughout the year.
Bridge Marina is the state's only freshwater "clean marina," as designated by the NJ Deptartment of Environmental Protection. Boaters seeking a full service facility with an unwavering commitment to protecting the lake's fragile eco-system, will appreciate the marina's environmentally-friendly business practices. Additionally, the marina offers daily boat rentals and is home to the only Boating Club - for an annual membership fee, water enthusiasts have access to a fleet of meticulously maintained boats ranging from a pontoon to a sporty bow rider without the hassle of ownership.
Watch the sunset while dining lakeside - many restaurants are accessible by boat (a rarity among NJ lakes) and open year-round. Nearby Mahlon Dickerson Reservation's 3,200 acres and 20 multi-use trails beckon those who want to commune with the great outdoors for the day or overnight. Operated by the Morris County Park System, the reservation offers tent sites and Adirondack shelters with picnic tables and fire rings, as well as paved sites with seasonal electric hookup for camper trailers. Located on an inlet on the northwest corner of Lake Hopatcong, Roland Eves Mountain Inlet Sanctuary offers a quiet retreat to take in the native flora and fauna. Bird lovers will spy heron, bald eagles, egrets, kingfisher and more.