New Jersey is the place you should really consider visiting to spend time with nature. The state offers a variety of options which are amazing and waiting to be explored. 

The lakes in the north are near New York city while the lakes in the south are nestled in forests surrounded by beautiful and serene campsites.

The best lakes to visit for boating and fishing in New Jersey are given below:-

Lake Hopatcong

Location: 40 miles from New York City

Known for: Lake Hopatcong is the largest freshwater body in the state of New Jersey.

Activities: The Lake Hopatcong State Park is open year-round offering activities like fishing, boating, and swimming.

Best for: People looking to get away from the city heat. The popular summer destination is resorts for visitors.

Lake Atsion

Location: Wharton State Forest Area, Batsto Village.

Known for: Sandy beaches, historic village of Batsto, founded in 1766 as industrial centre for bore iron and glass making. You can still find shops, and galleries.

Activities: Swimming is permitted only under lifeguards’ watch.

Best for: People looking to campsite on sandy beaches with a variety of lakes, rivers and ponds to explore.

Round Valley Reservoir

Location: Clinton township

Formed in 1960, this is the largest reservoir in the state of New Jersey. 

Known for: The crystal-clear blue water. Interestingly, the reservoir is called the Bermuda Triangle of New Jersey as 26 people have drowned there since 1971, of which six have never been found.

Activities: Camping, swimming, scuba diving, boat ramp, hiking, biking, fishing.

Best For: Fishing enthusiasts. The reservoir offers extraordinary fishing experience which includes pickerel, bass, catfish, perch, eel, and types of trout. 

Farrington lake

Location: Brunswick township

Known for: Shallow depth of only 6-ft. This is a man-made lake and is created by a dam. During rains, the water cascades down the steps of the dam. It is a treat to watch the stunning visual effect.

Activities: Fishing

Best for: Rainy days

Monksville Reservoir

Location: Defunct town of Monksville.

Known for: Historical area was known for its ironworks during the 18th century.

Activities: Fishing and Boating

Best For: Kayaking, paddle-boarding, boating. The reservoir has two boat launches, on the north side and the south side, this makes the reservoir easy to access for boats of all sizes.

Manasquan Reservoir

Location: Howell Township

Known for: One of the New Jersey’s busiest lakes. It has an environmental centre, multi-use recreational area, and five different hiking trails.

Activities: fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, running, biking, and horse-riding.

Best for: People looking for the bustle and adventure, in a carnival feel. It is said this place could keep you entertained for months.

Lake Carnegie

Location: Princeton

Known For: It is a man-made lake constructed solely for the Princeton University rowing team.

Activities: Rowing, picknick, fishing, ice-skating.

Best for: People looking for a nice low-key quiet family outing.

Deal Lake

Location: New York City

Known for: History of being constructed when inlet to Atlantic Ocean was purposefully blocked to create lakes and ponds in the area.

Activities: Sightseeing

Mercer lake

Location: West Windsor

Known for: Cleanest lakes in New Jersey. It has held multiple Olympic trials for many years. Created in 1975 during dam construction to control flooding.

Activities: Crew racing

Best for: Picknick

Merrill Creek Reservoir

Location: Warren County

Known for: Deepest man-made reservoir in New Jersey. variety of wildlife including deer, turkey, and bald eagles.

Activities: Birdwatching

Best for:  Birdwatching and fishing enthusiasts

Green Pond

Location: Rockaway Township

Known for: It hae an underground spring. 2003 The Station Agent movie was shot near the Green Pond.

Activities: Fishing

Ramapo Lake

Location: Ramapo Mountain State Forest area

Known for: Trails with best view of New York’s skyline

Activities: Camping, hiking, hunting, canoeing, cross-country skiing and mountain biking.

Best for: People looking to explore and spend lost time.

Sunfish Pond


Location: Kittatinny Ridge

Known for:  Appalachian trails

Activities: Camping, hiking

Best for: People looking for a quiet place to take a hike.

Lake Mohawk

Location: Sparta county in northern New Jersey. 

Known for: Long history of summer cottages. 

Activities: Boating, fishing. 

Best for: Hiking and sunset enthusiasts 

Westons Mill Pond

Location: Outside of New York city 

Known for: Man-made pond with a dam located at the southern end.

Activities: Fishing, Boating (gasoline motors are prohibited).

Best for: People looking for a weekend getaway from New York.

Check out this great resource to find out where to rent charter boats, pontoon boats, and sailing charter boats in NJ.


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