Division of Fish, Game & Wildlife, 609-292-2965. Anglers age 16 and older are required to obtain and display a valid New Jersey fishing license to fish the state's fresh waters. For trout fishing, an additional trout stamp is required. Children under 16 and residents over age 70 do not need licenses. Licenses can be purchased from most county and municipal clerks, designated sporting goods stores, or online. Call the trout hotline (in spring and fall), 609-633-6765, for recorded information on stocking locations and times. A free fishing weekend when no license is required for fishing New Jersey's public waters is held annually in June and Oct.
Search "Pocket Ranger" in the App Store or Google Play to download the NJ Fish & Wildlife Guide for hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing in New Jersey, news and alerts and advanced GPS mapping features.
Visit the New Jersey state website or TakeMeFishing.org for boating and fishing info and tips.
New Jersey does not have a saltwater license, but individual saltwater anglers ages 16 and older must register with the New Jersey Saltwater Angler Registry for free.
Jun 10, Oct 21 Annual Free Fishing Days.
For a list of registered and licensed charter and party boat operators on the Jersey shore, visit the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife website. For information about locations and guides for freshwater fishing, visit New Jersey Fish & Wildlife website and select "Fishing - Freshwater." For saltwater information and guides, select "Fishing - Marine Fisheries" and scroll to "Guides."
Bayshore Center at Bivalve
2800 High St., Bivalve, Port Norris, 856-785-2060. Home to Delaware Bay Museum & Folklife Center and New Jersey's official Tall Ship, the restored A.J. Meerwald, a Delaware Bay oyster dredgeboat built in 1928. The schooner is now a sailing classroom. Field trips, summer sailing camp, deck tours, sailor for a day program, and public sails from ports in New Jersey, including Liberty State Park, are offered in season.
Bel Haven Paddlesports
Mullica River Marina, 1118 Rt. 542 (GSP Exit 52), Green Bank, 609-965-BOAT. Canoe, kayak or tube through the Pine Barrens on the calm Batsto, Mullica, Wading and Oswego Rivers.
Belmar Municipal Marina
905 Rt. 35 (at Shark River), Belmar, 732-681-2266. A large number of party and charter boats make daily half-day & full-day ocean trips for fluke, blues, tuna, striped bass and others.
Bucks County River Country
2 Walters Lane, Point Pleasant, PA, 215-297-5000. Canoe, kayak, tube on the Delaware River. Rafting trips and rentals.
Delaware River Tubing
778 Frenchtown Rd., Millford, 908-996-5386. Tube, raft, canoe or kayak down the Delaware River.
Highlands Natural Pool
180 Snake Den Rd. (I-287N exit 55), Ringwood, 973-835-4299. Open weekends Memorial Day-late June, daily late June-Labor Day. Day passes and memberships. Olympic-size, stream-fed chemical-free pool with stone retaining walls was carved out of the hillside in 1935. Set among poplars and evergreens, it is adjacent to over 24 miles of hiking trails in Norvin Green State Forest. Children's area; snack stand; picnic tables; volleyball court, basketball court and softball field.
Hunterdon County Canoe & Kayak Club
Office: 1020 Rt. 31N, Lebanon Twp., 908-782-1158. Canoe trips on Hunterdon's waterways spring to fall for beginning and experienced canoers include 21⁄2 hr. pond paddles (ideal for beginners) to whitewater and birding day trips and camping trips. Custom trips for groups, schools, clubs.
Kittatinny Canoes, Inc.
3854 Rt. 97, Barryville, NY; Dingman's Ferry, PA, 800-356-2852. Canoe, kayak, raft, tube, ziplines on the Delaware River; paintball, campsites available.
Meadowlands Pontoon Boat & Canoe Tours
River Barge Park, Carlstadt, 201-460-4677. Experience the Hackensack River and Meadowlands wildlife up close on a NJMC guided pontoon boat cruise or canoe tour. For ages 10 and up, $15 per person. Registration forms online or at Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst.
From April-Oct. canoe and kayak rentals are available at Hackensack Riverkeeper Paddling Center in Laurel Hill County Park, Secaucus. Paddlers can explore the marshlands of the Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area. Guided paddles, bird walks, eco-cruises, river clean-up days and group outreach programs are offered. For info, call 201-968-0808 or visit Hackensack Riverkeeper website.
Mick's Pine Barrens Canoe & Kayak Rental
3107 Rt. 563, Chatsworth, 609-726-1380. Canoe and kayak through the Pine Barrens on the calm waters of the Wading and Oswego Rivers in Wharton State Forest.
Ringwood State Park
1304 Sloatsburg Rd., Ringwood, 973-962-7031. State Botanical Garden open 8-8. Ringwood Manor tours: Wed.-Sun. 10-3. Skylands Manor tours: one Sunday per month March-Nov. Entrance fee Memorial Day-Labor Day: $5 weekdays.
Encompassing 4,044 acres, Ringwood includes the formal gardens of the New Jersey State Botanical Gardens; Ringwood Manor, a beautiful country house which was once owned by Abram S. Hewitt, America's foremost ironmaster; Skylands Manor, a 44-room mansion built in the 1920s; and spring-fed Shepherd Lake Recreation Area offering boating, swimming, and fishing opportunities. Boat rentals and swimming are offered Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 10-6. Hiking and multi-use trails range from easy to difficult, from woodlands to rocky vistas, some connecting the Ringwood and Skylands sections of the park. 7.5 mile mountain bike loop; food concession at Shepherd Lake. Visit the Botanical Gardens website for schedule of seasonal programs.
Family-Friendly Hike, 1pm. Meet at Carriage House Visitor Center. Free.
Jan 8, Feb 5
Skylands Manor Tours, 11-3. Adults $7, srs./ages 13-18 $5, ages 6-12 $3.
Family Woodland Hike, 1pm. Free.
Audubon: Owls of New Jersey, indoor photo presentation. 1pm.
Outdoor Concert Series, see Summer Arts in the Parks for schedule.
Round Valley Recreation Area
Rt. 78 Exit 18, Rt. 22E (8 mi. east of Clinton on Rt. 22), Annandale, 908-236-6355. Regarded as the foremost trophy trout water in New Jersey, scenic reservoir has small boat launch (10hp max.) or fishing from dam or shore. Hiking and nature trails, wilderness campsites accessible by boat, canoe or backpacking 3-6 miles. Separate swimming area with bathhouse, picnicking and playground. Visit website for interpretive programs.
Shawnee River Trips
100 Shawnee Inn Drive, Shawnee on Delaware, 800-742-9633. Canoes, kayaks or rafting the Delaware River. Full moon paddles, tours, guided trips.
Silas Condict County Park
William Lewis Arthur Dr. (off Kinnelon Rd.), Kinnelon, 973-829-8257. Daily 8am-dusk. Paddleboat and rowboat rentals available weekends and holidays from Memorial Day-Labor Day. Picnic areas, hiking trails, softball fields and lake fishing.
Somerset County Park Commission Putting Course and Paddle Boats
Colonial Park, Franklin Twp., 732-873-8585. Putting Course: April-Oct. Adults $8, children/srs. $5, under 5 $2. Paddle boats: summer thru Labor Day, $10. Golf-boat combo: $10. A sports complex for all ages. The putting course is a golf course in miniature with water features and "sand" traps. Both facilities are accessible for persons with physical disabilities.
Putting Course open. Paddleboats open through Labor Day.
Somerset County Park Commission Family Canoe & Kayak Programs
908-766-2489. Spring, summer and fall canoe and kayak trips are designed for adults and families. For canoe and kayak trips, an adult must accompany children under the age of 15. Each canoe can accommodate two paddlers and a child passenger. A pool session must be completed before a Kan-U-Kayak session is undertaken. Likewise a Kan-U-Kayak session must be attended prior to a river trip. Call or visit website for schedule of day-long river excursions and whitewater trips.
Introductory canoe workshops for adults and children, ages 7 and older, teach basic paddling, handling and safety on Branta Pond at the Environmental Education Center. $14 per person.
Introductory kayaking workshops, designed for adults and ages 10 and over, teach basic paddling, handling and safety. Must attend this class and 11⁄2-hr. pool training session (included in fee) prior to taking a river trip. $25 per person.
Canoe or kayak on the gentle Passaic River through the Great Swamp basin. $30.
Full Moon Paddle
Canoe or kayak by the light of the full moon. Bring a flashlight or headlight. Call for summer dates.
South Mountain Reservation Swan Boats
Cherry Lane, West Orange, 973-731-5800. Open seasonally. Summer: open daily 10-8. $15/half hr. for 2 person boat; $19/half hr. for 4 person boat; Orange residents $7 or $9 with ID. Park across the street. Swan paddle boats for rent, walking paths, ship-themed playground and picnic pavilion. Must be over 2 years old to board a paddle boat. Call 973-731-5800 x221 to reserve picnic pavilion.
Spruce Run State Park
Van Syckels Rd. (I-78 to Clinton Rt. 31N), Clinton, 908-638-8572. Seasonal parking fee. Swimming beach and bathhouse, small boat launch for boaters and windboarders, boat, canoe and kayak rental (908-638-8234), fishing, camping, picnicking and playground. Stand up paddle board, kayak and canoe lessons, fitness classes, yoga and excursions are offered at the boat launch.
Sunrise Lake Beach Club
Lewis Morris Park, Rt. 24, Morris Township, 973-829-8257. Memorial Day thru Labor Day: Weekends & holidays 11-6:30, daily hours starting late June. Season passes available. Summer swimming, inflatable obstacle course, water slide, fishing, rowboat and paddleboat rentals, beach volleyball, bath/boathouse with restrooms, changing rooms and snack bar. Birthday parties. Lewis Morris Park features hiking trails, mountain biking, fitness circuit, softball field, picnic sites and Saturn Kids Kingdom playground in Doe Meadow. Camping for organized groups by advance reservation.
Tiny Tot Tuesdays, Campout on the Beach, and more.
Twin Rivers Tubing
4 Union Square, Phillipsburg, 908-857-1289. Tubing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting on the Delaware River.
Union County Parks Boating
Union County Parks & Recreation, 908-527-4900. Non-motorized boats, registered with Union County, are permitted in some Union County parks including McConnell Park, Cranford; Passaic River Parkway, Berkeley Hts., New Providence and Summit; Stanley Avenue Park, Summit; Snyder Avenue Boat Launch, Berkeley Heights; Rahway River Parkway, Clark.
Paddleboats are available for rent in Echo Lake Park, Mountainside/Westfield, and Warinanco Park, Elizabeth/Roselle. For paddleboat info, call Warinanco, 973-510-1997, or Echo Lake Park, 908-249-8408.
Wawayanda State Park
885 Warwick Turnpike, Hewitt, 973-853-4462. 255-acre lake with a number of explorable islands in the remote, rugged highlands of northern New Jersey. 400-acre park also includes mountain bike trails, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, fishing, beach area with lifeguard, camping, and food concession. Canoe, rowboat and paddleboat rental available mid-April-late Sept., 973-764-1030.