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Cheesequake State Park

Coordinates: 40°26′6″N 74°16′13″W / 40.43500°N 74.27028°W / 40.43500; -74.27028
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Cheesequake State Park
Entrance sign leading into Cheesequake Park
Cheesequake State Park is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Cheesequake State Park
TypeState Park
LocationOld Bridge, New Jersey
Nearest citySouth Amboy, New Jersey
Coordinates40°26′6″N 74°16′13″W / 40.43500°N 74.27028°W / 40.43500; -74.27028[1]
Area1,610 acres (2.52 sq mi)[2]
Elevation52 feet (16 m)
EtymologyLenape: Chiskhakink (Cheseh-oh-ke, Chichequaas), meaning "upland," "upland village," or "at the land that has been cleared"[3]
Operated byNew Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry
Visitors1,396,737 (in 2013)[4]
OpenYear round
Camp sites53 sites plus 6 large group sites (available May 1 – October 31)[5]
Hiking trails5 trails, lengths range from 1.5 to 3.5 miles[6]
DesignationMarine and Intertidal[7]
WebsiteCheesequake State Park
Hooks Creek Lake
Hooks Creek Lake is located in New Jersey
Hooks Creek Lake
Hooks Creek Lake
Coordinates40°26′22″N 74°16′10″W / 40.439318°N 74.269443°W / 40.439318; -74.269443
Managing agencyNew Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry
Surface area10.6 acres (43,000 m2)[8]
Average depth5.5 feet (1.7 metres)[8]
Max. depth7.3 feet (2.2 metres)[8]
Water volume72,800 cubic metres (72,800,000 litres)[8]
Residence time259 days[8]
Map of Cheesequake State Park in Old Bridge, New Jersey
Cheesequake Creek
Cheesequake Creek

Cheesequake State Park is a 1,610-acre (2.52 sq mi) state park located in Old Bridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey, in the United States.

The New Jersey Legislature allocated $100,000 in 1937 to purchase property for the park. The state first acquired a 250-acre (100 ha) tract of farmland and a Civil War-era mansion from the Favier brothers in January 1938. Additional lands were acquired over the next two years, and the Civil Conservation Corps, part of the Works Progress Administration, helped develop the property. The park was opened in June 1940.[9][10][11] It is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry and is part of the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route.

The name Cheesequake has been variously described as deriving from the Lenape words Cheseh-oh-ke ("upland"),[12] Chichequaas ("upland village"),[13] or Chiskhakink ("at the land that has been cleared").[14]

Geography, flora, and fauna


The park's lowlands consist of freshwater and saltwater marsh and a tidal estuary near the mouth of Cheesequake Creek on the Raritan Bay. It also includes hills of Northeastern hardwood forest, open fields, and a white cedar swamp. It includes a small parcel of Atlantic coastal pine barrens, consisting of pine forest in sandy soil, an isolated section of the much larger New Jersey Pine Barrens. It also includes the 6-acre (24,000 m2) Hooks Creek Lake, a freshwater lake where recreational fishing features trout, largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish. Crabbing is also available at the park.

Facilities, activities, and trails

Participants in a First Day Hike in the park in 2017 walk through the hardwood forest above and see the marshes below
Museum Road in Cheesequake State Park

The park includes an interpretive center and five marked trails for both hiking and mountain biking that run throughout the wooded hills and across long wooden bridges across marshland. The park has designated camping areas available by reservation. Swimming and boating are summertime activities, while sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are available in wintertime.

The Garden State Parkway runs through the park near exit 120 but offers no direct access. A road runs underneath the parkway to connect the northern and southern sides of the park. Parts of the park, including a picnic area, are visible from the parkway. Aberdeen-Matawan station (New Jersey Transit) is located about two miles east of the park.

See also



  1. ^ https://www.njparksandforests.org/parks/cheesequakestatepark.html
  2. ^ "Cheesequake State Park". NJ DEP. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  3. ^ "CHEESEQUAKE STATE PARK OFFERS MUCH TO DO IN A SMALL PACKAGE". Hidden Gems of the State of New Jersey. NJDEP. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  4. ^ "2013 – 2017 New Jersey Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan" (PDF). Green Acres Program. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  5. ^ "Camping". Cheesequake State Park. NJDEP. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "Trails". Cheesequake State Park. NJDEP. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  7. ^ "Cheesequake State Park". MPA Global. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Middlesex County Water Quality Management Plan" (PDF). Total Maximum Daily Loads for Phosphorus To Address Nine Eutrophic Lakes in the Atlantic Coastal Water Region. US EPA. p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  9. ^ "A Century of Forest Stewardship in New Jersey, 1905 - 2005," by Kevin Wright, p 52, 2005, accessed December 31, 2010
  10. ^ Matawan Journal, 27 January 1938, p 1, "Purchase Land For Cheesequake Park"[permanent dead link], accessed December 31, 2010
  11. ^ "The Civilian Conservation Corps: A Legacy Lives On In New Jersey's State Parks", DEP Focus, Fall 2008, Vol 1,Issue 2, p 1, published by the NJ Dept of Environmental Protection, accessed December 31, 2010
  12. ^ CHEESEQUAKE STATE PARK, accessed November 17, 2006
  13. ^ Cheesequake State Park: Cheesequake Cedar Swamp Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, accessed November 17, 2006
  14. ^ "At the land that has been Cleared - Cheesequake, NJ". The Lenape Talking Dictionary. Lenape Talking Dictionary. Retrieved June 4, 2018.