What to do in Swartswood State Park

Information provided by New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry

Whether you are on land or water, there is always a chance you will catch a glimpse of the spectacular wildlife in Swartswood from bald eagles to the unique plant life found in our sinkhole ponds.The park is open year round with a variety of recreational activities available depending on the season. Call for park hours. Swimming is available from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day with certified, trained lifeguards on duty for your safety. During the summer, colorful sailboats take to the water either on a leisurely sail around the lake or while participating in the sailing regattas scheduled throughout the season. Secluded picnic areas overlooking the lake can be found throughout the park with picnic tables and grills available at each site. For overnight stays, camping is available April through October.

Swartswood State Park invites you to participate in their Interpretive Nature Programs.


Duck Pond Multi-Use Trail - This 0.6 mile-paved path provides a level surface for walking, biking, roller blading, skate boarding and is accessible for persons with disabilities. The trail meanders through a forested area along Duck Pond. Wayside exhibits found along the trail provide information on the unique natural features found in the area. A bird blind has been constructed to allow visitors to view birdlife in the area with little disturbance to their habitat.

Spring Lake Trail - This 2.8-mile trail begins at the end of the paved Duck Pond Trail. Follow the white markers along the natural hilly terrain through a secondary succession forest to the secluded Spring Lake. We consider this to be a moderate level hike.

Bear Claw Trail - This 0.8 mile trail is marked in yellow and begins at the Duck Pond parking area just to the right of our kiosk. This is an easy to moderate hike on an earthen, hilly path. The trail ends where it meets the paved Duck Pond Trail allowing you to combine the two trails for a full loop back to the parking area.

Grist Mill Trail - This 1.5 loop trail can be found at the most southern end of Swartswood Lake by the dam. The steep rocky terrain makes this a moderate to difficult hike with rewarding views of Swartswood Lake.

Camping - For forms and information on booking a campsite visit our link below.

Campsites: 65 tent and trailer sites with a fire ring, picnic table and lantern holder. Maximum occupancy is six at each site. Flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities are within walking distance. Trailer sanitary and water stations available. Open April 1 through October 31. Campsites 1 - 21 are open year round.

Group Campsites: Three group sites with picnic tables, a fire ring and lantern holder. Minimum occupancy is seven and maximum is twenty. Water and sanitary units are within walking distance of each site. Open April 1 through October 31.

Yurts: 6 yurt sites with a fire ring, picnic table and lantern holder. Yurts are circular tents built on a wooden frame with concrete floors. Each yurt has a skylight, lockable wood door, window screens with flaps and two double deck bunks, which can sleep up to four people. Assembly of additional tents is not permitted on yurt sites.

Fishing - Fishing is available along the shores or by boat. Some of the many species of fish found in Swartswood Lake include brown trout, tiger trout, large mouth bass, walleye, and pickerel.

Boating - Boat rentals are available in the park on a seasonal basis.

From Route 80, take exit 25, Route 206 north to Newton, about 12 miles. From Newton, make a left at the second traffic light (Route 206 and Spring Street) then make a left at the next light onto Route 519. Follow 519 for approximately 1/2 mile, then make a left onto Route 622 at Sussex County College sign. Follow Route 622 for about 4 1/2 miles. Turn left onto Route 619. The park entrance is about 1/2 mile south on Route 619.

The temperatures in New Jersey vary slightly, with the southern area being the warmest. Winter weather can start by October and is in full force by November, temperatures average 20 to 40 degrees. Spring can begin in mid March and brings temperatures of 50 degrees F, by April temperatures can reach 65 degrees F. Summer weather can extend from late May to mid September, and temperatures often reach 95 degrees during this season with nighttime lows near 65 degrees. Fall weather has temperatures between 65 and 45 degrees F. Precipitation levels in New Jersey are highest from March through August.

P O Box 123
Swartswood, NJ 07877-5230

Phone: 973-383-5230

Email: Michele.buckley@dep.state.nj.us
  • Swartswood State Park Travel Q&A