Friday, January 30, 2015

Winter Activities in the Parks

When the snow begins to fall or the ice begins to freeze, there's nothing better than getting outside to enjoy some fun family time. And the parks want to be sure our residents have some wonderful and safe places to enjoy their wintry excitement. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy in the winter months when the weather is just right...

  • SLEDDING: When at least two inches of snow has fallen, we all know it's time to head to the sledding hill at beautiful Holmdel Park, Holmdel. This supervised sledding area is open when two or more inches of snow cover the hill and is often groomed by Park System Rangers to assure it is safe and there aren't any rough patches coming through. Conditions permitting, normal sledding hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and  8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Call Holmdel Park at 732-946-9562 for current sledding conditions or check for updates on our Winter Activities web page. 
  • ICE SKATING: Lace up those skates, because when the conditions are right and the ice is at least five inches thick, skating may be available at Holmdel, Shark River and Turkey Swamp Parks. It normally takes at a week to 10 days of subfreezing temperatures to produce safe skating conditions. When the ice is considered safe, skating hours are from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Please Note: Skating is considered safe when the "Skating Today" signs are posted. You can also find the most updated information on our Winter Activities web page. 
  • ICE FISHING: If your favorite wintry sport involves a rod and reel instead of a sled or skates, you can drop a line at the Manasquan Reservoir, Thompson Park, and Turkey Swamp Park when ice fishing conditions are right. See a Park System Ranger for the designated ice fishing area and times in each park. The Winter Activities page will offer currently open locations as well.
  • CROSS-COUNTRY SKI AND SNOWSHOE RENTALS: Open when the snowy conditions permit, the Ski Hut at Thompson Park, Lincroft (located next to the Three Barns Parking Area), offers rentals of cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment. When the snowy conditions are right, normal hours and pricing are:
    Weekday Rentals      
    Monday-Wednesday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Thursday & Friday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (headlamps are recommended for evenings)
    Weekend Rentals     
    Saturday & Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Daily Rental Pricing     
    Ski Equipment: $15 per set
    Snowshoes: $10 per pair
    Skis and/or snowshoes are available on a first come, first served basis.
    For more information or questions regarding equipment rentals, please call 732-842-4000, ext. 4312.

    Cross-country skiers will be thrilled to learn that the Park System will be grooming trails for cross-country skiing at Thompson Park when there is enough snow and conditions are favorable. (Six inches or more of snow.) Here's the Cross Country Ski Trail Map for Thompson Park

    Prefer the path less taken? You can also cross-country ski and snowshoe at Clayton, Hartshorne Woods, Holmdel, Huber Woods, Shark River, Tatum, and Turkey Swamp Parks. Please stay on designated, marked trails. Cross-country skiing is available during regular park hours from 8 a.m. to dusk. Refer to the park pages for trail and parking lot locations.  
    Please check this website for grooming info and snow condition updates. 
These are just some of the fun things you can do in the parks as we enjoy the last half of winter. You can also visit any of the parks to play in the snow or build a snowman. Many winter programs with the parks are also still available. Check out our Winter Program Directory for upcoming programs and drop-ins in February. 

1 comment:

  1. Went cross-country skiing today. My first visit to Thompson Park. What a gorgeous day (mid-30s) and a great experience! The most impressive part was the high quality of the grooming on the tracks and the large variety of trails throughout this expansive park. The rental equipment was like new, and a complementary hot chocolate was part of the package. Hoping for another 8" of fresh powder on SUN/MON. Can't wait to go back! Who needs Vermont, when you've got Home, Sweet Home!?!