Winter Fun In The Parks

image003-3Winter fun heats up when the temperature drops and snow flies in the Monmouth County Park System. Whether you’re looking to fly down the sledding hill, strap on your cross-country skis, or lace up your ice skates, the Park System is the place to be. Open when there are two or more inches of snow, hours for the sledding hill in Holmdel Park, Holmdel, are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Groomed trails are open to cross-country skiers at Thompson Park, Lincroft, and Charleston Springs Golf Course, Millstone, as weather permits.  Marked, ungroomed trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Clayton Park, Upper Freehold; Hartshorne Woods Park, Middletown; Holmdel Park, Holmdel; Huber Woods Park, Middletown; Shark River Park, Wall; Tatum Park, Middletown; and Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold.  Please note that the Park System’s Deer Management Program will be underway until February 18 at several of these sites.  (For complete details, please visit our website at www.monmouthcountyparks.com.)
Need equipment? Head over to Thompson Park, Lincroft. Cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment is available for rent at the Thompson Park Ski Hut, located next to the Three Barns Parking Area. Rentals are available from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays; and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends. The cost is $15 to rent ski equipment and $10 for snowshoes.  Skis and/or snowshoes are available on a first come, first served basis. Conditions permitting, the Ski Hut is open through March 11.  For more information, please call 732-842-4000, ext. 4312.
The fun really starts after a week or so of freezing temperatures when Holmdel, Shark River and Turkey Swamp Parks post their “Skating Today” signs.  Hours for ice skating are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.  Ice skating isn’t the only fun to be had!  Manasquan Reservoir, Thompson Park and Turkey Swamp Park open for ice fishing in designated areas. Always check with park rangers before heading onto the ice. 
Please be aware that these activities are offered only when conditions permit. Be sure to visit our website at www.monmouthcountyparks.com for the latest updates on conditions. To learn more about these Park System activities, please visit our website or call 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks and Recreation agency.