Get outside and visit area parks this winter

There’s plenty of outdoor activities to do in the winter throughout the Monmouth County Park System.

The park system wants area residents to get the most out of the season by sledding, cross-country skiing, and ice-skating in its parks.

For those who like a challenge, crosscountry skiing is permitted on the trails and fields of Clayton Park in Upper Freehold, Hartshorne Woods Park in Middletown, Holmdel Park in Holmdel, Huber Woods Park in Middletown, Manasquan Reservoir in Howell, Shark River Park in Neptune, Tatum Park in Middletown, Thompson Park in Lincroft and Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold.

Interested but need cross-country equipment? Beginning in December, equipment will be available (weather permitting) for rental from the Park System’s Outdoor Recreation Division at Thompson Park in Lincroft Monday through Friday as well as on weekends with advanced notice. To reserve equipment, call 732-842-4000 two to 24 hours prior to desired rental time. The rental fee is $7 and a $20 deposit is required.

When the weather turns snowy and there are two or more inches of snow cover, the sledding hill in Holmdel Park on Longstreet Road in Holmdel opens. Hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (conditions permitting).

When the thermometer really plunges after a week or more of subfreezing temperatures, area residents can lace up their ice skates and head to Holmdel, Shark River or Turkey Swamp parks from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. “Skating Today” signs are posted to let visitors know when ice is safe for skating.

Always check snow and ice conditions with park rangers or call 732-842-4000, ext. 36, before engaging in any of these activities.

Note that the Park System’s Deer Management Program will be underway at several of the parks.

For more information about winter activities, visit or call 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the TTY/TDD number is 711.