New Jersey State Parks Free All Summer

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, all entrance fees to state parks will be waived. Anyone who already purchased 2022 passes will be refunded.

Island Beach State Park
People can enjoy Island Beach State Park for free this summer. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Summer in New Jersey should be a walk in the park.

Entrance to all state parks, forests and recreations areas will be free all summer, starting Memorial Day weekend, Governor Murphy announced Thursday.

Fees will be waived for all visitors, regardless of whether they live in New Jersey—though separate, individual park fees for activities like camping and interpretive programs, and mobile sport fishing permits, remain in place.

“As presented in our proposed budget, a more affordable Garden State means access to our state parks for all,” Murphy tweeted.

He added in a statement that while the state wants to incentivize “tourism and economic activity in our local communities,” this new initiative “promotes access to green, open space; thriving waterways; and the many natural wonders that make us proud to call New Jersey our home.”

The New Jersey State Park System, comprised of more than 50 sites and 453,000 acres, draws millions of visitors each year, according to the governor’s office.

At Island Beach State Park, the only oceanfront swimming beach under the State Park Service’s administration, lifeguards are slated to go on duty at 10 am on Saturday, May 28.

At Asbury Park’s annual State of the Shore event Thursday, Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette touted the program.

“From High Point State Park in Sussex County to Cape May Point State Park in Cape May County, the state park system provides endless opportunities for recreation—from swimming, hiking and kayaking, to picnicking, exploring nature and experiencing our rich history,” LaTourette said. “Whatever your passion or interest, there is a state park in New Jersey for you.”

Looking for more fun this summer? Check out New Jersey Monthly’s guide to the best things to do at the Jersey Shore, as well as our favorite places to eat along the coast.

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