May 10, 2019

Adventures Await in Monmouth County Parks

By Kathryn Leslie

Monmouth county parks deep cut gardens middletown rumson

Choose your own adventure and explore the great outdoors as you visit some of our local parks this spring and summer. Monmouth County is home to a wide variety of parks and playgrounds that will keep your family busy and engaged at no cost to you while everyone gets much-needed fresh air and exercise. Lucky for locals, nearby parks feature some of the best gardens, forests, rivers and beaches in the state.

Seven presidents park long branch nj

Seven President’s Park in Long Branch offers an abundance of activities for children and families. Older children will love the giant pirate ship playground and rock sculptures for climbing. This park even contains a special area just for toddlers and preschoolers, with smaller slides, a tunnel maze and dolphin sculptures to ride. The playground is universally accessible and contains a spongy turf flooring ideal for little ones. Best of all, you are steps from 38 acres of sandy beach perfect for flying kites, playing catch or collecting seashells.

Holmdel Park Longstreet Farm

Holmdel Park is truly a springtime oasis. In addition to trails, ponds, playgrounds and picnic areas, this park is adjacent to the Historic Longstreet Farm. As you stroll through the farm, you will be greeted by free-roaming peacocks and often curious kittens. The farm is home to a plethora of animals including cows, horses, pigs, chickens and sheep. Spring is the best time to check out the newest baby animals as well. You will feel like you stepped back in time as you explore the old farm grounds, barns, and get up close with many farm animals. The park often showcases various demonstrations such as sheep shearing and blacksmith skills.

Dorbrook Park in Colts Neck

Dorbrook Park in Colts Neck is best known for its top-notch splash park delighting kids in hot summer months. This park also has some of the best bike trails for families who are looking to get outdoors in this spring weather. The 2.3-mile, widely paved trail lets kids feel as if they were on a racetrack with no stopping for traffic! The track loops around fields, through woods, and past an old farmhouse. The playground is specially designed to accommodate children of all abilities, complete with wheelchair-accessible activities and even signs written in Braille. Bring pails and shovels for your kids to play in the large sandpit.

Victory Park Rumson NJ

Victory Park in Rumson is located directly on the shores of the Navesink River. The playground has many boat-themed play areas, tunnel slides and a great basketball court right on the river. The view from the swing set can’t be beat! The small, sandy shores are perfect for feeding ducks, wading in the water, skipping rocks or just having a picnic. More adventurous families might enjoy launching a kayak or paddle board from the shores and exploring the river directly below the Oceanic Bridge.

Deep cut gardens park middletown nj

Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown is a true secret garden tucked away in Middletown. These gardens offer a chance to truly embrace nature as your family progresses through acres of gardens filled with greenhouses, blooming flowers and a rainbow of roses. The old hemlock trees create a fairy tale feel to this special sanctuary. Children love running through the maze at the rose parterre and exploring the rockery. The lily pond is home to colorful koi fish and a favorite attraction of many families. The many winding pathways create an enchanting setting which allows your children’s imaginations to soar.

Mount Mitchell Atlantic Highlands

Mount Mitchell and Twin Lights in Atlantic Highlands are two sites that are a “must visit” for school-aged children. Mount Mitchell houses a 9/11 Memorial with a pathway that serves as a timeline of events on that historic day. At 266 feet, there are exceptional views of Sandy Hook and the New York City skyline. Your kids will love using the coin-operated binoculars to get an up-close view of the city skyline and boats passing by.

Twin Lights Lighthouse Atlantic Highlands nj

Photo courtesy of John Entwistle

Located just 2 miles from Mount Mitchell, Twin Lights is a pair of double lighthouses built in 1862. Visitors are able to climb to the top of one of the lighthouses to take in breathtaking views of the surrounding area  The bottom floor houses a museum about the history of the lighthouse, American flag memorabilia and other local artifacts. These sites are both educational and fun for families!

A visit to a local park is convenient, cost effective and good for your health! Unplug, de-stress and let your feet wander. Little moments lead to big memories. An impromptu adventure in a park can become a memory of a lifetime for you and your family.