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Monday, January 12

Saturday in the Park (Chicago)



New Jersey is a beautiful state, with so much to offer to its visitors!  There are farms, beaches, forests, cities, museums.  It is filled with history, fun, good people and good food!  A visit to NJ wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the amazing NJ State Parks.  There are so many options that NJ State Parks bring to the table: hiking, splashing a pristine lake, playing in a salty ocean waves, camping, fishing, and so much more.  Please keep in mind that most state parks charge a small admission fee per car during the summer season.  There are so many amazing parks, but here are three of our favorite NJ State Parks to visit.
Spruce Run:
Spruce Run is probably one of my all-time favorite NJ State Parks.  It has everything you might need for a fun filled day with your family.  It is clean, family friendly, has a playground, beach with a beautiful lake, friendly neighborhood rangers that help you in time of need, decent bathrooms, and a great crowd of families with kids. Our kids often make new friends when we are camping there overnight, or even just there for a day at the beach. I love the lake because it is clean, calm and relaxing. There is a short hiking trail.  During the summer season (April 1st to October 31st) there are boat rentals available. They have several different kind of boats available for rent.  According to their website the lake has 29 species of fish, but it also has so much more wildlife to explore. There is a short and leisurely hiking trail. It is a wonderful and a very relaxing place to take the kids for a few days and get away from all the electronic devices, and just enjoy the nature. You can find out more about all the details of the park, as well as camping reservations on their website: http://www.njparksandforests.org/parks/spruce.html 


High Point:
High Point is one of those places that you absolutely have to visit if you are in New Jersey.  The view alone is worth a visit.  High Point is the highest elevation in the state at 1,803 feet (550 m). It is at the North Western tip of NJ, where NY, PA and NJ meet.  When you get to the top you can see all around the three states.  At the very top there is a monument in honor of war veterans.  It is 220 feet tall, and when it’s open you can walk up the stairs to the very top.  There are amazing hiking trails, over 50 miles of them.  The Appalachian Trail runs through the park.  If hiking is your thing, this is the place to be. There is also a lake with a beach.  The lake is one of my favorite lakes in the state.  It is always clean and cold, and I love it.  Of course there is camping, fishing, boating, small playgrounds scattered throughout the park, bathrooms, and more. Find out more about the park here:http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/highpoint.html
Ringwood State Park:
Ringwood State Park is a rather unusual State Park.  It is the home of the New Jersey Botanical Garden.  New Jersey Botanical Garden is hands down one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to.  It has a wide collection of plants, formal gardens, and of course the Ringwood Manor.  It is beautiful, shady and quiet there.  Every season has something wonderful to offer, but my favorite times to visit are in April, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, in mid-May for the lilac grove, and in August for the water lilies.  Shepherd Lake Recreation Area is just around the corner from the Botanical Garden. The spring-fed lake is clean, and cool on a hot summer day.  The swimming is allowed from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  You can find out more about the Ringwood State Park here: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/ringwood.html
One of these years, I will make it my mission to visit all of the NJ State Parks.  Here is where to find a full list of the parks and what they have there:

Today's post comes from Mariya at HappyFamilyArt.  

Mariya grew up in Odessa, Ukraine, moved to Brooklyn, NY at 14, and now resides in her favorite state, NJ, with a wonderful husband, two growing boys, a cranky grandpa and three troublesome dogs.  She always enjoys drawing, painting, creating art, reading, learning with her kids and going to adventures all around NJ and the surrounding states.  Happyfamilyart.com is a place where you will find a happy family learning, creating art and traveling together.
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