The Christie Administration is encouraging the public to connect with
the outdoors in June by visiting a state park , participating in a free fishing day or hitting the
trail as part of New Jersey’s dual celebration of Great Outdoors Month and National Trails Day,
celebrations made even more important this year because of Superstorm Sandy.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is coordinating post-Sandy trail cleanup projects
and family hikes this Saturday as part of National Trails Day, and has planned numerous other
events at state parks, forests and historic sites throughout June in conjunction with Great
Outdoors Month. The events highlight the importance of the outdoors to the public after Superstorm
“Our state parks and forests have been entertaining record numbers of visitors for years. We worked
very hard to restore and reopen all of New Jersey’s parks, forests and historic sites as quickly as
possible following this historic storm,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “We still have some work
to do, but all are now open and ready for your enjoyment. Now is a great time to get out and enjoy
these natural resources that are so important to all of us and appreciate them even more after all
our state has been through these past seven months.”
The DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry and Division of Fish and Wildlife are coordinating
hundreds of diverse family-friendly outdoors events and programs throughout the month, including
nature and history programs, kayak eco-tours, scouting badge programs, hikes, guided tours of
historic sites, bird walks, post-Sandy volunteer trail maintenance programs, astronomy programs and
In conjunction with Great Outdoors Month, the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will also host
Free Fishing Days statewide on June 15 and 16. No license or trout stamp will be needed for
freshwater fishing on these days. Licenses are normally required for those ages 16 or older. For a
complete day-by-day listing, visit:
For additional information on Free Fishing Days visit: http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/
National Trails Day on Saturday features trail events throughout the state, including cleanup
projects on some trails that were impacted by downed trees and limbs during the storm.
After Superstorm Sandy, many state parks in the north and coastal regions – including Stokes
State Forest in Branchville, Kittatinny Valley State Park in Andover, Hacklebarney State Park in
Long Valley, Cheesequake State Park in Matawan and Double Trouble State Park in Berkeley –
sustained damage to trail areas due to downed trees.
While some trails remain closed or required re-routing, most have been cleared by park staff and
contractors for safe and enjoyable hiking, walking, jogging, cycling, horseback riding or nature
observation. For advisories on parks and forest that remain impacted by Sandy, visit:
“We have worked very hard to get our trails back to where they were before Superstorm Sandy, and
continue to make progress in those parks that remain affected,” said Richard Boornazian, DEP
Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources. “We’re anticipating a great hiking
season in our parks this year.”
National Trails Day highlights include:
• Post-Sandy trail cleanup and maintenance at Cheesequake State Park in Middlesex
• A 12-mile horseback riding trip through High Point State Park in Sussex County.
• A volunteer clean-up project at the State Line Lookout in Bergen County.
• A ground-breaking for a new trail at Scott’s Corner Conservation Area in Middlesex
• A 6-mile mountain bike adventure in Wharton State Forest in Burlington County.
• A volunteer service project at Bass River State Forest in Ocean County
• Trail education and improvements at Croft Farm in Cherry Hill in Camden County.
For a complete list of National Trails Day activities and events, visit:
As an initiative of the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day was first celebrated in 1993
to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. It is now an annual event
that recognizes and promotes the many benefits of trails, whether they provide health and fitness
opportunities, nature study or links to our historic paths.
The yearly celebration is also designed to give the public an understanding of the importance of
trails and what’s needed to establish, preserve and maintain them throughout the year.