miles in length and covered by 2,500 acres of freshwater,
Lake Hopatcong is the focal point of the park. Hopatcong State
Park is at the southwest end of the lake and is a popular
spot for fishing, boating, and swimming.
Lake Hopatcong was originally created as
part of the Morris Canal, a 90-mile waterway that ran from
Newark to Phillipsburg and was the chief means of transporting
coal, iron and zinc across New Jersey in the 1860s. The lake
was the canal’s major source of water. In 1866, over
880,000 tons of freight was transported on the canal.
However, as the more efficient Morris and Essex Railroad was
established, the canal was abandoned. The historical museum
is located in the old Morris Canal locktender’s house
and offers exhibits on local American Indian history, the
Morris Canal and the history of the lake.
Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep your parks clean
and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags are provided
at the park office and toll. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.
|Access for Persons with Disabilities
The facilities at Hopatcong State Park are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office for further information regarding specific disability access needs. Text telephone (TT) users, call the New Jersey Relay Service at (800) 852-7899.
Sunrise to Sunset from Tuesday after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend.
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day.
April to October open daily from 8-4
November to March open Monday through Friday from 8-4
Lake Hopatcong Commission Meeting Dates and Locations 2018
Update:The NJ State Park Service is refilling Lake Hopatcong as of Saturday, December 15, 2018
All Lake Hopatcong users, please be advised beginning September 22, 2018 or soon after, the NJ State Park Service will begin lowering the water level to achieve a 60-inch drawdown by November 1, 2018. Anyone using the public launch at Hopatcong State Park or any public launch access points on the lake, may want to contact the public access points to get an update on conditions at the launch.
If you have any further questions regarding the 60-ince drawdown, please feel free to contact the park office at 973-398-7010. Thank you.
Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Please be advised that when we reach full capacity/run out of parking spaces, the park will temporarily close until enough people leave and it is safe to re-open. Park Pass and Boat Pass holders are not guaranteed entry when the park reaches full capacity and is temporarily closed. We recommend that you arrive early on warm weather weekends in June, July and August.
Hopatcong State Park Weed Harvesting Program 2018
Per the Water Level management plan we will begin the annual drawdown of Lake Hopatcong on December 7, 2016. This year we will drop the lake to 22 inches as part of a pilot project effort to assist in lake refill in the Spring. Also note that after reaching 22 inches, due to the drought warning that we are in, that the outflow will be reduced from 12 c.f.s to 8 c.f.s. As always, State Park personnel will carefully monitor this drawdown.
Lake Hopatcong Water Level Management
LAKE HOPATCONG DOCK SURVEY - In the Fall of 2014 Professor Lisa Jordan of Drew University and two of her students, Maxwell Dolphin and Daniel Ratyniak, completed a survey of all docks and associated parcels on Lake Hopatcong. The survey includes such information as dock lengths, parcel lots and blocks, street address, property owner names, etc. The survey was performed in conjunction with the State Park Service (SPS), and the Lake Hopatcong Foundation.
The survey is important to the SPS in that it provides baseline data as SPS reviews dock construction permit applications, and for the current dock regulation committee, which is reviewing SPS regulation of dock lengths on the Lake. Having this baseline data may also prove useful for future applications.
The full report, "A Summary of Docks on Lake Hopatcong", can be accessed at http://www.lakehopatcongfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/LHF-Boat-Dock-Inventory-December-2014.pdf Full access to dock study results is available via website links found on page 11 of the study, though a review of the full report is very valuable.
The SPS thanks Dr. Jordan and her students for such a thorough study, as well as the Lake Hopatcong Foundation for coordinating the effort.
Hopatcong State Park Area Map
Water Level Management Plan
Fish and Wildlife Stream Classification
Bergen, Essex, Morris, Sussex, Warren Counties
Completed in 1837, the Morris Canal was an
engineering landmark that relied on canals, locks and inclined
planes to lift and carry canal boats from Phillipsburg on
the Delaware River to Jersey City, the Hudson River and New
York Harbor. The boats transported coal, iron ore, manufactured
goods and agricultural produce. Sections of the canal are
administered by Hopatcong State Park.
During the mid-1800s, the Morris Canal and
Banking Company created Lake Musconetcong as an additional
water source for the Morris Canal. This lake, which is located
four miles west of Lake Hopatcong, was deeded over to the
State of New Jersey with the other parts of the Morris Canal
System in 1924. Today boating, fishing and ice fishing are
popular recreational activities on this lake.
Both Lake Hopatcong and Lake Musconetcong
offer excellent year-round fishing. During the spring the
New Jersey Division
of Fish and Wildlife stocks both lakes with brown, rainbow
and brook trout. Warm water species commonly caught are large
mouth bass, sunfish, catfish, perch and pickerel. During the
winter months, both lakes provide excellent ice fishing for
perch and pickerel. Fishing is subject to New
Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.
Special Use Permit Application
Special Use Permit Application Package
A Special Use Permit is utilized to accommodate a specific activity or event being conducted over a short duration. There are two types of special use permits: Non-Commercial and Commercial and fees are based on NJ residency and Non-residents. A completed application must be submitted to the park/forest area where the activity or event is being held at least 90 days prior to the event. If the special use or event is extremely large or complex, at least one-year’s prior notice is recommended.
This park has been designated a NO HUNTING
The park has several picnic areas along the
hill overlooking the parking lot. At each picnic area, visitors
will find grills and tables. There is a small picnic shelter
and playground located on the hill. Alcoholic beverages are
Playgrounds and Play Field
The park has two playgrounds for children
along with six half-basketball courts and sand volleyball.
In addition, there is a large playing field ideal for soccer,
frisbee or just about any field activity.
Lake Hopatcong provides an excellent opportunity
for any type of boating, ranging from canoes to large motor
boats, sailboats, sailboards and jet skis. Boats are available
for rent at many private marinas around the lake. Boating
is subject to New Jersey Boating Regulations and Marine Law.
There is a boat ramp available at Hopatcong
State Park. Boating is open seven days a week depending on
There is a boat ramp with parking available
at Lake Musconetcong. This site is open from sunrise to sunset
seven days a week.
New Jersey Resident $12 per launch
Non-Resident $20 per launch
New Jersey Resident $60
• Fees charged at Hopatcong State
Park beginning on April 1 through the
Friday before Memorial Day weekend; and beginning the day after
Labor Day through October 31.
Launch Ramp Permit Information Sheet
Swimming is permitted at Hopatcong State
Park in the designated swimming area while lifeguards are on duty. Please check our swimming schedule prior to your visit. There is a bathhouse complex containing restrooms,
showers, changing areas, a first aid room and concession where
food and beach supplies are available for purchase. Grilling
is limited to the picnic areas only. Grills are not permitted
on the lawn areas. There are two sand volleyball courts and
a playground near the beachfront. For safety reasons, inner
tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted
in the bathing area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach.
Bus Reservations are accepted Monday through Thursday, please forward your bus reservation application to the park office fax at 973-398-6521. Thank you.
Group Bus Reservation Rules and Regulations (pdf)
Group Bus Reservation Application Form (pdf)
Group Bus Manifest (pdf)
Hopatcong Historical Museum
(Frequently Asked Questions)
bring a bus to Hopatcong State Park on weekends?
||Buses are permitted
on Monday through Thursday only (excluding holidays and Weekends) by written reservation.
|Can I walk in when the park is filled
||When the park is full to capacity
the park is closed to everyone until a sufficient number
of visitors leave for the day.
|Can I leave the park
and come back when the park is full?
||If visitors leave the park and come
back when the park is full, they will not be able to enter
until the park reopens.
|Where do I put my trash when I carry
it out of the picnic area?
||The carry-in carry-out program requires
a park visitor to take their trash home and dispose of
it through their local trash collection service.
|Can I get a special
permit for alcohol?
||There are no permits for alcohol
in the NJ State Park Service.
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