navigation bar
DEP Graphic  
Division of Parks and Forestry Graphic
parks home parks home njdep home
Swartswood State Park
photo of: swartswood state park
nj fast facts

State Park

Mailing Address:
P O Box 123
Swartswood, NJ 07877-5230
(973) 383-5230

GPS Coordinates
41° 04’ 25.07” N 74° 49' 07.62" W

Size: 3,460 acres

Fees: Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
NJ Resident
$ 5.00
$ 5.00
$ 7.00
Link to the Related Fees page 

From Route 80, take exit 25, Route 206 north to Newton, about 12 miles. From Newton, make a left at the second traffic light (Route 206 and Spring Street) then make a left at the next light onto Route 519. Follow 519 for approximately 1/2 mile, then make a left onto Route 622 at Sussex County College sign. Follow Route 622 for about 4 1/2 miles. Turn left onto Route 619. The park entrance is about 1/2 mile south on Route 619.

Facilities & Activities:




Celebrating 100 Years of Service
Welcome to New Jersey’s first state park and historic landmark destination for outdoor recreation and leisure activities. Swartswood was established as New Jersey’s first state park in 1915 to ensure public access to the State’s third largest freshwater lake. Swartswood Lake is the park’s main attraction, welcoming visitors from all around to its calm waters for canoeing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, swimming or simply relaxing. 

Whether you prefer land or water, winter or summer, the park is open year-round with something to do every season.  

Swartswood State Park is located in Northwest New Jersey in the Ridge and Valley region of Sussex County, five miles west of Newton.


Keep Your Park Clean

Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep the parks clean and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags are provided throughout the site. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.

Park Advisory

Swartswood Lake is scheduled to be lowered for maintenance October 16, 2020 through March 1, 2021. Please call the park office if you have any questions at 973-383-5230.

Visit and follow for the most recent information on park operations — some amenities may not be available due to COVID-19.

Park Hours

Open daily sunrise to sunset
Office Hours: Open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Park Maps

Swartswood State Park Area Map

Swartswood State Park Area Map


Duck Pond Multi-Use Trail
This 0.6 mile-paved path provides a level surface for walking, biking, roller blading, skate boarding and is accessible for persons with disabilities. The trail meanders through a forested area along Duck Pond. Wayside exhibits found along the trail provide information on the unique natural features found in the area. A bird blind has been constructed to allow visitors to view birdlife in the area with little disturbance to their habitat.

Spring Lake Trail
This 2.8-mile trail begins at the end of the paved Duck Pond Trail. Follow the white markers along the natural hilly terrain through a secondary succession forest to the secluded Spring Lake. We consider this to be a moderate level hike.

Bear Claw Trail
This 0.8 mile trail is marked in yellow and begins at the Duck Pond parking area just to the right of our kiosk. This is an easy to moderate hike on an earthen, hilly path. The trail ends where it meets the paved Duck Pond Trail allowing you to combine the two trails for a full loop back to the parking area.

Grist Mill Trail
This 1.5 loop trail can be found at the most southern end of Swartswood Lake by the dam. The steep rocky terrain makes this a moderate to difficult hike with rewarding views of Swartswood Lake.

Swartswood State Park Trail Map

Swartswood Trails General Guide



Click to make a Camping Reservation

Reserve a campsite at  Please note tent and trailer family campsites are available to reserve until December 15, 2020. Cabins, group cabins, shelters, lean-tos, group lean-tos, wilderness campsites, group campsites, primitive campsites, and primitive group campsites remain closed until further notice.

Alcohol is prohibited. Pets are prohibited in overnight facilities.

A non-refundable service fee of $5.00 will be charged to the customer for each reservation.
Changes to the reservation that occur prior to the Start/Check in date will incur a non refundable fee of $5.00.
Changes made after the start/check-in date will be chargerd a service fee according to the following:

  • If the total fee is greater then or equal to $50.00 then a fee of $5.00 will be charged.

  • If the total fee is less then $50.00 then the fee of $2.00 will be charged.

Pet Friendly Campsites please click here for details on sites that are designated Pet Friendly, license and innoculation paperwork requirements and additional cost. Pet friendly sites are 42-45.

Campsites: 65 tent and trailer sites with a fire ring, picnic table and lantern holder. Maximum occupancy is six at each site. Flush toilets and showers facilities are within walking distance. Trailer sanitary and water stations available. Campsites 1-21 open all year round. Campsites 22-65 Open April 1 to October 31. Fee: NJ Resident $20 per night; Non Resident $25 per night.

Group Campsites: Three group sites with picnic tables, a fire ring and lantern holder. Water and sanitary units are within walking distance of each site. Campsites accommodate a maximum of 20 people. Open April 1 through October 31. Fee: NJ Resident $40 per night; Non Resident $80 per night.

Shelters: Six shelters are located on top of a shady ridge. They are cabin-like structures with a wood stove for heat, two double deck bunks and a picnic style table. The shelters sleep a maximum four people, including children.  Each site includes a fire ring, picnic table and lantern holder. Flush toilets are nearby and shower facilities are located in the main campground bathhouse .Additional tents are not permitted on shelter sites. Check in time is 3 p.m. and check out time is 12:00 Noon.  Accessible to persons with disabilities. Open April 1 to December 15. Fee: NJ Resident $48 per night; Non Resident $60 per night.

Campground Map (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Campground Map (High resolution for printing purposes) File
Size:148 KB


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.


The freshwater angler can enjoy year-round fishing in Little Swartswood and Swartswood Lakes. The lakes are stocked with brown, rainbow and brook trout in the spring. Summer and fall catches include bass, sunfish, catfish, walleye, perch and pickerel. Fishing is available along the shores or by boat. Fishing also is permitted in the mill pond near Keen's Grist Mill. Fishing is subject to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.


Swartswood Hunting Map

State Park Service areas open to hunting

Tree Stands and Blinds Policy

Most of the area east of County Route 619 is open to hunting. Game commonly found in the park includes ring-necked pheasant, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, gray squirrel, eastern cottontail and white-tailed deer. Hunting is subject to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.


Secluded picnic areas overlooking the lake can be found throughout the park with picnic tables and grills available at each site. Charcoal fires must be contained to the metal grills provided at the site. Visitors are free to bring their own metal grills. Wood fires are not permitted. Food and refreshments are also offered at the concession stand. View the menu.

A playground and open playing fields are located near the picnic area. Volleyball and basketball courts and open areas for frisbee, golf and softball are located in the day-use area of the park.

Swartswood also offers a group picnic are for larger groups. It holds a capacity of 100 people, provides shelter, play fields and playground equipment. It may be reserved for a fee:

New Jersey Resident $55 per day, plus applicable parking fees.

Non-Resident $65 per day, plus applicable parking fees.

Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day

New Jersey Resident $80 per day

Non-Resident $90 per day

Day After Labor Day to Friday Before Memorial Day
50 percent of Fee
Group Picnic Cancellation Fee

• Groups of 20 or more people shall reserve picnic facilities at least five days in advance. Such group use is not permitted on Holidays except as authorized by the Superintendent. Reservations for picnic areas are handled by the individual park area offices.

Reservations can be made over the telephone using a credit card, or by mail using the Group Picnic Reservation form* downloadable here. Payment in full of the appropriate group picnicking fee must accompany this application.

*To view this form, please download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat


Boat rentals are available in the park on a seasonal basis. Please call for hours of operation prior to your visit. The rental facility is typically open weekends only from May to the end of June. They are open seven days a week from July through Labor Day. For more information visit the Swartswood Lake Boat Rentals web site.


Closed for season.

Swimming is permiited in the designated swimming area while lifeguards are on duty.  Please check our swimming schedule prior to your visit. Swimming hours are 10 am to 6 pm. Adjacent to the beach visitors can access facilities with changing areas, restrooms, showers, a first-aid station, and a concession building where food and beach supplies may be purchased. View the concession menu. The facilities are accessible for people with disabilities.

Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach.

Related Links

Swartswood Lakes and Watershed Association: an Officially Recognized Friends Organization of Swartswood State Park and an active partner in our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of our lakes and in the protection of the surrounding watershed. For additional information, or to become a member write to SLWA, PO Box 44, Swartswood, NJ 07877

NJ Fish & Wildlife: license fees and regulations on fishing and hunting, and information on fish stocking

back to top

Questions regarding our parks and forests can be directed to
Joy Eastmead of the State Park Service.


bottom footer

parks and forestry: find a park | forestry | forest fire | natural lands | education | historic sites| historic preservation
department: njdep home | about dep | index by topic | programs/units | dep online
statewide: njhome | citizen | business | government | services A to Z | departments | search

Copyright State of New Jersey, 1996-2021
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 16, 2020

nj home citizen business government services a to z departments dep home contact dep privacy notice legal statement accessibility statement nj home