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.
Park Map (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Park Map (High resolution for printing purposes) File
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
throughout the site. 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.
Park is open Sunrise to sunset
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
LAKE HOPATCONG WEED HARVESTING PROGRAM: The public and all interested parties may contact Daniel Bello of the State Park Service, at 973-398-1555, with questions and concerns regarding the Program.
LAKE HOPATCONG WEED HARVESTING UPDATE: As of September 26, 2014, weed harvesting activities ceased for the season. It was a very successful season, with approximately 2,650 cubic yards harvested, about 350 cubic yards more than 2013. The harvesters were on the lake approximately 2 weeks longer in 2014, than 2013. All harvesting equipment is now being inspected for repair and maintenance items, so that it is ready for the 2015 harvesting season. The State Park Service appreciates the public’s support of this important program.
It should be noted that there are many factors, often out of State Park Service control, that dictate harvester schedules. These include, but are not limited to, weather, harvester and dump truck repair and maintenance, staffing levels, and reports of heavy weed growth in certain areas that SPS may respond to. As such, scheduled harvesting activities can often change due to cited factors.
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.
|Homeowners Firewood Program
The Homeowners Firewood Program has been expanded to include park areas that sustained tree damage due to Hurricane Sandy. Fallen trees will be marked and made available to individuals as part of this program. Anyone interested in obtaining firewood must complete the below application form and pay the applicable $25 per cord fee.This program will be available until the supply is exhausted. Please contact the park office to reserve a cutting period and for additional information.
Homeowners Firewood Program Application form*
*To view this form, please download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat
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 from Memorial Day through Labor Day while lifeguards
are on duty. 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.
Hopatcong Historical Museum
(Frequently Asked Questions)
bring a bus to Hopatcong State Park on weekends?
||Buses are permitted
on weekdays only (excluding holidays) 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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