Cheesequake State Park
is a New Jersey state park
located in Old Bridge Township
, Middlesex County
, New Jersey
in the United States
The park was established in 1940. According to the US Geological Survey,"The park had at one time been partially developed in the last century with numerous buildings that supported a pottery factory. The ruins of an old dock along Cheesequake Creek is a reminder of times when ships were the primary means of transport for commerce (and smuggling)."
The name Cheesequake was derived from the Lenape Native American word Cheseh-oh-ke, meaning "upland or "upland village".
Geography, flora,and fauna
The park's lowlands consist of freshwater
and saltwater marsh
and a tidal estuary
near the mouth of Cheesequake Creek
on the Raritan Bay
. It also includes hills
of Northeastern hardwood forest
, open fields, and a white cedarswamp
. It includes a small parcel of Atlantic coastal pine barrens
, consisting of pine
forest in sandy soil, an isolated section of the much larger New Jersey Pine Barrens
. It also includes the six acre Hooks Creek Lake
, a freshwater lake
where recreational fishing
includes catches of trout
, largemouth bass
, and sunfish
is also available at the park.
Facilities, activities, and trails
The park includes an interpretive center
and five marked trails for both hiking
and mountain biking
that run throughout the wooded hills and across long wooden bridges across marshland. The park has designated camping
areas available by reservation. Swimming
are summertime activities, while sledding
, cross-country skiing
, and snowshoeing
are available in wintertime.
The Garden State Parkway runs through the park near Exit 120 but offers no direct access. A road runs underneath the Parkway to connect the northern and southern sides of the park. Some of the park is visible from the Parkway.
The park is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry
and is part of the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route