If your family lives in Bridgewater and loves boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, or swimming, then you need to know where the best watering holes are. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Bridgewater has put together this list of the eight best waterways in and around our hometown that you have to explore.
Washington Valley Park
Image via Flickr by vastateparksstaff Licensed CC BY 2.0
Located right here in Bridgewater Township is beautiful Washington Valley Park and its reservoir. This local waterway is surrounded by gorgeous forest landscape and the Watchung Mountains in the distance, so there’s a picture-perfect setting for any activity you do here. While this area is better known for hiking and mountain biking trails and birdwatching, the 21-acre reservoir is an awesome fishing spot for catching largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, and sunfish.
Round Valley Recreation Area
Round Valley Recreation Area is located in nearby Lebanon and is home to the Round Valley Reservoir, which is 2,350 acres. If you’ve got anglers in the family, they’ll enjoy fishing for lake trout, bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, yellow perch, and white perch. You can also launch your kayak, canoe, sailboat, motorboat, or inflatable watercraft from the public launch. In addition, you can ice fish and go ice boating in the winter here, too.
If you come here during the summer, go for a swim in the designated area, relax on the beach, or picnic along the waterfront. Or, if you are a certified scuba diver, you can dive on your own or with a local diving expedition organization to explore the clear waters and diverse aquatic life in the reservoir. Another great feature of this park and its reservoir is that you can go wilderness camping and access your campsite via kayak, canoe, or boat from the water.
Davidson’s Mill Pond Park
Over in North Brunswick Township is Davidson’s Mill Pond Park and the namesake pond. This waterway features a boat dock and launch, nature trails, ample fishing opportunities from the shore and watercraft, and an open play area for kids and families to enjoy a fun day by the water.
If you want to get out onto the water, you can launch a kayak, canoe, or rowboat and paddle around the pond and see the waterfall where the old mill used to be. Anglers will love fishing for largemouth bass, chain pickerel, black crappie, yellow perch, and bluegill. What’s more, this is a great destination for ice fishing, too.
Spruce Run Recreation Area
The Spruce Run Recreation Area and the Spruce Run Reservoir are located in nearby Clinton and have a lot of must-have features for families who love boating, fishing, swimming, and relaxing by the water. If you have an electric- or gas-powered motorboat, you can take it out onto this 2,000-acre reservoir. You can also launch a sailboat, canoe, kayak, and paddleboard. There is a dedicated boat launch area with car top and trailer launches with ramps and docks. And if you need a place to store your boat, this spot offers dry boat storage, too.
This recreation area also has two other waterways in addition to the reservoir: the Spruce Run and Mulhockaway Creek. Across all three of these waterways, expect to catch largemouth bass, catfish, sunfish, yellow perch, catfish, crappie, muskie, northern pike, trout, and carp. During the summer, this reservoir has a designated swimming area with a sand beach, volleyball courts, a playground, and a grassy open play area. You can also grill up fresh food for a picnic between your family’s boating, fishing, or swimming adventures.
Hopatcong State Park
Hopatcong State Park and Lake Hopatcong are located in Landing, New Jersey. This lake is the largest in the state and is a fantastic spot for fishing, boating, and swimming. In addition, Lake Musconetcong is nearby, too, providing more opportunities for fishing and ice fishing as well as boating of all kinds.
During the summer, you can swim in the designated swimming area that has lifeguards on duty, a sand beach, changing areas, showers, and concession stands. Practically every boat is welcome on Lake Hopatcong, including sailboats, motorboats, canoes, kayaks, and inflatable watercraft, so you can explore the water any way you like. The anglers in your family will love fishing for brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, largemouth bass, sunfish, catfish, perch, and pickerel in both lakes.
Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve
Located in Franklin Lakes, the Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve is an awesome waterway for seasonal activities. While you’re not able to ice skate, ice fish, or go ice boating on Haledon Reservoir, you can enjoy taking out your non-motorized boat, canoe, kayak, and standup paddleboard. However, there are no designated swimming areas, so this spot is best for families who want to relax on the water or cast a line from their boat or the shore. Haledon Reservoir is great for catching black crappie, pickerel, carp, bass, perch, and catfish.
Allamuchy Mountain State Park
Allamuchy Mountain State Park is located in Stanhope, New Jersey, a few miles west of Hopatcong State Park. There are a few different waterways in this park that offer different amenities and activities for water-loving families. At Cranberry Lake, there’s a public boat launch to take out your motorized boats, canoes, kayaks, and standup paddleboards year round. On the Musconetcong River, you can rent a rowboat and explore this waterway. All of the waterways, including Cranberry Lake, the Musconetcong River, Jefferson Lake, and Allamuchy Pond are ideal for catching largemouth bass, sunfish, perch, and pickerel.
Kittatinny Valley State Park
Kittatinny Valley State Park, located in Newton, is one of the state’s best destinations for fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and horseback riding. In this park, you’ll find some great waterways that welcome boating, kayaking, and canoeing and offer unique fishing opportunities, too. Lake Aeroflex is one of the few New Jersey waterways to stock salmon in addition to brown trout and rainbow trout. And all four lakes, Twin Lakes, Gardner’s Pond, Lake Aeroflex, and White’s Pond, all allow ice fishing when the weather permits.
So there you have it, the top eight waterways in and around Bridgewater Township. Did we miss your family’s favorite local waterway for swimming, fishing, or boating? If so, contact us, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!