Photo courtesy of Ocean County Parks and Recreation
Barnegat Branch Trail
The Barnegat Branch Trail was officially opened to the public on
October 15, 2007. This “rail-to-trail” project follows the abandoned
Barnegat Branch Division of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The
trail, which is being constructed in several phases, will stretch 15.6
miles from Barnegat to Toms River once completed.
Cedar Bridge Tavern
200 Old Halfway Road, Barnegat
The tavern’s two-hundred-year history as a hub for locals and
crossroads for travelers has earned it a position on the New Jersey and
National Registers of Historic Places. The tavern is closed to the public
while Ocean County implements its historic preservation plan to learn
about the site, protect its delicate structure and preserve its unique
story for the future. The grounds, surrounded by Bass River State
Forest, are currently open to the public. A ceremony commemorating
a rumored American Revolutionary skirmish on December 27, 1782,
is held at the site each year on the nearest Sunday.
The Department of Parks now safeguards more
than four thousand acres of land, which is dedicated
to the conservation of open space and the
enjoyment of its citizens. This impressive acreage
includes twenty parks, four conservation areas, and
two golf courses.
The county also sponsors events and programming
for the general public year-round, including fishing
tournaments, yard sales, battle reenactments, the
Annual Decoy and Gunning Show, golf tournaments
and the latest trend with Ocean County recreation,
Yappy Hours, where owners and their dogs can
To find out more about the following Parks, call
877-OC PARKS or visit www.oceancountyparks.org.
Cattus Island County Park
Take in the unspoiled beauty of Cattus Island County Park in Toms
River, which spans 530 acres and includes seven miles of trails. The
Park features a newly constructed boardwalk that winds 1000 feet
through the marsh. The boardwalk is accessible for wheelchairs and
strollers and provides a great opportunity for visitors to view wildlife
along the Barnegat Bay. Take a leisurely stroll along the main trail
to the beach, or walk one of the wooded trails to enjoy the solitude
of the park. The park provides opportunities for great hiking, biking,
cross-country skiing and photography in any season.
Cattus Island County Park is also home to the newly renovated
Cooper Environmental Center, where visitors of all ages will enjoy
hands-on educational displays highlighting the natural beauty of
the Barnegat Bay. Exhibits include a live-view osprey cam, habitat
tree and tunnel, bird viewing area, osprey nest lookout, children’s
activity corner and a spectacular collection of live reptiles and fish.
During the warmer months, a visit to Butterfly Gardens surrounding
the Cooper Environmental Center highlights colorful native plants,
butterflies and hummingbirds.
Cattus Island County Park is open seven days a week from dawn
until dusk. Facilities include nature trails, scenic boardwalks, picnic
areas, restrooms and playground. The Cooper Environmental Center
is open weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and weekends from
10:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information on upcoming events
and activities, visit www.oceancountyparks.org or call 732-270-6960.