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Barnegat lighthouse at shore

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is located along the northern tip of Long Beach Island in Ocean County, about 2 hours south of Newark and an hour north of Atlantic City.

The public recreation area is home to an historic lighthouse that once was considered a crucial navigational point for ships heading into and out of New York Harbor.

Today the Barnegat Lighthouse offers visitors a spectacular panoramic view of Long Beach Island, Island Beach and Barnegat Bay. And the park itself provides visitors with recreational activities such as hiking, birdwatching, fishing, picnicking and more.

Activities

You’ll discover plenty to keep you entertained during your visit to this picturesque and peaceful New Jersey state park: picnic areas, trails, fishing, sunbathing, birdwatching, nature programs, breathtaking views and much more.

Visit for a few hours or stay somewhere nearby and truly experience all that the area has to offer.

Here are some of the many activities that await you at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park:

Explore the Lighthouse at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

The lighthouse at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park offers visitors a stunning panoramic view of Island Beach, Barnegat Bay and Long Beach. The lighthouse, which was built in 1859, is open daily from 10am to 4:30pm Memorial Day through Labor Day.

For a small fee you can enter the lighthouse and climb up to the 217 steps to the top. You can also experience the view from the Interpretive Center’s live cameras. The Interpretive Center also houses exhibits, photographs and information about the lighthouse and the nature and wildlife around it.

Hiking at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is included as a stop along the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail. There are two walking trails within the park:

  • Barnegat Lighthouse Trail – An easy 1.7 mile trail that is ideal for birdwatching. This trail is open year round and may be slippery along the rockier sections. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
  • Maritime Forest Trail – An easy 0.2 mile loop that winds through one of the last pieces of maritime forest on Long Beach Island. Explore this unique forest area of sassafras, black cherry, American holly and eastern red cedar trees.

Fishing at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Bring your saltwater fishing gear and try your hand at catching summer flounder, winter flounder, striped bass, bluefish, black sea bass, weakfish and tautog. The park has a 1,033 foot concrete walkway along the top of the jetty that provides safe fishing and viewing opportunities for people of all ages and all disabilities.

Birding at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Birdwatching at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is popular all year round but especially during the spring and fall when many species of migrating birds may be seen passing through.

Throughout the year you can observe ospreys, bald eagles, great blue herons, loons and ganets. And during the winter months you may also see wintering waterfowl such as harlequin ducks, red-breasted mergansers and common elders.

A protected area along the beach is seasonally fenced off for the endangered beach-nesting birds.

Nature and Wildlife at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

The beautiful Maritime forests, salt marshes and coastal areas in and around Barnegat Lighthouse State Park provide shelter and food for many local wildlife – birds, deer, raccoons, river otters, rabbits, foxes and more.

Pets at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Pets are allowed (leashed and supervised at all times) within certain areas of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. Pets are not allowed on the jetty walkway or Nature Trail year round, and they are not allowed on the beach area between April 1 and September 15 (for the safety of the endangered bird nesting sites).

Camping Near Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is a great place to spend the day but they do not have camping facilities. However, there are many options nearby if you’re planning to spend a few days or longer in the area.

Here are a couple of popular campgrounds about a half hour’s drive from the park:

  • Brookville Campground – 224 Jones Rd, Barnegat
    Seasonal (open April to October) family campground with 90 tent and RV sites, trails, fishing, swimming, playground and more. Close to Atlantic City, Six Flags and the beach areas.
  • Sun Retreats Long Beach Island – 30 Rte 72, Barnegat
    RV resort with more than 200 campsites for tents and RVs. Each site has a grill, campfire ring, picnic table and water hookup. The resort also has cabins with kitchenettes, air conditioning and bunk beds that comfortably sleep 2-4 guests. Each cabin is pet friendly and has a covered porch area, picnic table, grill and fire pit.

Park Location

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
208 Broadway
Barnegat Light, NJ 08006
Phone: 609.494.2016

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short video with some aerial footage of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park: