Island Beach State Park

Seaside Park, New Jersey 8752

Island Beach State Park

Island Beach State Park Professional Review and Guide

"Island Beach State Park (ten miles long but just a few hundred yards wide) protects one of the best unspoiled barrier island ecosystems on the North Atlantic. Unburdened by boardwalks and beach houses, life here continues to adapt to turbulent coastal conditions begun less than 15,000 years ago.

This 4.1-mile walk explores three park locales. It begins with a tour of the Aeolium Nature Center and stroll along its 0.1-mile self-guiding trail. It continues with a 0.5-mile out-and-back walk from beach to back bay, and ends with a 3.5-mile out-and-back hike along ocean beach to the south tip of the park, where a jetty juts seaward, offering views of Barnegat Inlet and Barnegat Light."

More Island Beach State Park Professional Reviews and Guides

"The thin stretch of barrier beach that is Island Beach State Park is, perhaps, the prettiest part of the entire New Jersey Shore. It is made up of miles of unspoiled sandy beaches; delicate, shifting sand dunes; thickets; marshes; and a wildlife sanctuary, home to numerous species of birds including the once-endangered osprey.

Island Beach State Park, like Sandy Hook to the north, is located on the Atlantic Flyway, so you'll almost spot plenty of birds along the tour, especially in fall. If you decide to tour Island Beach in summer or early fall, bring your bathing suit. There are a number of beach-access paths along the tour. Feel free to break up your ride with a refreshing ocean dip. Most swimming areas have showers and changing areas, so you won't have to ride in a wet swimsuit. Things to see: Aeolium (Island Beach Nature Center), barrier-beach landscape, wildlife sanctuary, Barnegat Lighthouse ("Old Barney"), Barnegat Inlet."

"This barrier island park offers you and your dog an off-season stroll on the beach minus the crowds, a close-up view of Barnegat Inlet, a glimpse of coastal habitats, and a healthy dose of salt air. There is plenty to keep your dog interested—crashing waves, squawking gulls, diving seabirds, surf anglers, and seaside scents for a different kind of sniffing.

A quick side trip on a boardwalk to the bay offers a hiking canine the new experience of standing on a platform over big water. Dogs are permitted year-round in the area south of bathing unit 2, and in the ocean swimming areas from the day after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. They are not allowed on bird-blind trails."

Island Beach State Park Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon4 Total
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
This is a fabulous barrier island natural preserve with great views, abundant plant life, sand dunes, peace and quiet. There are many paths and trails to follow, or you can keep your eye out for unmarked ones and see where they take you. Best to drive in by car, but bring your bike to get to the trails, but you'll need to leave your bike behind to walk the trails. Bring your lunch, water, camera---but take your garbage with you. If you get there early, you can see the sun rise in the East and set in the west after a full day of hiking and relaxing at your own pace. This is my favorite NJ spot.
2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars
Not quite what I expected. I was see the ocean from the road, and hoping for a few turns. It is a straight shot in & back out on the shoulder of the road. There are several short trails to the beach and 2 swimming areas. If you want to go to the beach it's not bad, but as a scenic ride I would not recommend it.
2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars
I was hoping to get a scenic ride, but it didn't really turn out that way. The ride is basically straight in and straight out, which is good for training purposes, but not much to look at. If you're looking to do a strong ride, then jump in the water after on a hot summer morning, it's perfect. There's turn-outs that offer nice views and so forth, but most of the views happen off the bike.
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
Island Beach State Park has a few short trails of very high scenice and environmental interest. The big lure here is the duned beach and wonderful sparkling surf. If you sunbathe, swim, surf, fish, birdwatch or just love to enjoy the best of New Jersey's beaches, then IBSP is the place to be !!!

Island Beach State Park Photos

Trail Information

Seaside Park
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours

Activity Feed

Oct 2018