LINCROFT – Winter fun heats up when the temperature drops and snow flies in the Monmouth County Park System.
Whether looking to fly down the sledding hill, strap on cross-country skis, or lace up ice skates, the park system is the place to be.
Open when there are 2 or more inches of snow, hours for the sledding hill in Holmdel Park, Holmdel, are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Groomed trails are open to cross-country skiers at Thompson Park, Lincroft, and Charleston Springs Golf Course, Millstone, as weather permits.
Marked, ungroomed trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Clayton Park, Upper Freehold; Hartshorne Woods Park, Middletown; Holmdel Park, Holmdel; Huber Woods Park, Middletown; Shark River Park, Wall; Tatum Park, Middletown; and Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold.
The Deer Management Program will be under way until Feb. 15 at several of these sites. For complete details, visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com. Hours for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are the same as regular park hours: 8 a.m. to dusk.
Need equipment? Head over to Thompson Park, Lincroft. Cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment is available for rent at the Thompson Park Ski Hut, located next to the Three Barns Parking Area. Rentals are available daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Renters can call ahead and check for size availability as sizes are limited. Cross-country ski equipment can be held for a maximum of 2 hours. Equipment rented after 3 p.m. must be returned by noon the next day.
The cost is $15 to rent ski equipment and $10 for snowshoes. Evening rentals are also now available from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 7 through March 31 at a cost of $10 with equipment being returned at the end of the evening. For more information, please call 732-842-4000, ext. 4312.
The fun really starts after a week or so of freezing temperatures and Holmdel, Shark River and Turkey Swamp Parks post “Skating Today” signs. Hours for ice skating are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Manasquan Reservoir, Thompson Park and Turkey Swamp Park also open for ice fishing in designated areas. Those using the ice should always check with park rangers before heading onto the ice.
The activities are offered only when conditions permit.
Additional information and the latest conditions are available by visiting www.monmouthcountyparks.com, calling 732-842-4000 or calling 711 for the park system’s TTY/TDD number for people with hearing impairments.