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home | Locations | Listing of New Jersey Recreational F . . .

Listing of New Jersey Recreational Facilities
Ivan Gillis
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New Jersey Types of Recreational Facilities

New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania, and on the southwest by Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state but the 11th-most populous and the most densely populated of the 50 United States. New Jersey lies entirely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia and is the second-wealthiest U.S. state by per capita income as of 2014.

New Jersey was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes made the first European settlements. The English later seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey after the largest of the Channel IslandsJersey, and granting it as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. New Jersey was the site of several decisive battles during the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century.

In the 19th century, factories in cities such as CamdenPatersonNewarkTrenton, and Elizabeth helped to drive the Industrial Revolution. New Jersey's geographic location at the center of the Northeast megalopolis, between Boston and New York City to the northeast, and PhiladelphiaBaltimore, and Washington, D.C., to the southwest, fueled its rapid growth through the process of suburbanization in the second half of the 20th century. In the first decades of the 21st century, this suburbanization began reverting to consolidation of New Jersey's culturally diverse populace toward more urban settings within the state, with towns home to commuter rail stations outpacing the population growth of more automobile-oriented suburbs since 2008.

 The New Jersey Commerce, Economic Growth, & Tourism Commission divides the state into six distinct regions to facilitate the state's tourism industry. The regions are:

·       Gateway Region, encompassing Middlesex CountyUnion CountyEssex CountyHudson CountyBergen County, and Passaic County.

·       Skylands Region, encompassing Sussex CountyMorris CountyWarren CountyHunterdon County, and Somerset County.

·       Shore Region, encompassing Monmouth County and Ocean County.

·       Delaware River Region, encompassing Mercer CountyBurlington CountyCamden CountyGloucester County, and Salem County.

·       Greater Atlantic City Region, encompassing Atlantic County.

·       Southern Shore Region, encompassing Cumberland County and Cape May County.

High Point, in Montague TownshipSussex County, is the highest elevation, at 1,803 feet (550 m). The Palisades are a line of steep cliffs on the lower west side of the Hudson River, in Bergen County and Hudson County.

Major rivers include the HudsonDelawareRaritanPassaicHackensackRahwayMusconetcongMullicaRancocasManasquanMaurice, and Toms rivers.

Sandy Hook, along the eastern coast, is a popular recreational beach. It is a barrier spit and an extension of the Barnegat Peninsula along the state's Atlantic Ocean coast.

Long Beach Island ("LBI"), a barrier island along the eastern coast, has popular recreational beaches. The primary access point to the island is by a single bridge connection to the mainland. Barnegat Lighthouse is on the northern tip.

Areas managed by the National Park Service include:

·       Appalachian National Scenic Trail

·       Delaware National Scenic River

·       Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

·       Ellis Island National Monument

·       Gateway National Recreation Area in Monmouth County

·       Great Egg Harbor River

·       Morristown National Historical Park in Morristown

·       New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route

·       New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve

·       Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

·       Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange

Prominent geographic features include:

·       Delaware Water Gap

·       Great Bay

·       Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

·       Highlands

·       Hudson Palisades

·       Meadowlands

·       Pine Barrens

·       South Mountain



Atlantic City, looking southward, is an oceanfront resort and the nexus of New Jersey's gaming industry.

New Jersey's location as a crossroads of commerce and its extensive transportation system have put over one third of all United States residents and many Canadian residents within overnight distance by land. This accessibility to consumer revenue has enabled seaside resorts such as Atlantic City and the remainder of the Jersey Shore, as well as the state's other natural and cultural attractions, to contribute significantly to New Jersey's record tourism revenue of $43.4 billion and 95 million tourist visitations in 2015, directly supporting 318,330 jobs and sustaining more than 512,000 jobs including peripheral impacts.


In 1976, a referendum of New Jersey voters approved casino gambling in Atlantic City, where the first legalized casino opened in 1978. At that time, Las Vegas was the only mega-casino resort. Several casinos lie along the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the first and longest boardwalk in the world. On February 26, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed online gambling into law. Atlantic City experienced a dramatic contraction in its stature as a gambling destination after 2010, including the closure of multiple casinos since 2014, spurred by competition from the advent of legalized gambling in other northeastern U.S. states.

Natural resources

Forests cover 45%, or approximately 2.1 million acres, of New Jersey's land area. The chief tree of the northern forests is the oak. The Pine Barrens, consisting of pine forests, is in the southern part of the state.

Some mining activity of zinciron, and manganese still takes place in the area in and around the Franklin Furnace.

New Jersey is second in the nation in solar power installations, enabled by one of the country's most favorable net metering policies, and the renewable energy certificates program. The state has more than 10,000 solar installations.

Recreational Facilities Listing

Amusement Parks

Arboretums & Botanical Parks

Art Museums







National Monuments

National Rivers & Reserves

Renaissance Fairs

Skiing Resorts

State Parks


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