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  • Consider avoiding high visitor use areas and find new places to explore at one of NW NJ’s 120+ water access points!

  • Learn the rules governing your desired activity (e.g., NJ freshwater fishing regulations) and the open space that you plan to recreate  

  • Know your public access points to avoid trespassing on private property, unless in an emergency

  • Contact landowners and be respectful of their concerns if you need to pass through private lands 


  • Bring the right gear— food, water, footwear, clothing, flotation devices and safety gear, etc. — to keep you safe and comfortable given the terrain, activity, and shifting weather conditions

  • Be aware of local conditions/weather patterns:

  • Check local river flows monitored by the USGS here

  • Afternoon thunderstorms arrive with short notice in hilly terrain

  • Wind on large lakes like Hopatcong and Round Valley can generate large waves and tiresome or unsafe boating/swimming conditions

  • Ice and cold water are particularly dangerous winter hazards to navigate. Use these links to learn how to stay safe on frozen water and wintery trails.  

  • Understand your experience and comfort level and select activities and terrain to match  

  • Swim in designated areas

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