30 Route 520, Marlboro, NJ 07746
Big Brook Map (pdf)
Big Brook Map (mobile devices)
Park opens at 7:00am 365 days a year.
Closing time is 9:30pm through July 17; 9pm July 18-August 15; and 8:30 August 16-31.
The original 379 acre parcel of land that established Big Brook Park was formerly used as farmland for patients at the Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital, located across the street (Route 520). The Park System purchased this property—which once contained a piggery, dairy farm and other agricultural operations—from the state in 1997, around the time it closed the hospital. In 2010, the Park System purchased an additional 36 acres, bringing the park total to 415 acres.
Named for Big Brook, which drains into the nearby Swimming River Reservoir, the park contains forest made up of young wetland and maturing American beech, White oak, tulip poplar and hickory trees. Perhaps the park is better known for its rolling fields; made up of grasses, goldenrod and other perennials that provide a rare contiguous field habitat for nesting birds such as the grasshopper sparrow, harrier, and bobolink.
In addition to providing very good birding opportunities, Big Brook Park is strategically located next to the Henry Hudson Trail. Visitors may now access a 5-mile section of the Henry Hudson Trail leading to Freehold via a 0.9 mile paved connector from a parking area located just off the main entrance (that opened in June 2011). The YMCA Camp Arrowhead still operates within a portion of this park.
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