Manasquan Reservoir

Facebook LogoVisitor Center - 732-919-0996    
311 Windeler Road, Howell 07731
Environmental Center - 732-751-9453    
331 Georgia Tavern Road, Howell 07731
Ranger Station - 732-938-6760
Winter Run Activity Center and 4-H Program Area - 732-919-0996 
270 Southard Ave, Howell 07731
See Supplemental Rules and Regulations for the Manasquan Reservoir.  

Park Brochure & Map | Tick Advisory        
Park opens daily at 7 a.m. November 1-March 31 and 6 a.m. April 1-October 31.  
Closing time is 9:30 p.m. through July 21; 9 p.m. July 22-August 18; and 8:30 p.m. August 19-September 8.      

Fishing 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing 
Thursdays, July 11-August 22, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Please stop by the bait shop for day of registration.

Learn how to rig, bait, cast, and, hopefully, catch your first fish. Come and go at any time. Bait and tackle provided. Open to all ages; under 14 with adult. Fishing license required for ages 16-69. No groups please. One hour time limit per fishing rod. FREE!

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Manasquan Reservoir trail usersSpend a day fishing, boating, or walking the trail at this beautiful spot in southern Monmouth County. Now the most visited site in the Monmouth County Park System, over one million visitors come to the Manasquan Reservoir each year.

Park features:

  • 1,348 acres of land and water
  • fishing
  • 5-mile perimeter trail
  • 1-mile nature trail
  • playground
  • ice-skating
  • kayak and rowboat rentals

The Manasquan Reservoir is a source of water for municipalities and utilities. The Reservoir is also a natural setting for recreational activities and outdoor pursuits. The 770-acre Reservoir is part of a larger 1,348 acre site that include woods and wetlands, a 5-mile perimeter trail, fishing and boating areas, and a Visitor Center. A bicycle repair station with a tire pump and tools has recently been added by the main trailhead kiosk near the Visitor Center.

The site also features an Environmental Center, dedicated to providing experiences of learning and discovery related to wetlands ecology and wildlife and habitat protection through interactive exhibits, multi-media presentations, educational activities for schools and community groups, and wildlife observation areas.  Check out this upcoming exhibit in the Environmental Center: 


  • Gatherings of organized groups or groups of 50 or more are not available at this site. A picnic shelter can be rented for a max of 50 people. Please see Picnic Area & Shelters for more information and nearby County Park System facilities where these groups can be accommodated.  
  • Swimming is not permitted.

About the Reservoir     
The reservoir is an important part of the water supply in Monmouth County. Water from the Manasquan River enters and exits the reservoir through the inlet/outlet tower in the front of the main dam. With a 4 billion gallon water capacity and a maximum depth of 40', the reservoir can supply up to 30 million gallons of water a day.


Manasquan Reservoir Visitor Center

Visitor Center   
This Center is the site of all boating activities at the reservoir and features a boat rental area, bait shop, vending machines, restrooms, fireplace and program activity rooms. The bait shop is closed December thru February. The second level observation deck offer spectacular views of the site. 


The Reservoir is open year round for fishing and is stocked with large and small-mouth bass, hybrid striped bass, tiger muskie, bullhead catfish and panfish species. A State fishing licenses is required for anglers age 16 and over. A license can be purchased at any local fishing supply/bait shop or by visiting the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife websiteFishing licenses are NOT available for purchase at the Manasquan Reservoir.

Fishing at the Manasquan Reservoir

The boat ramp is open for the season March 1 through November 30. Seasonal and daily boat launch passes are available at the cost of $7 daily or $50 seasonal. All vessels must be launched from the east ramp at the Visitor Center. Boating is a great way to explore this site, take advantage of the fishing opportunities, or simply relax. All boats (with electric motors), sailboats, kayaks and canoes must be at least 8' in length, are permitted on the Reservoir. All persons boating on the Manasquan Reservoir shall wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved type I, II, III hybrid inflatable, or V personal flotation device in serviceable conditions. New Jersey State Boating laws and Park System rules and regulations are in effect on the water.  See our rules and regulations for the Manasquan Reservoir.

Boat/Kayak  Rentals  
At the Visitor Center's bait shop (lower level), park patrons ages 18 and older can rent rowboats (1-hr $15.01 or 4-hrs $35.64); electric motor powered rowboats (4-hrs $46.42); and kayaks (1-hr single person $15.01 or 1-hr double person $20.63). A $10 deposit is required for 1 hour rental; $20 deposit required for 4 hour rental. Row boat rentals are offered from April 1 - October 31 and kayak rentals from May 1- October 31.  Availability is first come, first served. Cash, check, Visa, MasterCard or Discover accepted; deposits are cash only.  (Prices do not include sales tax. Updated 12/2023.)  

Boat rentals begin at 7 a.m. The schedule for the last rental of the day and when all boats must be returned is as follows:

Last Rental of the Day:  Boats Must be Returned by:
April  5 p.m.
 6 p.m.
May-August  6 p.m.
7 p.m.
 5 p.m.
6 p.m.
October  4 p.m.
5 p.m. 

Please note that the operation of an electric motorboat requires a NJ boating safety certificate.

Sailing at the Manasquan Reservoir

Private Sail Lessons
Catch the wind during your private sailing lesson in our 15’ American sailboats. An experienced sailing instructor will be with you to answer all your sailing questions. Novice and experienced sailors looking for a refresher are encouraged. Learn proper sailing techniques, including how to read the wind, maneuver your sailboat, and how to be a captain! Sailors age 8 and up can join with an adult.

    • Cost: $175 for one 3-hour, hands-on lesson for two people, $135 for additional lessons.
    • Lessons Available: June 15-September 22. 
    • To arrange your lesson, call 732-842-4000, ext. 4325. (Please note that this telephone number is for sail lessons only. For information regarding boat tours, please call the Environmental Center at 732-751-9453; for other inquiries, please call the Visitor Center at 732-919-0996.)

Sailboat Rentals
Are you a sailor without a boat? The Park System has 15' American (2-3 people) and 12' Laser Pico (1 person) sailboats available for rent. Sailors should provide a Red Cross, US Sailing, or MCPS sailing card. If you do not have a certification, please call to discuss your sailing experience/skills.

    • Cost: $100 per boat for 2-hour rental.
    • Rentals Available: June 15-September 22.
    • Please Note: Pre-registration is required at LEAST 48 hours in advance. For availability or questions, please call 732-842-4000, ext. 4325. (Please note that this telephone number is for sailboat rentals only. For information regarding boat tours, please call the Environmental Center at 732-751-9453; for other inquiries, please call the Visitor Center at 732-919-0996.)
Boat tours at the Manasquan Reservoir

Boat Tours   

These 45-minute tours of the Manasquan Reservoir, Howell, are narrated by Park System Naturalists and include opportunities to view local wildlife including turtles, egrets, herons, ospreys and perhaps a bald eagle. Life-jackets are required. The cost is $6 per adult and $4 per child (12 and under). Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Center on the day of the tour. Please call 732-751-9453 to confirm schedule as tours are both weather and water level dependent. All tours leave from the Visitor Center.

The schedule is as follows:

Weekend & Holiday Tours  
May 4-September 2 at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. & 5 p.m.
Wednesday Tours  
July 10-August 28 at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. & 4 p.m.
First Friday Evening Tours  
June 7, July 5 & August 2 at 6 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Biking along the trail at the Manasquan Reservoir

The 5.1 mile gravel Perimeter Trail offers panoramic views of the Reservoir and provides a great trail experience for all users.  This trail loops all the way around the reservoir and has a fairly even, well-maintained surface and is designated as a MODERATE trail due to its length. Mileposts are marked on the trail. A bicycle repair station with a tire pump and tools has recently been added by the main trailhead kiosk near the Visitor Center.

An additional 1.1 mile Cove Trail is a scenic nature trail which explores the lakeshore around the Environmental Center and is open to pedestrians only.

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Call for Entries into the 2025 Photography Exhibit
Calling all photographers! Don’t miss your opportunity to enter your photos in our 2025 exhibition. The exhibit will be on display from February 1-28, 2025. Each photographer may enter one photo per category per season.
  • Entry Deadlines:
    • Winter: March 24, 2024
    • Spring: June 23, 2024
    • Summer: September 22, 2024
    • Fall: December 1, 2024
  • Theme: All the Small Things
  • Divisions: Youth or Adult
  • Categories: General & Wildlife
  • Entry Fee: $5.00 per photo for Adult Division; submissions free for Youth Division.
  • See additional information and entry form. (PDF)
  • For more information about the Manasquan Reservoir Exhibit, please email Paul Mandala at

In accordance with New Jersey’s Smoke Free Air Act, all Monmouth County parks are tobacco free. The ban applies to cigarettes, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and vaporize cigarettes, as well as smokeless tobacco such as snuff and chew.



  • Garden State Parkway to Exit 98, Interstate 195 west. Proceed on I-195 west to Exit 28B, Rt. 9 north-Freehold. Stay in right lane when entering Rt. 9 north. At first traffic light, turn right onto Georgia Tavern Road. Follow Georgia Tavern Road for 0.3 mile. Continue straight for Environmental Center on right or turn right onto Windeler Rd. and continue 1.5 miles to the Visitor Center Reservoir Area on left. 
  • State Hwy. 9 south from Freehold to Georgia Tavern Rd. Use Jughandle to turn left onto Georgia Tavern Rd. Proceed as above.