Manasquan Reservoir

Facebook LogoVisitor Center    
311 Windeler Road, Howell 07731
732-919-0996
Environmental Center    
331 Georgia Tavern Road, Howell 07731
732-751-9453
Ranger Station - 732-938-6760
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 8:30 p.m. through September 19; 8 p.m. September 20-30; and 7:30 p.m. October 1-28.

Face coverings are required in all park buildings and outdoors when social distancing
cannot be reasonably maintained. Some buildings are closed to the general public when programs are in session. 
(updated 9/8/2020)  
  
Portions of the Manasquan Reservoir will be open for deer hunting during the 2020/2021 season.
Click here for a list of hunting dates and boundaries. 

Trail users completing the entire 5 mile perimeter trail are strongly encouraged to follow arrows and only travel in one direction. Those who are enjoying a shorter stroll may travel in both directions.   The bait & tackle shop is open.
      

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:

  • 1,208 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 1,208 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: 

Call for Entries! 
Enter our 2021 Photography Exhibit - “The Wonder of Nature”
Find out more.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Large group (over 50 people) gatherings are not available at this site. Please see Picnic Areas for nearby county Park System facilities where large 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. 


Fishing

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

Boating
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 - Limited boat rentals have resumed.
Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays
7 a.m.-6 p.m. 
- Please note that rentals may end early if life jackets run out. Life jackets will only be used once a day so that they be cleaned after use. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own life jackets.   
At the Visitor Center, park patrons ages 18 and older can rent rowboats (1-hr $14.54 or 4-hrs $35.64); electric motor powered rowboats (4-hrs $46.42); and kayaks (1-hr single person $14.54 or 1-hr double person $20.63). A $10 deposit is required for 1 hour rental; $20 deposit required for 4 hour rental. Motor boat rentals are offered from April-October 31 and kayak rentals from May 4 - October 31. (Prices do not include sales tax. Updated 1/2020.) 

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.
September
 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.

Private Sail Lessons -  Please check back for possible future dates.   


Bicycle Rentals have been suspended for the balance of 2020.
 

 

Boat tours at the Manasquan Reservoir

Boat Tours - These tours have concluded for the season.  Please check back for 2021 dates. 
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. Please call 732-751-9453 to confirm schedule as tours are both weather and water level dependent. All tours leave from the Visitor Center.

Biking along the trail at the Manasquan Reservoir

Trails   
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.

Hiker IconEquestrian IconCycling Icon

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

 

Directions

  • 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.