521 Route 520, Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-842-4000, ext. 4312
Park Map (pdf)
Park opens at 7 a.m. daily, year round.
Closing time is 8:30 p.m. through May 2; 9 p.m. May 3-June 7; 9:30 p.m. June 8-July 17.
There have been a number of “smash and grab” vehicle break-ins in the parks this year. In most cases, car windows are smashed and items such as pocket books, diaper bags, and wallets are stolen from inside the car. Visitors are urged not to leave valuables in their cars and to notify Park Rangers of any suspicious activity in parking lots. To reach a Park Ranger, contact the County emergency communications center at 732-577-8700.
Once home to Camp Arrowhead through a leasing agreement, the YMCA recently closed the camp, allowing the Park System control of the entire site once again. Plans are in the works to make improvements to the site and its many buildings and outdoor facilities. As these projects move forward, this will be a perfect location for many outdoor programs.
The original 432 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.
Named for Big Brook, which drains into the 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 contiguous field habitat for butterflies, birds and other wildlife.
In addition to providing very good wildlife viewing 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.