Favorite Parks, Programs & Memories

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Park patrons share their favorite parks, programs and memories 
created in the county parks.

Trail at the Mansquan Resevoir

When I moved in 1982, I left behind a neighborhood of wonderful friends. We

saw each other every day and raised our children together. I was so lonely.

One day, I found a copy of the Parks Calendar of Activities. I love to hike and I signed up for a hike. I was hooked and found a new joy.

I love the Park System. ~ Susan G.



 This year, my mom and I took the class offered at Deep Cut Gardens which taught you how to make your very own fresh cut holiday wreath and boxwood topiary. We had a great time spending quality time together, while creating something beautiful to take home and to share with the rest of our family.

Thank you for offering the class and hopefully it will be there again next year. ~ Lisa P.



Charleston Springs Golf Course

Charleson Springs Golf Course's North Course is a pleasure to play. It is so well maintained. I am proud to have my Mercer County golfing pals play in Monmouth County. ~ Bobby S.


Thompson Park's Rose Garden in 1982Years ago, I used to go to Thompson Park with my kids and we always stopped to see the rose garden. It was a beautiful spot to take a break from our busy schedule. There were so many varieties of roses such as climbers, old-fashioned roses, and tea roses of all colors. It was breathtaking. It isn't there anymore, but the memory of it is.

Thompson Park is a beautiful park and thanks to Mrs. Thompson's donation, we are all able to enjoy it. ~ Kathy M.

Note: The rose garden was moved to Deep Cut Gardens.


Animals at Historic Longstreet Farm

I have a special place in my heart for Holmdel Park. My parents brought me there since I was a little girl - to play on the swings and to visit the animals. Now, thirty years later, I am bringing my three children there to play, to hike, to run and fly kites, to go sledding, to relax with a picnic, to take family photographs, to visit the farm animals,  to throw a birthday party and, of course, to visit Santa Claus. There is always something to do at Holmdel Park. Thank you for so many wonderful memories. ~ Diane D.


wildflowers in Holmdel ParkMy husband proposed to me at Holmdel Park!

First he picked me up for a date and blindfolded me, so I wouldn't know where we were going. Kooky, but I went along with it. Then he backs into a spot and sets up chairs right by the back of the car. (He did take the blindfold off.) I said, "We have this whole beautiful park, why are you setting up the chairs here by the car?"

"You'll see."

We then take a lovely walk into the woods, he finds a lovely spot, complete with fallen over tree trunk for me to sit upon, gives me a beautiful card telling me how much he loves me and gets down on bended knee and proposes!

Needless to say I said, "Yes."

We return to the car, I'm still perplexed as to why he has chosen this location to hang out when he pops open the trunk and out comes champagne and glasses, flowers, balloons and a "Just Engaged" sign that hangs over the bumper.

I think we did get one glass finished before the (ranger) came to tell us we couldn't have an open bottle of alcohol there and asked us to leave!!

That was the summer of 1986! Got married in May of 1987 and still going strong! ~ Janice and Mitchell K.


I love the change of seasons at Thompson Park. Throughout the winter I look forward to the spring because I know that the sights and scents are a few months away. There are what I believe are honeysuckle vines growing along the "Filly Run" which is an unpaved track loop used mostly by horses,  humans and, occasionally, canines. This well kept-tree lined loop is inhabited by deer, squirrels, chipmunks and all kinds of animals that you could imagine would befriend Snow White. As the trees blossom and everything comes back to life, the thing I always remember is the scent of flowers. I always feel at home in this wonderful peaceful place that brings all my senses to life.~ Sarita  J.

Thompson Park in the spring



Ice skating, sled rides, picnics, hikes, and great dog walking areas are memories I shall always treasure at Holmdel Park. Great place to bring your children to. My son enjoyed the same joys as I did, for I made sure he knew all about Holmdel Park. With Longstreet Farm there, you can enjoy the animals and tour the days of old ! It's free, what more can I say !!! ~ Anita P.

Sledding at Holmdel Park - 1982


I love to go to Holmdel Park. It's so pretty and peaceful. I have been taking my two daughters there since they were born. It's nice to walk around and see the animals and old farm house as well as the lake and the kids love the playgrounds! ~ Sandy N., Old Bridge


As a child, I always looked forward to sled riding at Holmdel Park and then getting warmed up by the big fireplace. I grew up in Manalapan, and my mother is from Holmdel (Cross Family) I hope to bring my own kids there this year to enjoy the big hills.~ Kathy E.


Holmdel Park in the WinterFrom Santa's daughter:
It was a snowy winter before Christmas, circa...maybe 1987?

It was myself, my cousins Vincent, Frank, and John, and my brother Guy. He was getting to an age where he was not quite sure he believed in Santa anymore.

Guy asked my father if he was Santa, my father told him yes. What we didn't realize was the Guy took this as his father was THE Santa. My father did always kind of look like Santa...a round belly, blue eyes, and his cheeks did always get red when he laughed. Plus, he is very giving...so..the secret was out...our Dad was Santa. Bet you didn't know Santa had kids, huh?

We decided to let Guy in on another 'fact', me and my cousins were Santa's helpers, aka Elves. BUT, in order to become an Elf, he had to cross "The Great Log". "The Great Log" is the huge log located within the Homdel Park's Yellow Trail. When you are about 10 years old, there is nothing that seems bigger than "The Great Log"! Nothing.

We (all except Guy) crossed it though, covered in snow and ice. We straddled along the whole way, with Santa helping us. This was something none of us thought we could ever do! A confidence boost to say the least.

It was a day we still all remember. Thank you for the memories, ~ Dawn L.