Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cheesequake State Park Family Hike

Cheesequake State Park Trailhead
With Sunday looking like a nice day for a hike, we ventured out to Matawan, NJ, a little less than an hour away from Princeton to Cheesequake State Park. You read it right, Cheesequake, not cheese steak or cheese cake. :p I was curious about the name and according to Wikipedia, the name was derived from the Lenape Native American word Cheseh-oh-ke, meaning "upland" or "upland village". We chose the hike as it was another one on the list of best fall foliage hikes in NJ on njhiking.com


It is a State Park where there is a fee of $5 weekday and $10 weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day, otherwise it is free, so free for us this time. There aren't any restrooms at the trailhead but there are some at the Ranger Station and Interpretive Center. There was also some later in the trail, called comfort stations for campers. We got there around 10am but had to park at the upper lot as the one by the trailhead is small and was full by the time we got there.
Cheesequake State Park trails
This trip we followed the green trail. On the trail we came across the Interpretive Center. Inside were lots of educational displays of animals in the park, there were even turtles in aquariums for you to look at. It was pretty busy when we were inside as there was a boy scout troop and it looked like some sort of tour was going on. I believe there are classes you can go to at certain times. Looked like a great educational center. We didn't stay long as we wanted to beat the boy scout troop before they hit the trail.
Cheesequake State Park Interpretive Center
I really enjoyed walking along the boardwalks along the trail. The kiddos like how this trail was different with the boardwalks and not just dirt.
Cheesequake State Park
 There were some steps and the boys conquered them as a challenge.
Cheesequake State Park
I could see why this was on the list as one of New Jersey's best hikes for fall foliage, it was stunningly beautiful when we came across areas like the two pics below. 
Cheesequake State Park
Cheesequake State Park
Another neat thing about this hike was walking right through some marshy areas. The kiddos liked looking into the murky water.
Cheesequake State Park Marshy area
 Cheesequake State Park Marshy area
There were also some cool bridges you go across.
The green trail was a little over 3 miles total. Cheesequake State Park is a great place to take your kids. There is lots to see and many things to entertain young children along the way. The boardwalk and marsh were nice to explore as they were something different from a lot of the other hikes we have done. Seeing some fall foliage was a plus as well. I'm sure as more leaves start changing, the park will be an amazing place to hike.

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful pics! looks like a fun family day :)

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  2. Thanks!! It was an awesome trip for the fam!

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  3. That is an interesting name. Looks like a nice hike!

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  4. Yeah, I thought the name was pretty interesting too. :p

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