Entrance fees for state parks, forests and rec areas return after 2-year pause

Officials say the fees were waived in 2022 and 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Trapani and Amanda Lee

Jul 2, 2024, 9:45 PM

Updated 10 days ago


Entrance fees for New Jersey state parks, forests and recreational areas returned this week after a two-year pause.
The entrance fees will be in effect until Sept. 3, except for Island Beach State Park, which will have a year-round entrance fee.
“The New Jersey State Park Service has historically charged entrance or parking fees at some of its parks during the summer, including Island Beach State Park. These fees were waived in 2022 and 2023 as part of the Murphy Administration’s fee holiday coming out of the pandemic,” a spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection wrote in a statement.
The spokesperson also stated, “These fees are nominal, are by carload and not by person, and have held steady for over a decade.”
The summer rates for entrance fees include:
  • NJ Residents $6
  • Non-residents $12
Weekend and Holidays
  • NJ Residents $10
  • Non-residents $20
Some business owners in the area say that the return of entrance fees is impacting their business.
“We’re open full time but our livelihood depends on our summer business so that really affects it,” says Tina Curci, owner of Ebby’s Ristorante & Lounge in Seaside Park, right outside of Island Beach State Park.
After Labor Day it will cost $5 for New Jersey residents and $10 for out-of-state visitors.

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