Allaire State Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:4265 Atlantic Avenue, Wall Township, NJ
Hours:8 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. daily
Fee: $5 per vehicle on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day
Contact:
Bathrooms: Historical village; campsite
Water/Snacks: Concession stands near the historical village
Map:

Renowned for its preserved nineteenth-century village, Allaire State Park is also a terrific place to hike, paddle, camp, and fish.

Allaire State Park
Photo by: Cheryl and William de Jong-Lambert

At Allaire State Park, families can camp, explore easy trails within the Manasquan River flood plain, and visit the Historic Village at Allaire, a wellpreserved nineteenth-century neighborhood. The park is part of the 300-mile New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route, which seeks to preserve a diverse range of historical and natural sites.

Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails wind throughout the more than 3,000 acres. River Trail, accessible from the northeast corner of the Allaire Village parking lot, is a comfortable hike for families, with some hills and a section that follows along the river’s edge. Manasquan River is stocked annually with trout, increasing the likelihood of success for young anglers (New Jersey fishing license required). Other well-maintained paths around the village take day-hikers short or longer distances into the woods. At 16.5 miles, the orange trail is the longest and most rigorous. The yellow, red, and green trails are easy walks, at 0.5, 1.5, and 4.5 miles respectively.

The campsite has 45 tent and trailer sites, four yurts, fire rings, restrooms with showers, and many picnic tables. It is open all year. A playground for all park visitors is near the campground and the main parking lot. The park does not rent canoes, but rentals are available nearby. Contact the visitor center or visit funnj.com/water/fboat/index.htm for possibilities.

The Historic Village at Allaire includes well-preserved homes and trade shops, such as a bakery and an ironworks that still periodically operate, and offers lessons in activities such as gardening and sewing. Check the website or call in advance for hours and programming (allairevillage.org; 732-919-3500).

To the west of the village, families can visit the Pine Creek Railroad to board eighteenth-century train cars that make a slow, half-mile journey around farmland. Even for city kids who are accustomed to subways and interstate railways, this little train is a treat. Remember: As this area is a low-lying river basin, trails can be muddy and slippery for a few days after a rainfall. Younger children may want to use a walking stick for balance.

Plan B:

Double Trouble State Park (Trip 95) is another preserved village with easy hikes through cranberry bogs, though without programming, and Island Beach State Park (Trip 96) is a year-round hiking and fishing destination, as well as a great beach in summer.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Atlantic Avenue is fairly rural, so it is best to bring your own food and beverages.



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