Cooper River Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:North Park Drive, Pennsauken, NJ
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:, 856-216-2117

Bathrooms: At the stadium and boathouse; seasonal portable toilets throughout the park
Water/Snacks: Water fountains by the ball fields, playground, stadium, and boathouse


Water is the focus of this urban park on both shores of the Cooper River Lake: Boat or fish in the lake, or walk along the shoreline.

Cooper River Park
Photo by: myaimistrue

Cooper River Park, a 340-acre urban park, offers many opportunities for family activities along the Cooper River Lake, which is regionally renowned for its rowing. You are sure to spot teams or individuals practicing the sport, seeming to glide effortlessly over the calm water. Regular regattas are conducted from March to November; see for schedules.

While only rowing clubs can use the boathouse, you can bring your own (nonmotorized) boat and launch it at the South Park Drive boat ramp. The wooded shorelines make for a lovely family paddle or sail. The family-oriented Cooper River Yacht Club, also on South Park Drive, offers sailing instruction for kids 8 and up as well as adults, and has a community sailboat sharing program (membership fee charged); see

The park has 4.4 miles of trails. Around the lake is a level paved trail that is easy for beginning bikers. For more-interesting walking, take the pedestrian trail to Veterans Island, which features views of the lakeshore. On the more rugged streamside trails, kids will enjoy poking about the banks, or spotting birds and small animals.

Wildlife is surprisingly abundant at the park, especially near the wetlands and forested areas on the north side of the lake. Large flocks of egrets and herons roost here in late spring and summer, and songbirds stop to rest in the woods during early spring and fall migrations.

A large playground—advertised as the largest in the state—is off of North Park Drive. It’s built to look as if it’s rising out of water, with blue and green rubberized mats surrounding the equipment resembling ocean waves. Picnic pavilions are near the playground.

Remember: Dogs must be leashed except in the Pooch Park. This is an urban park and it can get crowded. (Note: As of the time of this writing, Camden County had announced a plan for major changes to the park, including additional riverside walking paths.)

Plan B:

Newton Lake Park in Collingswood, New Jersey, is a well-maintained park that may be a quieter alternative. It has 2 miles of paved roads along the perimeter of the lake that are good for biking, strollers, inline skaters, or wheelchairs.

Where to Eat Nearby:

A restaurant is in the pavilion.


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