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Cheesequake State Park facts for kids

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Entrance sign leading into Cheesequake Park
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Type State Park
Location Old Bridge, New Jersey
Nearest city Sayreville, New Jersey
Area 1,610 acres (6.5 km2)
Elevation 52 feet (16 m)
Etymology Lenape: Chiskhakink (Cheseh-oh-ke, Chichequaas), meaning "upland," "upland village," or "at the land that has been cleared"
Operated by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, [[{{#property:operator}}]]
Visitors 1,396,737 (in 2013)
Open Year round
Status Open
Camp sites 53 sites plus 6 large group sites (available May 1-October 31)
Hiking trails 5 trails, lengths range from 1.5 to 3.5 miles
Designation Marine and Intertidal
Website [{{#property:official website}} Cheesequake State Park]
Hooks Creek Lake
Hooks Creek Lake is located in New Jersey
Hooks Creek Lake
Hooks Creek Lake
Location in New Jersey
Coordinates 40°26′22″N 74°16′10″W / 40.439318°N 74.269443°W / 40.439318; -74.269443
Type Man-made
Managing agency New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry
Surface area 10.6 acres (43,000 m2)
Average depth 5.5 feet (1.7 metres)
Max. depth 7.3 feet (2.2 metres)
Water volume 72,800 cubic metres (72,800,000 litres)
Residence time 259 days
Map of Cheesequake State Park in Old Bridge, New Jersey
Cheesequake Creek
Cheesequake Creek

Cheesequake State Park is a 1,610-acre (6.5 km2) state park located in Old Bridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey, in the United States.

The New Jersey Legislature allocated $100,000 in 1937 to purchase property for the park. The state first acquired a 250-acre (100 ha) tract of farmland and a Civil War-era mansion from the Favier brothers in January 1938. Additional lands were acquired over the next two years, and the Civil Conservation Corps, part of the Works Progress Administration, helped develop the property. The park was opened in June 1940. It is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry and is part of the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route.

The name Cheesequake has been variously described as deriving from the Lenape words Cheseh-oh-ke ("upland"), Chichequaas ("upland village"), or Chiskhakink ("at the land that has been cleared").

Geography, flora, and fauna

The park's lowlands consist of freshwater and saltwater marsh and a tidal estuary near the mouth of Cheesequake Creek on the Raritan Bay. It also includes hills of Northeastern hardwood forest, open fields, and a white cedarswamp. It includes a small parcel of Atlantic coastal pine barrens, consisting of pine forest in sandy soil, an isolated section of the much larger New Jersey Pine Barrens. It also includes the 6-acre (24,000 m2) Hooks Creek Lake, a freshwater lake where recreational fishing features trout, largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish. Crabbing is also available at the park.

Facilities, activities, and trails

Cheesequake State Park First Day Hike 2017 the two terrains
Participants in a First Day Hike in the park in 2017 walk through the hardwood forest above and see the marshes below
Museum Road
Museum Road in Cheesequake State Park

The park includes an interpretive center and five marked trails for both hiking and mountain biking that run throughout the wooded hills and across long wooden bridges across marshland. The park has designated camping areas available by reservation. Swimming and boating are summertime activities, while sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are available in wintertime.

The Garden State Parkway runs through the park near exit 120 but offers no direct access. A road runs underneath the parkway to connect the northern and southern sides of the park. Parts of the park, including a picnic area, are visible from the parkway. Aberdeen-Matawan station (New Jersey Transit) is located about two miles east of the park.

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