218 Reviews
Tell people what you think
Ethan Bryson
· September 1, 2017
Well maintained trails (with boardwalks over the marshes, one of which is wheelchair accessible), beautiful views of the bay and a perfect spot for birding. Dogs are allowed on leashes. Mosquitos and ...ticks abound so plan accordingly and check your little ones after leaving the park. See More
Danielle LaRusso Fleming
· September 14, 2017
The environmental center looks great with all the remodeling. When we were walking there's s bunch of new benches and wood walkways. It's a great place to spend your day.
Richard Ashworth
· June 19, 2017
After Sandy the hurricane that destroyed the Jersey Shore it is nice to see they remodeled the Nature Center what amazement they have done love taking my kids down the trail to the end where the enjoy watching the boats travel the waterways always make sure you bring bug spray sometimes ticks and flies can be a problem but if you have spray there's no need to worry bring a bike enjoy yourself on the nice Trail to the Waterway they are also building wooden walkways which are not open yet possibly will be open by the time you read this hahaha so head on down to Fischer Boulevard in Toms River and find cattus Island State Park take a visit bring the family have a picnic but all in all is a nice quiet Park where there are no Benny's See More
Natalie Bowers
· June 23, 2017
Great place to spend the day with a friend or your family. The salt water marshlands are teeming with life and discovery and the nature center doesn't disappoint. There is a lovely butterfly garden an...d we say mature milkweeds that smelled like lilacs, among other plants. There is a playground and picnic area as well as an array of trails you can choose, some of which lead to secret spot beaches! See More
Steve Yahr
· August 16, 2017
Great place!! Even though it was a rainy overcast day, we still had a fantastic time. We saw plenty of different birds and even a few butterfly's and a frog. My kids loved it and they loved the center as well! See More
Yvonne LaForge
· August 22, 2017
We found this little gem when looking for a place to see the eclipse and we will definitely be returning! Beautiful nature center, boardwalks, and views!
Sandy Poluski
· September 10, 2017
Such a nice few hour walk through nature. It's all about how you make it! Awesome sites and views for an afternoon walk!
Linda Weny
· April 10, 2017
I love this Park. I've lived in this area for years and never knew it existed. I'm so glad to have found this gem of a place. We only did the main trail but it was a well maintained and fun walk. We't wait to come back again and explore the other trails. The staff and rangers are friendly and very helpful. The whole park is gorgeous and full of things to see. A very family friendly and dog friendly Park. I'd recommend this Park to anyone and everyone. I also love it's a local park close by and with a lot of parking. See More
Alice Anne
· July 21, 2017
This park is absolutely gorgeous and the staff were so friendly to me. I was surprised to learn that bikes were available for free to traverse the grounds. The trails were well maintained and the view...s by the bay were outstanding. Wish I lived closer so I could visit more often! See More
Cathy Kruger Straehle
· June 11, 2017
I took my kids (both 5) here for a hike. We did part of the blue and red trails. The trails were easy and mostly shaded. We were glad we put on lots of bug spray-many signs for tick warnings! We loved... the Environmental Center-friendly, knowledgable staff, great family-friendly exhibits, vand clean bathrooms. We enjoyed a snack, sitting in the butterfly garden, before heading home. We will be back to tackle some of the other trails soon! See More
Fred N Brittany Melillo
· September 21, 2017
Very concerned about the reptiles held in the nature center. The corn snake looked lethargic and looked very thin. Also it's bedding should be deeper than what is there. They love to burrow and he cle...arly couldn't. Please educate yourself on these animals. See More
Steven Yahr
· August 24, 2017
What a wonderful park and location to enjoy the outdoors , have been spending the past week photographing Egrets and Osprey in the evening ,I look forward to spending a lot more time there
Scott Kaufman
· July 30, 2017
Cattus Island Is an AWESOME treasure tucked away among the Ocean County Park System. Fantastic wildlife, trails, and plenty of sightseeing and amazing views. Recently renovated after "Sandy", with r...estored area's. It is a MUST for nature lovers ALL year round!!! Thankful for having grown up enjoying it and continually more appreciative of its beauty with every visit. See More
Patti Coghlan Lally
· September 25, 2016
I went yesterday with the hubby with the hopes of seeing some interesting birds. I have been there before but I guess this time of year was not successful in seeing many birds. We took the blue trail... off the main trail and it was great. We saw so many beautiful things, Marshes, tree's, deer and just a relaxing walk. Some of natures things are just so beautiful. We did see osprey, egrets and gulls. I am a beginner birder and I was looking for more to add to my list . I loved it. Can't wait to go back. See More
Kristin Deppe
· August 7, 2017
A beautiful free park to walk, bike and picnic in. Wonderful birds to see, and it's dog friendly, which is awesome!
Debbie Olson Ferguson
· May 31, 2017
i love this park - such a beautiful, natural setting. the environmental center is gorgeous, you guys did an amazing job!!! i will be back to see the butterflies, you have provided such a pretty place ...for them to flutter around!!! See More
Marie Luthringer
· January 2, 2017
Cattus Island Park is a vital sanctuary for Ocean County, not just for the Osprey and other wildlife, but also for the two legged creatures that we are, who need to refresh and reconnect with the quie...t and natural beauty that Cattus Island offers. January 1, 2017 is when my husband and I, along with our chocolate lab Jake, took our walk to start our new year. I highly recommend it any time of year. See More
Patti King Gould
· April 24, 2017
Love Cattus Island? Respect it by not leaving trash. Even better-if you see any trash, pick it up and dispose of it. It's rare, but if you see it, please pick it up. The little critters thank you.
John Camisa
· May 11, 2017
The wildlife was very active, the ospreys were fishing. The picture boards on site of house and boat house were fantastic to see. Yes the memories they brought back from the late 60s .the improvement...s from sandy storm damage are really showing as work continues. The educational building is open with restrooms. enjoy your visit you will need to bring a lunch. I john camisa would ask you not to use airasol repellents use wipes or pumps this is our backyard. See More
Carly Lages
· May 21, 2017
I have been enjoying this place for years. My favorite place in ocean county to enjoy nature and learn about it as well.
Cattus Island County Park
No automatic alt text available.
Ocean County Parks & Recreation
13 hrs

ATTENTION HOME SCHOOLERS! ~ Cattus Island has developed educational programs for students to gain hands on learning experiences in biology and environmental s...cience. Each program is tailored to different grade levels.
LOCATION: Cooper Environmental Center, Cattus Island County Park, Toms River - FEE: $10.00

ALL ABOUT REPTILES (grades K-5th) Cooper Environmental Center is home to many "scaly" friends. Join a naturalist to see some snakes and turtles up close and personal. Learn what makes them unique from other animals.
DATE: Thursday, April 19 #112266-4A
TIME: 10:00am – 12:00pm AGE: 5 -10 years

RETURN OF THE FISH HAWK (grades 3-9th) The Osprey are back from their vacation in Central and South American and it’s time to work on their nests. Did you know they had to come back from other hardships as well? Learn about the life history of this beautiful bird of prey, while examining the impact of human activity on the environment.
DATE: Thursday, April 20 #112266-4B
TIME: 10:00am – 12:00pm AGE: 8 -14 years

HABITAT EXPLORATION (grade 5th- 8th) Cattus Island has some of the most diverse habitats around. We will venture through the park while comparing and contrasting the plants, animals and characteristics of different ecosystems. Together, we will improve our observations and data collection.
DATE: Thursday, May 17 #112266-4C
TIME: 10:00am – 12:00pm AGE: 10 -13 years

BARNEGAT BAY 101 (grade 7th – 12th) Our coastal waters are a precious resource for humans and animals alike. By the end of the day, you will better understand the importance of protecting the bay as well as ways you can help make a difference.
DATE: Thursday, April 19 #112266-4D
TIME: 9:00am – 12:00pm AGE: 12 -17 years


See More
Ocean County Parks & Recreation added 7 new photos.
20 hrs

WELCOME SPRING!!! Although the weather forecast is not entirely in agreement...Mantoloking Bridge County Park sunrise this morning.

Ocean County Parks & Recreation added 10 new photos.

Restoration work continues at Cloverdale Farm County Park in Barnegat. The Ocean County Parks and Recreation crews have nearly completed the Cranbe...rry Packing House that will display a working cranberry separator and other buildings on site.
The invention of a separator, such as the “Bailey Separator” on display at Cloverdale, transformed the cranberry industry. The machine allowed cranberry growers to clean and sort sound (good) cranberries from unsound (bad) cranberries in record time versus the traditional method of doing all the work by hand. With the mechanization of the cleaning and sorting process, growers could process larger quantities of cranberries per day thus reaping larger profit for the grower.
The Park also has a visitor’s center that displays the history of the cranberry industry in New Jersey. There are hiking trails and it is a great birding park with a friendly knowledgeable staff to answer your questions. Enjoy.

See More
Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, outdoor and nature
Ocean County Parks & Recreation

Marsh Madness...sunrise over the salt marsh along the yellow trail at Cattus Island County Park this morning.

Image may contain: text
Ocean County Parks & Recreation

Walk n’ Wag Dog Jaunt & Donation Collection. Get some exercise with your best furry friend and support the Friends of Southern Ocean County Animal... Shelter! Take a 2-mile walk on the beautiful Barnegat Branch Rail Trail. Meet some of the dedicated volunteers and learn about the important work that this organization does to support the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter.
Items needed:food, blankets, towels, Nylabones or other hard chew toys, puzzle toys, cat play toys, dog and cat treats and monetary donations. Maximum of one dog per registered person. Only well socialized dogs please. All dog must remain on a leash. Dogs must be vaccinated.
LOCATION: Barnegat Rail Trail, Country Lane Parking Lot, Waretown
DATE: Saturday, April 7
TIME: 9:45 am - 12:00 pm
AGE: 8 years - adult FEE: FREE

NEW! Dog Pack Walk & Leash Training
Learn to walk your dog nicely on a leash, and you will enjoy our pack walk each week. Join us to exercise and socialize your dog and yourself too. All dogs must be “dog and stranger” friendly.
Please bring small treats for training. Please use only a 6-foot leash, no retractable leashes allowed. A harness or buckle collar is preferred. All dogs must be up to date on shots and have a valid license. The training class will take place the first day. The other two days will be walking and practice socialization. First day seminar provided by Compassionate Canine Training.
Please one dog per adult. Please bring check on the first day, made payable to Compassionate Canine Training for $20 or exact change.
LOCATION: Meet outside Cooper Environmental Center, Cattus Island County Park,Toms River
DATE: Tuesdays, April 24, May 1 and May 8....#113466-2A
TIME: 10:00-11:00 am
AGE: 12 years - Adult
FEE: Pre-registration is required, send a check for $5.00 per dog.
MINIMUM: 2 teams dog/adult MAXIMUM: 6 teams dog/adult

Pack Walk
Grab your pup, a leash, and get moving. Pack walks are arranged to give you and your dog a non-confrontational experience with other dogs. As we walk, the dogs will naturally fall in line amongst
each other. Dogs must be accompanied by an adult and be on a 4 foot leash – no retractable leashes are allowed. Donations welcome.
LOCATION: Outdoor Classroom, Cloverdale Farm County Park, Barnegat
DATE: Saturday, June 9....#116466-1F
TIME: 2:00-3:00 pm
FEE: Free, pre-registration required
AGE: 12 years - Adults

NEW! Pets in our Parks Photo Contest
We know your pets love our parks, show us your best winter shot! Be creative, be active, be artsy....and you could win a prize.
Please mail your photo to: Lisa ONeill at Ocean County Parks and Recreation, 1198 Bandon Road, Toms River, NJ 08753 Attn: Active Recreation. Sorry, photos can’t be returned. E-mails accepted at
Entry deadline is March 31

See page 20 in our program guide for more information on all these programs... including phone numbers and sign up forms.

See More
Image may contain: one or more people, tree, plant, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor, nature and water
Image may contain: one or more people, tree and outdoor
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, child, tree, plant, outdoor and nature
Ocean County Parks & Recreation added 4 new photos.

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”
― Rachel Carson
Photos of Wells Mills County Park by Jamie Philpot

Ocean County Parks & Recreation added 12 new photos.

Interesting finds in Cattus Island County Park this morning post nor'easter Quinn. Be advised that many of the trails are still flooded.

Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor, water and nature
Ocean County Parks & Recreation

ATTENTION: Cattus Flooding. Be advised that Cattus Island County Park has some flooded areas and some of the trails may be closed. Use caution if venturing out over the next couple days.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, text and outdoor
Ocean County Parks & Recreation

Be advised that the New Jersey Forest Fire Service will be conducting Prescribed Burning today in Cloverdale Farm County Park in Barnegat.
UPDATE: Wells Mills C...ounty Park in Waretown will also be part of this project starting later today at 1:30pm
For more on the benefits of Prescribed Burning visit the link below:

See More
Cattus Island County Park updated their cover photo.
Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor, nature and water
It looks like you may be having problems playing this video. If so, please try restarting your browser.
Ocean County Parks & Recreation

Cattus Island County Park is happy to announce the arrival of 4 juvenile horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus).
They arrived on Wednesday 2/28 and will remain ...behind the scenes until summer when they will be displayed in the tanks at the Cooper Environmental Center at Cattus Island. The one in this video is about the size of a quarter.
Horseshoe crab is a type of marine arthropod. Despite its name, horseshoe crab is not a crab (it shares more similarities with spiders and scorpions than with crabs). There are 4 species of horseshoe crab: one in the North America and three in the southeast Asia. Horseshoe crabs live on the muddy flats and sandy bottoms in the shallow coastal waters. They haven't changed much for the past 445 million years (since the time they appeared on the planet), hence the nickname "living fossils". Habitat destruction and uncontrolled collecting from the ocean led to drastic reduction in the number of horseshoe crabs in the previous century. These creatures are classified as near threatened today.

Interesting Horseshoe crab Facts: (source: SoftSchools)
~Horseshoe crab can reach 8 to 24 inches in length and 2.2 to 9.9 pounds of weight. Females are much larger than males.
~Horseshoe crab has hard outer shell, called carapace, shaped like a horseshoe. It is green or brown colored. ~Horseshoe crab has five pairs of legs and long tail. First pair of legs is shaped like pincers and used for feeding. Thin plates on the abdomen, called book gills, are used for breathing.
~Horseshoe crab has large compound eyes on the sides of carapace, five eyes on top of the body and two eyes on the bottom side. They are used to facilitate detection of mating partners and navigation in the ocean.
Horseshoe crab has long, rigid tail that is used as a rudder and to rotate animal from the back to the feet when it flips over.
~Horseshoe crab has blue blood due to hemocyanin, blood pigment which contains copper. Its blood also contains amoebocytes (type of blood cells) that are used in numerous laboratories today for testing of sterility of medical equipment and drugs.
~Adult horseshoe crabs walk on the sea floor. Young animals occasionally swim oriented upside down by using gills as paddles.
~Horseshoe crab is nocturnal creature.
~Horseshoe crab is a carnivore. It likes to eat aquatic worms, algae, clams and mussels.
~Horseshoe crab uses upper parts of its legs to crush food before swallowing.
~Mating season of horseshoe crabs takes place during the May and June.
Females dig holes in the sand and deposit eggs. They produce 60.000 to 120.000 eggs per season. Only 10% of eggs hatch and reach adulthood due to numerous predators.
~Many migratory birds land on the shore to consume eggs and crabs on their ways to the wintering grounds. Eggs of horseshoe crab also represent important source of food for fish and sea turtles.
~Larvae emerge from the nest usually after 5 weeks. They look like miniature version of adults with very short tail.
~Males reach sexual maturity at the age of 8 to 9 years, females at the age of 10 to 11 years.
~Horseshoe crab can survive 20 to 40 years in the wild.

See More
Ocean County Parks & Recreation added 11 new photos.

MARCH 1st!!! 8:30am ... Spring Program's Sign Up at The Ocean County Park & Rec Administration Office, Toms River, Jakes Branch County Park, Beachwood and Wells Mills County Park, Waretown. Our Spring Program Guide can be viewed online here:

Image may contain: grass and outdoor
Ocean County Parks & Recreation

The Spring 2018 PROGRAM GUIDES are now available.
The online version is here: and the printed version has been dropped off at all the OC L...ibraries, County Connection etc. If you need one mailed to you Facebook Message us your address or email us at Program registration begins March 1.

See More
Image may contain: grass and outdoor
Ocean County Parks & Recreation

The Spring 2018 PROGRAM GUIDES are now available.
The online version is here: and the printed version has been dropped off at all the OC L...ibraries, County Connection etc. If you need one mailed to you Facebook Message us your address or email us at Program registration begins March 1.

See More