mcps_winter_sled_2012LINCROFT, NJ —  Winter fun heats up when the temperature drops and snow flies in the Monmouth County Park System. Whether you’re looking to fly down the sledding hill, strap on your cross-country skis or lace up your ice skates, the Park System is the place to be.

Open when there are two or more inches of snow, hours for the sledding hill in Holmdel Park, Holmdel, are 8am-7pm Sunday through Thursday and 8am-9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Groomed trails are open to cross-country skiers at Thompson Park, Lincroft, and Charleston Springs Golf Course, Millstone, as weather permits.  Marked, ungroomed trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Clayton Park, Upper Freehold; Hartshorne Woods Park, Middletown; Holmdel Park, Holmdel; Huber Woods Park, Middletown; Shark River Park, Wall; Tatum Park, Middletown; and Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold.  Please note that the Park System’s Deer Management Program will be underway until February 16 at several of these sites.  (For complete details, please visit our website at   Hours for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are the same as regular park hours: 8am-dusk. 

Need equipment? Head over to Thompson Park, Lincroft. Cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment is available for rent at the Thompson Park Ski Hut, located next to the Three Barns Parking Area. Rentals are available daily from 9am-4pm on a first come, first served basis. Feel free to call ahead and check for size availability as sizes are limited. Cross-country ski equipment can be held for a maximum of two hours. Equipment rented after 3pm must be returned by 12noon the next day. The cost is $15 to rent ski equipment and $10 for snowshoes.  Evening rentals are also now available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-8:30pm at a cost of $10 (equipment must be returned at the end of the evening.) For more information, please call (732) 842-4000, ext. 4312.

The fun really starts after a week or so of freezing temperatures and Holmdel, Shark River and Turkey Swamp Parks post their “Skating Today” signs.  Hours for ice skating are 8am-7pm Sunday through Thursday and 8am-9pm Fridays and Saturdays.  Ice skating isn’t the only fun to be had!  Manasquan Reservoir, Thompson Park and Turkey Swamp Park open for ice fishing in designated areas. Always check with park rangers before heading onto the ice.

Please be aware that these activities are offered only when conditions permit. Be sure to visit our website for the latest updates on conditions. To learn more about these Park System activities, please visit our website or call (732) 842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks and Recreation agency.