LINCROFT, NJ — If you’ve enjoyed the county parks during the summer, then you should see them in the winter! When snow comes and blankets the Monmouth County Park System, it opens up a whole new world of winter fun.   With its array of winter activities, the Monmouth County Park System wants area residents to get the most out of the season.  According to Freeholder Director Lillian Burry there’s plenty to enjoy, “Winter is a great time to be in Monmouth County. Our county parks offer residents the chance to enjoy the season to the fullest with sledding, cross-country skiing, ice skating and ice fishing.”

Perhaps one of the best places around to go sledding is Holmdel Park, Longstreet Road, Holmdel. Its sledding hill is open when there are two or more inches of snow cover.  Hours are 8am-7pm Sunday through Thursday and 8am-9pm on Fridays and Saturdays (conditions permitting).

For those who like a challenge, cross-country skiing is allowed on the trails and fields of Clayton Park, Upper Freehold; Hartshorne Woods Park, Middletown; Holmdel Park, Holmdel; Huber Woods Park, Middletown; Manasquan Reservoir, Howell; Shark River Park, Neptune; Tatum Park, Middletown; Thompson Park, Lincroft; and Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold.  Please note that the Park System’s Deer Management Program will be underway until February 19 at several of these sites.  For complete details, please visit our website at www.monmouthcountyparks.com.   Hours for cross-country skiing are the same as regular park hours – 8am-dusk.

When the thermometer really plunges (a week or more of subfreezing temperatures), it’s time to lace up the ice-skates and head to Holmdel, Shark River or Turkey Swamp Parks. Hours for ice skating are 8am to 7pm Sunday through Thursday and 8am to 9pm Fridays and Saturdays (conditions permitting).  “Skating Today” signs will be posted to let visitors know when ice is safe for skating. The Manasquan Reservoir, Thompson Park and Turkey Swamp Park are the places to be for ice fishing. Conditions permitting, park rangers will set up designated areas for the activity. Always check conditions with park rangers before engaging in any of these activities.  For more information about winter activities, visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com or call the Park System at (732) 842-4000.  For persons with hearing impairment, the TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System is celebrating its golden anniversary of keeping the county green and livable, since the Board of Chosen Freeholders created the first county park in 1960. Today, the Park System has grown to over 30 sites totaling more than 15,000 acres and offers approximately 4,000 recreation programs and activities, making it the perfect place to come outside and play.