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A Day At The Round Valley Recreation Center

Picture by Instagrammer aussie.robin

Enjoying the summer sun can become synonymous with the beach -- especially when you’re from New Jersey. The Jersey Shore is arguably the biggest summer destination that New Jersey has to offer, but what if you’re not a beach person? What if you want to catch some rays, but don’t want the sand to stay in your shoes, and in your car, and in between the pages of the book you’ve finally had time to read, for days after? Luckily, New Jersey has a variety of different state parks and attractions to include the non-beach goers in the outdoor

Round Valley Recreation Center is a beautiful state park in Lebanon, NJ -- a centerpiece of the state. It offers space to do an array of activities from swimming to hiking to boating and camping. We wanted to put together a schedule of our perfect day at Round Valley Recreation Center, so you and your family can feel equipped with everything you need to have a great time! If you end up following our guide, take some photos and be sure to tag us at #SEARCHtheBurbs!

10 AM: Make your way over to the park! If you’re living in Summit, NJ, your ride into Round Valley would take around 40 minutes. We believe in getting an early start to beat the heat, but also sleeping in enough to feel like it’s a treat.

11 AM: Hike the Pine Tree Trail, one of the four marked trails at Round Valley. It is a mile long loop ideal for families and hikers of all experience levels. It does not allow bikers, so the hike will certainly be tranquil, but if you would prefer to bike, you can always go to the Family Hiking and Biking Trail. Both trials are ideal for observing the birds and wildlife Round Valley has to offer.

Picture by Instagrammer desirea_corbett

12:30 PM: Head back to the car and pick up your burgers and hot dogs. There are three picnic areas, each equipped with grilling stations so you and your family can enjoy a nice big meal! The kids can play in the surrounding playgrounds at each station while things are cooking.

2 PM: Take a dip in the water! While you can’t swim in the main reservoir, Round Valley does have a beach front area for swimming, complete with food and beach concessions and lifeguards on duty from 10 AM - 5:30 PM all summer long.

If you’d rather not get wet, or want to avoid the sand entirely, fishing is a great alternative. The reservoir is fully stocked with lake trout.

Picture by Instagrammer yellowdogpaddle

4 PM: Check into your campsite. 4 PM is the deadline for campers to check in at Round Valley, and we would recommend continuing the family fun for as long as possible.

There are two types of campsites at Round Valley: Wilderness Campsites and Group Campsites. The Wilderness Campsites are secluded clearings in the woods for single families, while the Group Campsites can hold up to 25 people. Though they are equipped with grills, drinking water is limited, so make sure to bring enough for everyone to hydrate through the night. Bathrooms are also simple and without showers, which can be seen as a part of the experience, or something your family might want to skip.

If you are not looking to camp, you can always take a kayak or canoe out on the main reservoir and paddle it out to end your day.

Picture by Instagrammer hibigyi

9 AM the next day: Take your family out to experience a tranquil morning at Cushentuk Mountain, which is at the east side of the lake. It rises 500 feet above the shoreline. If you have more experienced hikers, feel free to hike this trail to close out your stay.

For more information on Round Valley Recreation Center, you can visit their website here.

Happy trails!

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