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New Jersey State Parks to Reinstate Entrance Fees

Visitors to New Jersey’s state parks, including the popular Island Beach State Park, will need to start paying entrance fees again this summer, as a two-year tax holiday comes to an end with the new state budget proposed by Governor Phil Murphy. 

As per an NJ.com report, the fees, waived for the past few seasons, are set to be reinstated on July 1, 2024, marking the start of the fiscal year 2025.

Governor Murphy’s budget proposal, which is currently awaiting approval from the state Legislature, outlines the necessity for the reintroduction of park fees to avoid a potential state shutdown. The proposed budget aims to bring back a range of fees for park visitors, starting from $2 for individuals entering parks on foot or by bicycle, to $10 for weekend parking.

This move to reinstate fees follows a period of nearly four years during which New Jersey waived entrance fees for all state park visitors. This waiver was part of a broader “tax holiday” initiative, which included the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Additionally, in 2021, the state’s “vaxed and visit” campaign provided free access to those who signed up, encouraging outdoor activities amid the pandemic.

The exact revenue expected from the reinstatement of these fees has not been disclosed. However, the waiver of fees in the previous year was estimated to have cost the state approximately $2.7 million in lost revenue, indicating the financial impact of the decision to waive fees during the tax holiday.

For those who frequent New Jersey’s state parks, the Department of Environmental Protection offers a season pass for $50, providing unlimited access to the parks throughout the season. The state also continues to support disabled residents and seniors over the age of 62 by offering free passes, ensuring that the parks remain accessible to those who may be on a fixed income or have mobility issues.

It is important for visitors to note that the season passes and free access do not extend to Sandy Hook, a federal park known for its beaches and recreational facilities. Sandy Hook has maintained its $20 parking fee even during the state’s tax holidays. For those looking to visit Sandy Hook regularly, a federal season pass is available, offering a cost-effective solution for frequent visitors.

The decision to reinstate fees at New Jersey’s state parks, including Island Beach State Park, comes as the state seeks to balance the need for revenue with the desire to keep its parks accessible to the public. The fees collected are typically used for the maintenance and operation of the parks, ensuring that they remain safe, clean, and enjoyable for all visitors.

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March 22, 2024 10:52 pm

Just a heads up that entrance fees at New Jersey’s state parks are coming back. It’s all about keeping our parks in top shape for us all to enjoy. Plan your visits accordingly!


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: New Jersey State Parks to Reinstate Entrance Fees! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/new-jersey/new-jersey-state-parks-to-reinstate-entrance-fees/