Shark River Park is the county’s first, opening in 1961. This family recreational facility offers 933 acres on either side of the Shark River in Neptune and Wall Townships. Habitats run from river to sandy hills to pine oak forest. Opportunities, besides mountain biking, include hiking, ice skating and cross-country skiing. Fishing and birdwatching are also popular activities, here. There is a reservable shelter building, picnic and playground area and fitness trail. Although close to the Garden State Parkway and surrounding neighborhoods the park does give one a more remote feeling.
The Shark River Park trails are color coded for easy navigation and take you through both a wetlands-floodplain and pine oak forest habitat. Plants and wildlife common to these habitats such as turtles, frogs, and the insectivorous Pitcher Plant can be spotted from the the trails. There are sandy sections and the more challenging trail along the river (Many Log Run) can get muddy after rain.
Note: Stay on the trails and please respect posted foot traffic only signs.
Cedar Trail: An easy 1.4 mile loop trail. Combined with the 3/10 mile extension you will pass through the Atlantic White Cedar Bog on the way to Gully Road.
Hidden Creek Trail: A moderate 3 mile loop that takes you through many of the parks habitats. Bicycle users should be extra courteous when using the boardwalk.
Note: horses not permitted on boardwalk.
Pine Hills Trail: A moderate trail that takes you 1.5 miles from the Cedar Trail to the “hills” of Shark River Park.
Many Log Run Trail: This challenging trail provides primitive access to about 3.4 miles of The Shark River stream bank.
Shark River Run Trail: This will soon offer a multiple use moderate trail across the entire park. It is in the process of being aquired by the Monmouth County Park System.
The Shark River travels through a fossil bearing formation (Shark River Formation). It contains sediments that were deposited during the Eocene period. Although fossils are not abundant, sharks’ and rays’ teeth, imprints and molds of ancient shells as well as other associated marine fossils can be found in the area streams and gravel bars along the Shark River.
Note: The spring fed streams can be high, deep and swift. Be extremely cautious of steep cutbanks. They could collapse at any time.
State Hwy. 18 to Exit 8. Take Rt. 33 (Corlies Ave.) west to Schoolhouse Rd. Turn left onto Schoolhouse Rd. Follow to Park.
Garden State Parkway to exit 100 (Rt.33 East). Take Rt. 33 (Corlies Ave.) east to Schoolhouse Rd. Turn right onto Schoolhouse Rd. Follow to Park.
State Hwy. 35 to Rt. 33 (Corlies Ave.) west to Schoolhouse Rd. Turn left onto Schoolhouse Rd. Follow to Park
For more information:
Shark River Park
Phone: (732) 922-4080 or 3868
Monmouth County Park System
(TDD): (732) 219-9484 (The Monmouth
County Park System)