Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey State Park Service

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SWIMMING ADVISORY: The park's swimming beach is now staffed with lifeguards. For days and hours of operation please visit our swimming schedule page.

Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty.

PARK ADVISORY: Island Beach State Park's Annual Mobile Sport Fishing Vehicle Permit has SOLD OUT FOR 2021!

We thank you for your patience during the transition to online ordering.

3 Day Permits from Island Beach State Park are not available Memorial Day weekend through September 30. They will once again be available on October 1, 2021. Please contact the Island Beach State Park Office directly to inquire: 732-793-0506

Island Beach State Park Overview

Shaped by storms and tides, this narrow barrier island stretches for 10 miles between the restless Atlantic Ocean and the historic Barnegat Bay.

Miles of sand dunes and white sandy beaches offer habitat to maritime plants and diverse wildlife that is almost the same as it was thousands of years ago. Island Beach State Park contains outstanding examples of plant communities such as primary dunes, thicket, freshwater wetlands, maritime forest and tidal marshes. The state's largest osprey colony, as well as peregrine falcons, wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl and migrating songbirds are found here. Island Beach is nationally known as a unique resource with over 400 plants identified, including the largest expanses of beach heather in New Jersey.

Island Beach State Park is one of New Jersey's last significant remnants of a barrier island ecosystem that once existed along much of the coast and is also one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic coast. Over 3,000 acres and 10 miles of coastal dunes remain almost untouched since Henry Hudson first described New Jersey's coast from the ship, the Half Moon, in 1609.

Beach
Approximately one mile of beach designated for ocean swimming is located in the central portion of the park. During the period from mid-June through Labor Day, the swimming beach is staffed with lifeguards who are trained in ocean lifesaving and first aid techniques. Nearby are parking areas and bathhouse pavilions with changing areas, first aid stations and concessions.

Swimming
Approximately one mile of ocean beach is designated for swimming and is located in the recreation area, known as Swimming Area 1 and 2. During the period from mid-June through Labor Day, this swimming beach is staffed with lifeguards who are trained in ocean lifesaving and first aid techniques. Nearby are parking areas and bathhouse pavilions with changing areas, first aid stations and concessions. Swimming is only allowed in designated areas when lifeguards are on duty.

  • During electrical storms the beach will be cleared and reopened when conditions allow.
  • Single, open pop-up type canopies are allowed in the designated area at the back of the beach.
  • Multiple canopies are not allowed. Tethers for the canopy are not allowed.
  • The use of floatation devices, such as arm swimmies and life jackets, are not approved for use in the Ocean Swimming Areas.
  • Boogie boards with a leash and without skegs are allowed in designated areas only.
  • Depending on circumstances, activities may be restricted at any time.
  • NJ State Parks are smoke free. You may smoke in your personal vehicle only.

Surfing
Island Beach State Park offers opportunities for surfing during the summer months. Surfing is allowed south of the swimming beaches.

Winfsurfing
Visitors may windsurf in the marked areas of the ocean beach at the extreme southern end of the designated swimming area.

Crabbing
Island Beach State Park is well known by New Jersey's saltwater anglers. Bait and fishing information may be obtained at local tackle dealers before entering the park.

Underwater fishing is permitted along 2.5 miles of ocean beach just north of Barnegat Inlet.

Access to fishing in the park is open 24 hours a day.

Note: A Mobile Sport Fishing Vehicle permit is required to operate 4-wheel drive vehicles on the fishing beaches. No vehicles are allowed North of the Gillikins access area.

Hunting
Water Fowl hunting is permitted below mean-high water and in Sedge Islands area only and is subject to the regulations of the Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations(link is external).

Fishing
Island Beach State Park is well known by New Jersey's saltwater anglers for excellent surf fishing for striped bass and bluefish. Other species include summer flounder and weakfish. During the appropriate season, fishing for tautog along the north jetty of Barnegat Inlet is especially rewarding. Bait and fishing information may be obtained at local tackle dealers before entering the park.

Saltwater fishing is permitted along the ocean beach except for designated swimming areas. All anglers 16 and older must register for the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. This registry is free. Visit New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife for more information and to register. Access to fishing in the park is open 24 hours a day.

The Fisherman's Walkway is a boardwalk that provides access to both the ocean and bay and is located at parking area 7.

Note: A Mobile Sport Fishing Vehicle permit is required to operate 4-wheel drive vehicles on the fishing beaches. No vehicles are allowed North of the Gilikins entrance.

Island Beach State Park – Annual Mobile Sport Fishing Vehicle Permit has SOLD OUT FOR 2021!

We thank you for your patience during the transition to online ordering.

Mobile Sport Fishing Vehicle Permits grant the permit holder’s 4x4 vehicle access to drive on to the beaches at Island Beach State Park for the sole purpose of fishing.

Island Beach State Park – Annual Pass – NJ Resident $195 / Non-NJ $225

Note: All permit purchases, online or through traditional methods, have an additional $5 transaction fee. This new online system will ensure faster permit processing, and added convenience for the surf fishing community.

Purchase your permit today: https://yourpassnow.com/ParkPass/nj

We look forward to better serving the surf fishing community with this new service.

3 Day Permits from Island Beach State Park are not available online at this time. Please contact the Island Beach State Park Office directly to inquire: 732-793-0506

Island Beach State Park is well known by New Jersey's saltwater anglers for excellent surf fishing for striped bass and bluefish. Other species include summer flounder and weakfish. During the appropriate season, fishing for tautog along the north jetty of Barnegat Inlet is especially rewarding. Bait and fishing information may be obtained at local tackle dealers before entering the park. Saltwater fishing is subject to New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and State Park Service regulations. Information regarding saltwater fishing regulations can be found in the Fish and Wildlife Digest, which is available at local tackle dealers.

Disabled Veteran permit applications must be mailed in or dropped off at the gate with the following documentation, please call the office for any questions:

  • Valid Driver’s license
  • Vehicle Registration (vehicle must be registered to the Veteran)
  • DD-214 showing honorable discharge
  • Documentation showing a service-connected disability

3-Day Mobile Sport Fishing Vehicle Permits will be available until May 25, 2021 and then again on October 1, 2021. The procedure for obtaining a permit has been updated due to COVID-19 as follows:

  • An application for 3-Day permits is available online. The permit is for 3 consecutive days only. The application is valid for 1 (one) 3-day permit. If you wish to purchase multiple 3-day permits, you must complete an application for each 3-day period.
  • The permit application, with requested dates and fee should be mailed to IBSP. Alternatively, you may bring your application to the office Thursdays through Sundays from 10am – 4pm.
  • All permits will be available for pick-up at the gate on the date they begin.

3-Day Mobile Sportfishing Permit Application

New Jersey Resident $75.00

Non-Resident $90.00

3-Day Permit

New Jersey Resident $195.00

Non-Resident $225.00

A non-refundable service fee of $5.00 will be charged to the customer for each annual permit.

Annual Permit
Replacement Fee $25.00 Annual Permit

Issued decal should be treated as cash. It will not be replaced if lost or stolen.
The SPS will continue to offer a replacement decal for $25, only upon presentation of paid receipt and the old decal, regardless of the condition.

The MSFV Permit:

  • Will be issued only to the registered owner of the vehicle – the name on the license and registration must be the same.
  • Leased vehicles must bring their lease paperwork.
  • Company owned vehicles must show proof of ownership. A business card will be accepted, as long as it states “owner” or “president.”
  • All documents must have a current, valid date.

MANDATORY EQUIPMENT FOR A MOBILE SPORTFISHING VEHICLE (MSFV)
Permits are issued to 4-wheel drive vehicle owners for fishing purposes only. Carrying the basic equipment listed is required whenever the MSFV is on the beach.

  1. Fishing equipment and bait and tackle for each person over 12 years of age;
  2. Tire gauge;
  3. Spare tire;
  4. Workable jack and board/support for jack in sand (3/4 in. x 12 x 12 in. plywood square minimum size)
  5. Tow chain or snatch line;
  6. Shovel;
  7. Flashlight;
  8. Fire extinguisher;
  9. Auto first aid kit;
  10. Litter/trash bag;
  11. Minimum of 1/4 tank of fuel.

A current tide chart is highly recommended. Jumper cables for the vehicle's specific battery type are also recommended.


Trail Map

Biking
There is an eight-mile main road at Island Beach State Park with limited shoulder area for biking.

Hiking
Island Beach State Park has a total of 8 trails, each under one mile. Trails lead to different parts of the islands beach or bay. Visitors may also choose to explore the ten miles of pure white sand beaches.

Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is permitted at Island Beach State Park from October 1 through April 30. There are six miles of ocean beach in the southern and central portions of the park available for equestrian use and a parking area is designated for horse trailers during this time period. Prior reservations are required. No commercial use.

Trail Map

General Guide to the trails at Island Beach State Park

Education Programs
Numerous educational programs for visitors are offered at the Forked River Interpretive and Nature Center located 7 miles into the park. Visit islandbeachnatureprograms.org or call 732-793-1315 for more information.

Interpretive and Nature Centers
Island Beach State Park’s natural sand dune formations and relatively undisturbed vegetation create a unique outdoors experience to study a barrier island ecosystem. School groups that are interested in visiting the Park for self-guided tours must make advance reservations.

During summer months, guided kayak tours take participants through the Sedge Islands where they can observe a wide variety of wildlife, including nesting ospreys, falcons and wading birds. Canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards (SUP) can be launched at bay side Area 15 and Area 21 only. There is no oceanside canoeing, kayaking or paddleboarding.

Together, these two natural areas encompass one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches in the northeast United States. Rolling sand dunes, salt-sculptured vegetation, lush green salt marshes and nine plant communities including a nationally significant maritime forest characterize Island Beach. The federally threatened piping plover is an occasional inhabitant of the open beaches and dunes. Access to portions of the Northern Natural Area is restricted.

The Sedge Islands Marine Conservation Zone contains approximately 1,600 acres of highly productive tidal marshes, creeks, ponds and open water. The purpose of the Conservation Zone is to protect and interpret the wildlife resources while reducing user conflicts and maintaining the traditional uses of the area. Visitors can access the area by canoe and kayak, and tours are offered by Park's interpretive staff.

For further information, please contact islandbeachnatureprograms.org 732-793-1315.

The Emily DeCamp Herbarium is a collection of approximately 400 plants that have been classified and preserved, giving the public an opportunity to learn about the nine plant communities at Island Beach State Park. One of the main attractions of this herbarium is that the visiting public and scientists are able to handle and examine individual plants. Plants have been placed in a protective mount that also gives historical and factual information about the plant. The herbarium is kept at the Forked River Interpretive Center.

Barnegat Bay, on the west (bayside) of the island, is a nutrient-rich feeding ground for birds, as well as other wildlife. Visitors can observe a variety of wildlife, including New Jersey’s largest osprey colony, via guided canoe and kayak tours through the Sedge Islands. Bird observation blinds also allow visitors the opportunity to view the wildlife in this very important habitat.

Access for Persons with Disabilities
Island Beach State Park facilities are partially accessible for people with disabilities. The Fisherman's Walkway is a boardwalk that provides access to both the ocean and bay at parking Area 7. Beach wheelchairs for the ocean swimming area, and beach wheelchairs that have been specialty fitted for surf fishing are available at the pavilions during the swimming season and at the park office during the remainder of the year. Contact the park office for further information regarding disability access. Text telephone (TTY) users, call the NJ Relay & CapTel Service at 711 or 1-800-852-7897 for English or 1-866-658-7714 for Spanish.

Fires


A small fire is allowed on the beach from parking area A2 south and must be at least 50’ east of the dunes. Fire shall not be left unattended or permitted to cause damage to State Park Service facilities or areas. Fire shall be extinguished before users leave the area, and the hole filled in. There are no fires allowed from the northern park property boundary through the swim areas, no fires allowed in the Gillikin’s fishing area.

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Recreational use of ATVs is not permitted on NJ State Park Service property. This includes state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. Thank you for your help in protecting New Jersey’s natural and historic resources. [N.J.A.C. 7:2-3.4(d)]

Smoking
State law prohibits the smoking of tobacco and use of electronic smoking (vaping) devices in all state parks, forests, historic sites, recreation areas, golf courses and marinas. [N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)]

Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6 ]

Keep Your Park Clean and Green
Protect plants and animals and care for your parks by taking your trash with you or please in the dumpsters provided. Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are dumpsters located in the swimming area parking lots, parking areas 6/7 and 23. Thank you!

Swimming
Swimming is permitted, while lifeguards are on duty, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. The beach area includes changing rooms, restrooms, showers, a first-aid station and a concession building where food and beach supplies may be purchased. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets are allowed.

Pets
Pets must always be on a leash no longer than six feet in length and under the control of the owner. Please clean up after your pets.

Tick Protection
Use insect repellent, wear light-colored clothing, tuck pants into socks, stay on trails, check yourself when you get home, shower and wash clothes immediately.

Photo Gallery

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Related Links

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
The Friends of Island Beach State Park
The Friends of the Judge’s Shack
New Jersey Beach Buggy Association
Weather Station at Swimming Area 1

Live Camera Feeds

Beach Cam at Swimming Area 1
Pete McLain Osprey Cam

Park Map

Area Map

General

Phone Number
732-793-0506

Physical Address
2401 Central Ave.
Seaside Park, NJ 08752

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 37
Seaside Park, NJ 08752

Email Address
IslandBeach@dep.nj.gov

Park Hours

Gate Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Weekends and Holidays 7a.m. to 8 p.m.

Park Office Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Park Fees

NJ Resident

Non-Resident

$ 6.00

$ 12.00

weekdays

$10.00

$20.00

weekends/holidays

N/A

N/A

walk-in/bicycle

$ 5.00

$ 7.00

motorcycle

$ 3.00

$ 3.00

Walk-in at Fisherman's Walkway

Entrance fee the day after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day is $5/NJ Resident and $10/Non-Resident.

Oversize vehicles are not permitted entry on weekends and Holidays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Oversized vehicles may not be allowed during the week when there is not available parking from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Other Related Fees

Map / Directions

GPS Coordinates
39.905278, -74.081444