Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey State Park Service

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Kittatinny Valley State Park Overview

Embracing the headwaters of the Pequest River, the park features four lakes, including the deepest natural lake in New Jersey - Lake Aeroflex.

Glacial lakes, limestone outcroppings, former railroads and a small airport are features of Kittatinny Valley State Park. Lake Aeroflex and Gardner’s Pond form part of the headwaters of the Pequest River and are excellent for fishing and boating. This scenic property is home to a variety of wildlife such as whitetail deer, wild turkey, a variety of songbirds, beaver, muskrats and squirrels.

Hiking, mountain biking, birding and horseback riding are popular activities. The four lakes offer fishing, boating and kayaking opportunities. 

The Paulinskill Valley Trail, Sussex Branch Trail, Great Valley Rail Trail, and Lehigh & Hudson River Rail Trail are former railroads that have been converted for use as multiple use trails. These railroads were critical to the development of Sussex County through the late 1800s and early 1900s.

History of Kittatinny Valley State Park Brochure


Trail Map

Hiking
Trails in the park vary in difficulty and terrain, from the gravel roads that are walked and biked by many to the uneven terrain enjoyed by hiking enthusiasts. All trails are multi-use, however motorized vehicles are not permitted on any park trails.

Four rail-trails are part of Kittatinny Valley State Park: the Paulinskill Valley Trail (27 miles), the Sussex Branch Trail (20 miles) the Great Valley Rail Trail (4 miles), and Lehigh & Hudson River Rail Trail (4 miles). The tracks have been removed from these former railroads, leaving a pleasant cinder bed path. Except at a few road crossings, the trails are level and offer easy access. Anyone interested in nature or railroad history will enjoy using these rail-trails. Click on the link below, or visit trailside kiosks for the Sussex Skylands trail map featuring the 15-mile rail-trail loop in Sussex County.

Additional trails can be found in the Mt. Paul section of Kittainny Valley State Park.

Cross-country Skiing
Single track trails and gravel roads are suitable for cross-country skiing and other winter sports. When snow is abundant, Kittatinny Valley State Park’s four rail trails provide excellent opportunities for skiing.

Horseback Riding
The wide cinder surface of the Kittatinny Valley State Park’s four rail trails is ideal for horseback riding.

Mountain Biking
With over 8 miles of rugged mountain bike trails available, Kittatinny Valley State Park is a favorite of many mountain bikers. The terrain is varied enough to be challenging to both novice and expert riders.

Snowshoeing
When snow is abundant, the trails around the visitor center, as well as the four rail trails, provide excellent opportunities for snowshoeing.

General Guide to the trails at Kittatinny Valley State Park

Kittatinny Valley State Park contains 4 lakes to provide fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding opportunities. Lake Aeroflex (119 Acres) is accessible by shoreline and by the boat launch ramp. Gardner’s Pond (39 Acres) may be reached on foot through the small plane parking area at Aeroflex-Andover Airport. Small boats may be transported by hand or small cart and launched from shore. Vehicular access is not available. Access for both lakes is from Limecrest Road in Andover Township.

Twin Lakes has a car-top boat launch and is also accessible by the shore. Parking area is located off Goodale Road in Andover Township. White's Pond is accessible from the Sussex Branch Trail or from Goodale Road. Shoreline fishing is available.

Alcohol is prohibited. Pets are prohibited in overnight facilities.

Group campsites: Four group campsites containing picnic tables, grill, fire ring, drinking water and composting toilets. Each campsite accommodates up to 21 people. Open April 1 to October 31. Fee: NJ Resident $42 per night; Non Resident $84 per night.

Fishing
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife introduced landlocked salmon to Lake Aeroflex to provide anglers with an opportunity to fish for this unique cold-water sport fish close to home. Only a handful of deep lakes in New Jersey have suitable year-round habitat for cold-water fish like trout and salmon. Lake Wawayanda in Wawayanda State Park also received the landlocked salmon.

Lake Aeroflex is accessible by shoreline and by the boat launch ramp. Gardner’s Pond may be reached on foot through the small plane parking area at Aeroflex-Andover Airport. Small boats may be transported by hand or small cart and launched from shore. Vehicular access is not available. Access for both lakes is from Limecrest Road in Andover Township.

Twin Lakes is located off of Goodale Road in Andover Township. Anglers may access the lake by the car-top boat launch or from the shoreline.

White’s Pond is reachable from the Sussex Branch Trail or from Goodale Road and is open for shoreline fishing only. Six bridge crossings of the Paulinskill River provide scenic views of the river and some fishing access.

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (link is external) stocks Lake Aeroflex annually with brown and rainbow trout. The lake is designated a “holdover trout lake.”

Hunting
Hunting is permitted within Kittatinny Valley State Park, however hunting is not permitted on or from any rail trail. The core area of the park, west of Limecrest Road and east of Goodale road, has limited area to bow hunt for deer only.

View the Kittatinny Valley State Park hunting map.

Ice Fishing
Lake Aeroflex, Gardner’s Pond, White’s Pond and Twin Lakes are open for ice-fishing during the winter as conditions allow.

The park offers a variety of interpretive and educational programs for all ages. Nature hikes, bike rides and evening talks are conducted by the park naturalist year-round. Over 100 programs are presented at the visitor center and on the trails each year. For a current list of upcoming programs, please visit our Facebook page. To register for a program, please call 973-786-6445.

Bursting with vibrant colors, Kittatinny Valley State Park is home to a butterfly and hummingbird garden named as a recipient of the Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension of Sussex County - State Award for Excellence. The park naturalist planned and created the garden as a living interpretive display for the public to enjoy opportunities for nature study, photography, and quiet reflection. With help from volunteers, the area was cleared and planted with a variety of native perennials, such as milkweed, asters, and bee balm, to provide a range of food and nectar sources for the caterpillar and adult stages of our native butterflies, as well as ruby-throated hummingbirds and other native pollinators. With this unique garden, visitors will have the opportunity to become more aware of the importance of preserving natural habitat.

To encourage and promote literacy and a love of reading in children and adults, in September 2015, Kittatinny Valley State Park installed the first Little Free Library registered in the Skylands Region, as well as within the NJ State Park Service. This ADA-accessible free book exchange operates under the motto "Take a Book, Leave a Book," and joins countless others worldwide (littlefreelibrary.org). Park staff purchased the library utilizing funds from a grant provided by the Aeroflex Foundation in the name of the Hussey family who once called this place their home. The books offered inside it are thanks to donations by our local community and caring visitors like you. The library is open from sunrise to sunset. Discover What You've Been Missing...READ!

The airport located within the boundaries of Kittatinny Valley State Park is owned by the State of New Jersey and operated by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Airplane watching is a popular pastime. During fire seasons, the airport serves as an air attack base to facilitate aerial attacks on forest fires using helicopters and commercial spray planes for water drops on forest fires. Aeroflex-Andover Airport is operated by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service as a general aviation airport and as a base for aerial forest fire suppression. 973-786-5100.

Please be aware that in order to comply with the NJDOT, Division of Aeronautics regulations at the Aeroflex-Andover Airport and to enhance the safety of visitors to Kittatinny Valley State Park, gates have been installed at the north end of the airport. Visitors are not permitted to cross the runway along the southern shore of Lake Aeroflex. The gates are closed to all pedestrians, cyclists and horseback riders. Visitors may still enjoy the use of the Lake Aeroflex boat ramp and the adjacent picnic area via the Limecrest Road entrance. The park’s trails, office and other facilities are accessible via the main park entrance on Goodale Road. Call the park office with any questions at 973-786-6445.

The Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee (PVTC) is the Officially Recognized Friends Group of the Kittatinny Valley State Park. They are a not-for-profit 501c(3) organization of volunteers dedicated to promoting the public interest, appreciation and conservation of the Paulinskill Valley rail trail.

The recreational facilities at Kittatinny Valley State Park are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please 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.

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. Whatever you carry into the park, plan on carrying it out too. It’s like crowdsourcing trash management! Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles in this park. Thank you!

Swimming
No swimming.

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.

Be Bear Aware
Black bears are found throughout New Jersey. Do not approach or attract bears by making food available. Feeding bears is dangerous and illegal. Never run from a bear! To report an aggressive bear, call 1-877-WARN-DEP (1-877-927-6337) immediately. Please report any damage or nuisance behavior to the park office. Visit the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife at www.njfishandwildlife.com for additional information on bear safety.

Photo Gallery

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Related Links

Rails to Trails Conservancy
Trail Links
NJ Forest Fire Service

Park Map

Area Map

General

Phone Number
973-786-6445

Address
199 Goodale Rd.,
Newton, NJ 07860

Email Address
Joshua.Osowski@dep.nj.gov

Park Hours

Gate Open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Park Office Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Park Fees

Entrance Fee None

Other Related Fees
Map / Directions

GPS Coordinates
41.018282, -74.736768