The brisk blue waters of Round Valley Reservoir attract swimmers, boaters, fishermen, picnickers and campers to its scenic shore.
The Round Valley Reservoir swimming area was created by the construction of an earth dam across a narrow waterway on the west side of the reservoir, separating it from the main part of the reservoir. The reservoir covers about 2,350 acres and is approximately 180 feet deep, the second deepest lake in New Jersey. It has a water capacity of 55 billion gallons. The reservoir is stocked with lake trout.
Round Valley is the only state park that offers wilderness camping. The campsites on the eastern side of the reservoir are accessible only by hiking or boating. The campers' parking lot is three miles away from the nearest site, reachable by a steep and rugged trail. Cross-country skiers and sledding enthusiasts congregate at Round Valley in the winter months.
Round Valley Reservoir covers 2,350 acres and is approximately 180 feet deep. It has a water capacity of 55 billion gallons. The reservoir was formed in 1960 by the New Jersey Water Authority by constructing two large dams and flooding the large valley. The deep valley was caused by erosion of the soft sedimentary rock. Questions about the construction that you are observing around the reservoir? Find more information about the Round Valley Reservoir Project here.
The Cushetunk Mountain, lying on a bed of igneous rock in Round Valley at the east end of the lake rises 500 feet above the shoreline and 834 feet above sea level. The Lenape called the mountain "Cushetunk" meaning "place of hogs" after the wild hogs found there.
Round Valley has four marked trails; the Cushetunk Trail, Pine Tree Trail, Family Hike and Bike Trail and Water Trail. All trails are accessed from the south parking lot and are open year-round. The Cushetunk Trail surface is rugged, rocky, and steep in places which makes it more suitable for experienced hikers. Users must follow the same trail back since it has no outlet.
Horseback riding is permitted on the Cushetunk Trail and the three-mile campground trail.
Mountain biking is permitted on the Family Hike and Bike Trail, Cushetunk Trail and the three-mile campground trail.
There are four marked trails at Round Valley: the Cushetunk Trail, which accesses the campsites, is a 8.35 mile trail that traverses the Cushetunk Mountain chain and passes through both open and heavily wood areas. The trail surface is rugged, rocky and steep in places. The Pine Tree Trail and the Family Hiking and Biking Trail are both loops approximately one mile long. The trails pass through pinewood and are ideal for young children, birdwatchers and seniors. Biking is not allowed on the Pine Tree Trail. The Water Trail does not loop, but you may connect to the Pine Tree Trail at the end by going up the hill left of the gate at the impoundment dike. This trail is approximately a two mile hike roundtrip. All trails are accessed from the South Parking Lot within the day use area. Trails are opened year-round. Visitors should plan their trail activities to be out of the park by closing and are reminded to stay on the path. Wandering off causes erosion, damage to vegetation and may, in some areas, result in trespassing onto private property. Fires are not permitted along the trails. Pets must be leashed at all times, and owners are responsible for picking up after their pets. Drinking water is available along the lower service road located in the campground. There are no trails that completely circle the reservoir.
Swimming is permitted at Round Valley from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. while lifeguards are on duty. Swimming is not permitted in the main reservoir. Visitors will find a beach complex containing changing areas, restrooms, showers, a first-aid station and a concession building where food and beach supplies are available for purchase. Please call ahead for concession hours of operation. Grilling is prohibited along the beachfront. There are two playgrounds and volleyball nets on the beachfront. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Boating is not permitted within the swimming impound. Pets are prohibited on the sandy beach.
Park Advisory: Campers drinking water is available near site 8 and 78. All other wells and spigots are closed.
Park Advisory: Due to variable water levels at Round Valley Reservoir, larger boats may experience difficulty accessing the wilderness campsites. Please plan accordingly. Learn more about Round Valley Reservoir water levels from the New Jersey Water Supply Authority: http://www.njwsa.org/raritan-operations-data.html
Online reservations can be made at www.camping.nj.gov(link is external).
Alcohol is prohibited
Campers must check-in at the park office by 4:00 p.m.
Pet Friendly Campsites. Every campsite at Round Valley is a Pet friendly site. Current license and inoculation paperwork is required and an additional cost applies.
There are 77 family wilderness campsites at the eastern end of the reservoir. Each family site accommodates up to 6 people and are open April 1 to October 31.
Each site is in a secluded clearing in the woods and contains a fire ring with grill. Drinking water is not always available so we encourage campers to bring in water. The restrooms are primitive, and showers are not available. Drinking water, when available and pit toilets are within walking distance. The sites are only accessible by hiking or mountain biking three to six miles or boating across the reservoir. The trail leading to the campsites is very steep, rocky, and windy in some areas. These sites are not recommended for very small children or the elderly. Campers boating to their campsites need to be aware of the wind warning system. This system is activated when winds reach a sustained speed of 25 mph. There are four strobe lights; one at each dam, one at the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife public boat launch, and one at the middle of the campgrounds. If any one of the four strobe lights turn on, boating is prohibited.
There are 8 group campsites located in a secluded clearing at the eastern end of the reservoir. Each group site accommodates up to 25 people and are open April 1 through October 31.
Each site contains a fire ring with a grill. Drinking water is not always available so we encourage campers to bring in water. The restrooms are primitive, and showers are not available. Drinking water when available and pit toilets are within walking distance. The sites are only accessible by hiking or mountain biking three to three and a half miles or boating across the reservoir. The trail leading to the campsites is very steep, rocky and windy in some areas. These sites are not recommended for very small children or the elderly. Campers boating to their campsites need to be aware of the wind warning system. This system is activated when winds reach a sustained speed of 25 mph. There are four strobe lights; one at each dam, one at the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife public boat launch, and one at the middle of the campgrounds. If any one of the four strobe lights turn on, boating is prohibited.
A boat launch administered by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife is located north of the day use area. Launching is permitted with the ownership of a current fishing license, hunting license, trapping license or boat launch maintenance permit. Please contact the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife at 908-735-8793 for further information. The launch located within Round Valley is only for registered campers boating to their campsite. Round Valley has white, flashing wind warning lights on the north dam, south dam, public boat launch and at the center of the campgrounds. The lights flash when the sustained wind speed on the reservoir reaches 25 miles per hour at which time all boaters must clear the reservoir or beach at the nearest shoreline. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, boaters should read the sign posted at the boat launch. A Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) is required for each person on board a watercraft. Boaters in vessels under 14 feet or in a canoe, kayak, inflatable boat or sailboard must wear their PFD. No motor greater than 10 horsepower may be utilized on the reservoir.
The Park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year. Contact the park office for a schedule of programs and to register. Program fees may apply.
There are three picnic areas within the recreation area; two (East and North) are located on tree-shaded grassy spots at each end of the beach and the third (West) is on a hill overlooking the reservoir and park. Each picnic area has tables and grills, restrooms and a playground.
Cross-country skiers can utilize the trails and slopes throughout the park.
When weather conditions permit, visitors may ice boat on the reservoir.
Ice fishing is permitted on the reservoir and swimming impound. Fishing is subject to New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations(link is external).
There is a sledding hill located near the park office.
Water clarity and rich aquatic life make Round Valley Reservoir one of the best freshwater lakes in New Jersey for scuba and skin diving. All divers are required to register at the office, have a dive buddy, inflatable vest and a dive flag. Diving is permitted from April 1 through October 31 depending upon water conditions. Scuba divers must be certified. Divers are required to check-in prior to a dive, check-out after each dive and comply with diving hours. In April, May and October Scuba and Skin Diving hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and from Memorial Day to September 30, the hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A Special Use Permit is utilized to accommodate a specific activity or event being conducted over a short duration. There are two types of special use permits: Non-Commercial and Commercial and fees are based on NJ residency. A completed application must be submitted to the park/forest area where the activity or event is being held at least 90 days prior to the event. If the special use or event is extremely large or complex, at least one-year’s prior notice is recommended. Please contact the main park office for more information.
Access & Restrictions
Round Valley Recreation Area recreational facilities are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office at 908-236-6355 for further information regarding disability access needs. 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)]
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)]
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 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 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.
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.
1220 Lebanon-Stanton Road
Lebanon, NJ 08833-3115
1220 Lebanon-Stanton Road
Lebanon, NJ 08833-3115
Gate 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Park Office 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.