Round Valley Recreation Area

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Round Valley Recreation Area, New York City Overview

The campsite and brisk blue waters of Round Valley Reservoir have been known to attract campers, swimmers, boaters, fishermen, and picnickers to its exquisite shore. The reservoir is as big as 2,000 plus acres of swimming area that was made by the construction of a dam that stretches across a narrow waterway that is on the west side of the reservoir, it separates it from the main part of the reservoir which enables people to swim. The reservoir is roughly 180 feet deep and it is the deepest lake in New Jersey. The reservoir is also filled with lake trout.

The campsite also offers hunting for waterfowl only, boating/canoeing, swimming, bathhouse, scuba and skin diving, hiking, horseback riding, trailer & cartop launch, mountain biking, picnic areas, playground, food concession. It also offers cross-country skiing and sledding in the winter.

Swimming is permitted at Round Valley while lifeguards are on duty in the Day-use Area only from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 AM to 6 PM. Campers are not allowed to swim in the main reservoir. The beach building contains changing areas, restrooms, showers, concessions with food and beach supplies as well as a first-aid station.

The reservoir offers around 85 wilderness family campsites and wilderness tent sites with fire rings to avoid flies, clean drinking water, and pit toilets as restrooms which are within walking distance from all the trails. Some of the campsites can be accessed by boat, canoe, or backpacking. There 3-6 mile hikes from the parking lot and from most facilities including the swimming area. Each family campsite accommodates up to six people. It is open from April 1 – Oct. 31.

The campsite has three marked trails at Round Valley: the Pine Tree Trail and the Family Hiking and Biking Trail, the Cushetunk Trail, which accesses the campsites. All trails start from the South Parking Lot entry within the Day-use Area. The trails are open all year-round. It is advised that campers should plan their trail activities so that they can be out of the park by the time they close and are expected to stay on the path. Campers are requested not to wander off as it causes erosion, damage to vegetation, and may in some areas of the trail result in trespassing onto private parts of the reserve. Campers are not allowed to start their own fires along the trails. Pets are allowed but must be leashed at all times, and owners are responsible for picking up the droppings of their pets. Drinking water is available all along the campground.

The 3 miles lower service road and the 9-mile Cushetunk Trail are known as multi-use trails that pass through open and heavily wooded areas. The Cushetunk trail surface is rugged, rocky, and is very steep in places which makes it a more suitable trail for experienced hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. The users must follow the same trail back as it ends at the Water Supply Authority's Restricted Area.

The Pine Tree Trail is around a 1-mile loop and the Family Hiking and Biking Trail is a 1/2 mile loop. They both pass through pinewoods and are ideal for young children, birdwatchers, and the elderly as it covers a short distance. The Pine Tree Trail connects the regular day to day use area with the Division of Fish and Wildlife property.

There is another fourth unmarked water trail that is approximately 1 1/2 miles. Campers can access it from the campers boating launch area.
There are no trails that take campers around the reservoir. Be careful of the park hours, tourists may plan their hiking or biking trip in accordance with the timings. 

Must Know Before You Visit Round Valley Recreation Area

Timings : April - October: Daily 8 AM. to 4:30 PM.

Entry Fee : Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

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