Lake Hopatcong

Steeped in Native American history, the area surrounding Lake Hopatcong is a must-visit for nature lovers. The lake itself, the largest in the state, is a recreational haven all year long.

Lake Hopatcong was created in the 1860s to feed the Morris Canal – the main route for freight transportation in the days before the railroads were built. Today, it remains New Jersey's largest freshwater lake (2,500 acres) and a year-round hotspot for boating, sailing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, water sports, and more.

Located just 30 miles from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and 50 miles from New York City via I-80, the lake's shoreline is home to public beaches, a large selection of marinas, and some of the state’s only waterfront restaurants with boat access. Rent a boat (and maybe some water skis!) from one of the nearby marinas and launch from the ramp at Hopatcong State Park. Don’t forget your rod and reel – the lake is stocked with trout, bass, perch, catfish, and more. Back on shore, you can explore the park, which offers picnic areas, hiking and biking trails, a soccer field, volleyball and basketball courts, and two playgrounds.

Make an appointment to visit the Hopatcong Historical Museum to uncover the lake's storied history, including its heyday as a magnet for the rich and famous in the early 20th century and the beloved wooden roller coaster at Bertrand Island Park. 

If you’re visiting in the summer, you don’t want to miss the annual Antique and Classic Boat Show (June) and the Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza hosted by the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club.

Outdoor lovers will enjoy the nearby Mahlon Dickerson Reservation. Operated by the Morris County Park System, the park includes more than 3,500 acres with hiking trails, tent sites, and Adirondack shelters with picnic tables and fire rings, as well as paved sites with seasonal electric hookups for camper trailers. For an easy access point to the Lake Hopatcong Trail, check out the Roland May Eves Mountain Inlet Sanctuary. Located on an inlet on the northwest corner of Lake Hopatcong, the sanctuary offers a quiet retreat to take in the native flora and fauna.