Round Valley Recreation Area, Lebanon

4.1
#33 of 86 in Wildlife in New Jersey
Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
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Office Hours:

November - March: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

April - October: Daily 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

History:

To meet the increasing demand for water and recreational facilities, the New Jersey Legislature enacted the 1958 Water Supply Law and its companion Water Bond Act. Through this legislation water was to be conserved and effectively managed. This resulted in the construction of Round Valley Reservoir and eventual completion of the recreation area, which was opened to the public in the spring of 1977. An earth dam was constructed across a narrow finger of water along the west side of the reservoir to form the swimming area, separating it from the main part of the reservoir. Therefore, the swimming area is not affected by the raising and lowering of the water in the reservoir.

The Round Valley Reservoir covers 2,350 acres and is more than 180 feet deep. It has a water capacity of 55 billion gallons. The 1,288 acre recreation area includes a swimming area, picnic facilities and wilderness campsites.

Round Valley has 85 wilderness campsites, located on the eastern end of the reservoir. They can only be reached by boat or by a 3-6 mile hike on the Cushetunk Trail. The Cushetunk Trail traverses the Cushetunk Mountain chain. The trail surface is rugged, rocky and steep in places which makes it more suitable for experienced hikers.

Round Valley has four trails; the Cushetunk Trail (red), which access the campsites, the Pine Tree Trail (green), the Family Hiking and Biking Trail (white) and the Water Trail (blue). All trails are accessed from the South Parking Lot and are open all year round.

Water clarity and rich aquatic life make Round Valley Reservoir one of the best freshwater lakes in NJ for scuba. All divers are required to register at Round Valley's office, have a dive buddy, inflatable vest and a dive flag. Diving is permitted from April 1 though October 31 depending upon water conditions. Scuba divers must be certified and are required to check-in prior to a dive, check-out after each dive and comply with diving hours.
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Round Valley Recreation Area reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
69 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • The trail we've taken the 2 times we've hiked here is a good challenge - "moderate" for sure. Walking sticks come in handy (and I don't normally use walking sticks). After a steady uphill climb... 
    The trail we've taken the 2 times we've hiked here is a good challenge - "moderate" for sure. Walking sticks come in handy (and I don't normally use walking sticks). After a steady uphill climb...  more »
  • Round Valley is very nice, has a lake for swimming. There are also areas for hiking. The area is clean and there are bathrooms and changing rooms and a concession stand. 
    Round Valley is very nice, has a lake for swimming. There are also areas for hiking. The area is clean and there are bathrooms and changing rooms and a concession stand.  more »
Google
  • We have been here quite a few times for Memorial Day bbq. It’s a very nice state park with beautiful picnic areas with grills. They also have a volley ball court on the sand and a nice beach with life guards. There is plenty of areas to walk around and play area for the kids too.
  • I always enjoy my visits to Round Valley Recreation Area. There are so many different things to do that I sometimes have a problem narrowing it down to what I want to do. On this visit I settled for a long walk along the beach area. Then I sat at the far end of the beach and listened to podcasts while I watched the birds. I recommend Round Valley Recreation Area. I hope you enjoy your visit there.

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