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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Local Swimmin' Holes Courtesy of Patch!

This article (c/o patch.com is an excellent list of local water activities for your family~ in and around Bergen County....

Swimming Holes, Fishing Holes and Boats, Big and Small

Here's your local guide to lakes, streams and rivers of recreation in and around Bergen County
I grew up without a swimming pool. I remember long, hot drives in an overcrowded station wagon down winding back roads to the Darlington Swim Club. Once I was older, my friends and I would race up Route 17 to hike up to "Unemployment Rock" in Mahwah. After climbing to the top lake, we felt we earned the right to take a dip even if the signs made it clear that swimming was forbidden. 
Though many lakes in Bergen County are either members only or "not for swimming," you can find fun aqua-activities nearby, if you navigate the waters correctly. Some public lakes allow fishing while others, like the Celery Farm in Allendale, just make for a great walk. If kayaking, canoeing and boating are more your style, read on. Here's a breakdown of some of the lakes, streams and waterways in and around Bergen County: 
Swimmers Welcome! Darlington County Park, 600 Darlington Ave., Mahwah, is open for swimming from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost is $4 weekday, $5 weekends for registered adult residents, $8 weekday, $10 weekend for non-Bergen County residents. 
Members-Only. From the exclusive Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes, to the municipal-owned Memorial Pool in Fair Lawn, there are plenty of members-only swimming holes around: Spring Lake in Wyckoff, Graydon Pool in Ridgewood, Brookside Racket and Swim Club in Allendale, Shadow Lake in Franklin Lakes and many others. 
Get Out of Town. Swimming holes abound outside of Bergen County. From more natural settings, like Swartswood Lake in Sussex County to Highlands Nature Pool in Ringwood and Waywayanda in Hewitt, to extreme fun at Tomahawk Lake and Water Park in Sparta and Mountain Creek in Vernon, there are plenty of recreational lakes within an hour (or so) drive.
Seven Lakes Drive. Just north of Bergen County, Harriman State Park's Seven Lakes Drive offers three swimming lakes: Lake Sebago Beach, Lake Tiorati Beach and Lake Welch Beach, which is the largest swimming beach in the park. Fishermen are also welcome, but a New York fishing license is required. 
Only Fish Can Swim. It may be tempting to jump in on a hot day, but swimming is strictly forbidden in these fishing holes: Ramapo ReservationFranklin Lakes Nature PreserveOradell Reservoir,Zabriskie Pond in Wyckoff and the many fishing spots along the Hudson
Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Small boats and kayaks are welcome at Overpeck Creek in Leonia, Schlegel Lake in Washington Township, Kenneth B. George Park in River Edge and along the Hackensack River
Gas The Boat and Go. When it comes to motorized boats, the options in this area are limited. Boaters can either take to the Hudson River, head west to Greenwood Lake or Lake Hopatcong or go south to the Jersey Shore.

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