Sink Your Teeth Into the Best Shark River Park Activities

Don’t let the name fool you — Shark River Park in Monmouth County, NJ, is not a scary place! In fact, it’s one of the best spots to bring the family for an afternoon of fun. Here, you can take in the fresh air and enjoy fishing, hiking, picnics, and more. Read on to find out what else the park has to offer and use our free Jersey Shore Vacation Guide to plan the rest of your vacation! 

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How to Spend a Day at Shark River Park

Shark River Park is comprised of 991 acres on either side of the Shark River. In the summer, the park’s waterways, forests, and ponds attract fisherman and hikers; in the winter months, cross-country skiers and ice skaters make their debut. The park opens daily at 7 a.m. and closes around dusk. It is free to enjoy all year long.

Before you head out, start your morning with a hearty breakfast at our inn. You’ll be fueled up and ready for an adventure! Then, take the easy, 15-minute drive on NJ-33 to Shark River Park for a change of scenery.


Park the car and embark on a refreshing hike. Shark River has 6 miles of multi-use trails for walking, running, biking, and horseback riding. Along the way, you’ll see plants and animals that belong to wetland and forest habitats. Trail options include:

  • Bridge Loop | 0.4 miles along the Shark River
  • Cedar Loop | 1.2 miles through the center of the park
  • Hidden Creek | 2-mile loop through forests of red maple and pine-oak
  • Pine Hills | 1.4-mile trail that explores the hills of the park
  • Rivers Edge | 1 mile of primitive and challenging terrain that follows the Shark River


Not into hiking? No worries. Set yourself up for a few hours of fishing on the park’s scenic pond. You’ll have the chance to catch largemouth bass, catfish, sunfish, yellow perch, shiners, and black crappie. The Shark River is also stocked seasonally with trout.

Note: A state fishing license is required for anglers over the age of 16.

After your fishing excursion, head to the Shelter Building for some family fun. Visitors can take advantage of shuffleboard and horseshoes, picnic tables, grills, and a playground for children. Shark River Park will even host large events and welcomes thousands of visitors each year.

Come Home to Ocean Grove, NJ

Family Rooms at the Ocean Plaza HotelSpending all day outdoors can leave everyone feeling sleepy! When the sun begins to set, make your way back to Ocean Grove. The Ocean Plaza Hotel and Ocean View Inn have everything you need to relax and unwind.

If you’re traveling with the kids, book one of our Family Rooms at the Ocean Plaza. These beautiful accommodations have a queen bed and twin bed (or two queen beds), upscale amenities, luxury linens and towels, and furnishings that provide comfort and convenience. Plus, breakfast and daily maid service are included with your stay.

Check our availability and book your room now! We look forward to having you.