It has been quite some time since I have vacationed in New Jersey, and I am anticipating a return this summer. My family and I love to camp during the summer months, and this summer a weekend camping trip to New Jersey is a part of our plans. Both of my boys enjoy the outdoors, hiking and camping. My younger son, who is only five years old, is already displaying the signs of a budding naturalist. He can easily spend five to ten minutes studying a ladybug in the grass, picking it up and letting it run over his hand and arm. When we leave for school in the morning, I find him bent over studying snails on the sidewalk. About a week ago, he was bitten by a garter snake when he disturbed it and touched its head. With that interest in nature, I thought a wonderful place to visit would be the Monmouth Battlefield State Park in central New Jersey. Monmouth Battlefield has some great trails to hike along with a wonderful nature program featuring a number of birds of prey. My boys would really enjoy that. There are several campgrounds nearby where we could camp, and if we are fortunate enough to be able to hit the right weekend in June, we may also be able to enjoy the annual reenactment of the historic Monmouth Battle.
After visiting Monmouth, I would love to spend some time in Allaire State Park. Having two rivers that pass through it, Alllaire would provide a good place to take the boys fishing. In addition to the fishing at Allaire, there are also great hiking trails we can enjoy. Matthew and Everett will really enjoy exploring the trails. Finally, my plans are to finish our outdoor vacation in the solitude of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, watching the turtles and listening to the birds and frogs. On the return trip, I plan to avail myself of some of Jersey's famous fresh produce.