Surrounded by the rolling hills of Hunterdon County, Spruce Run Recreation Area is popular for picnicking, camping, swimming, boating, fishing and many year-round outdoor experiences.
Spruce Run Reservoir was one of the first water supply facilities to be constructed and operated by the state. Encompassing 1,290 acres of water surface with 15 miles of shoreline for recreation Spruce Run is the third largest reservoir in the state after Round Valley and Wanaque reservoirs
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 as a natural resource. This resulted in the construction of the Spruce Run Reservoir and the following development and dedication of Spruce Run Recreation Area in 1973.
The park grounds and sidewalks are excellent areas for biking and Picnic Area 4 has a closed-to-vehicles parking lot that is the perfect place for learning how to ride a bike.
Spruce Run Trails
The Highlands Trail extends over 150 miles from Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River in New York, south to Riegelsville on the Delaware River in New Jersey. A 2.6 mile section of the Hunterdon Highlands Trail at Spruce Run takes hikers along an earthen footpath through a maple forest and a pine forest, then along park roads and sidewalks around the water’s edge before exiting onto New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife property.
Warren Highlands Trail
Spruce Run Recreation Area administers park properties in several Warren County townships such as Harmony Township and Lopatcong Township. These properties include a blend of forests and leased farm fields, many of which are open to through-hiking on the Warren Highlands Trail and to hunting unless posted otherwise. All hunters must adhere to the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife rules and regulations.
The Warren Highlands Trail is a branch of the Highlands Trail that begins in Allamuchy State Park and ends at the bridge between Phillipsburg and Easton, Pennsylvania. A 16 mile-long section of the Warren Highlands Trail (WHT) passes through a network of State, County, Township, and Non-profit Park properties; beginning at the intersection of Fiddler's Elbow & Harmony Brass Castle Road and ending within Marble Hill Nature Preserve. Hikers are encouraged to print-out their own copy of the WHT map, linked below. Please stay on the trail to preserve the health of the forest ecosystem and to limit damage to the farmer's crops.
For sections of the trail, as it passes through the Merrill Creek Reservoir, please be advised that MCR is PRIVATE PROPERTY and only allows for pedestrian traffic on the trails. All MCR rules & regulations must be followed, including MCR opening & closing times, at this section of the Warren Highlands Trail. For MCR rules & regulations please see: https://merrillcreek.com/
Warren Highlands Trail Map: Overview
Warren Highlands Trail Map #1: Ragged Ridge
Warren Highlands Trail Map #2: Ragged Ridge - Van Nest Hoff Vannatta Farmstead
Warren Highlands Trail Map #3: Van Nest Hoff Vannatta Farmstead - Merrill Creek
Warren Highlands Trail Map #4: Merrill Creek - Fox Farm
Warren Highlands Trail Map #5: Fox Farm - Warren County Farmer's Fair Fields
Warren Highlands Trail Map #6: Hengst Farm - Marble Hill Nature Preserve
Our campground is open from April 1st through October 31st for family camping with a limit of six persons per campsite — no group campsites are available at Spruce Run. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table, a fire ring with an attached grill and a parking spot for two vehicles. Modern restrooms with showers are located on both sides of the campground and the campground is equipped with a sanitary dump station. Firewood is available for purchase at the park office.
All advanced camping reservations must be made online at camping.nj.gov. Same-day reservations can be made online until 2:00pm. Walk-in reservations are accepted if space is available; call the park office or check the campground's "availability view" tab online the morning of your intended arrival to confirm campsite availability.
Pets and alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the campground.
Tent and/or Trailer
NJ Resident: $20/night
plus a $5 transaction fee
Picnic table, fire ring, lantern hook
Parking for 2 vehicles including trailers.
Trailer-only with Hookup (no sewer)
7 sites (1-4, 55-57)
NJ Resident: $30/night
plus a $5 transaction fee
Picnic table, fire ring, lantern hook.
parking for 2 vehicles including trailers.
Water hook-ups and 30/50 amp hook-ups.
3 sites (A, B, C)
NJ Resident: $48/night
plus a $5 transaction fee
Outdoor picnic table, fire ring, lantern hook.
Small cabin with two bunk beds (sleeps 4),
Indoor picnic table and woodburning stove for heat.
Shelters are without a kitchen, a bathroom, & electricity.
Hook-Up Site Detailed Information
Spruce Run has 7 trailer-only campsites with water and electric (30/50) hook-ups with a sanitary dump station available within the campground. They are campsites 1-4 and 55-57. Presently, there are no other hook-ups available at any other New Jersey State Campground. The electric hook-ups are not regular outlets and they will not work for tent campers with household appliance
Extra vehicle parking spaces for registered campers are available in the Main Parking Lot for a fee of $5 per vehicle per night.
A non-refundable transaction fee of $5 will be charged to the customer for each reservation.
Changes to the reservation that occur prior to the start/check-in date will incur an additional non-refundable fee of $5.
Changes to the reservation that occur after the start/check-in date will incur an additional non-refundable fee according to the following:
Cancellations & Refunds: All cancellations will incur a cancellation fee. The cancellation policy for campsites is $40 for NJ Residents, $50 for Non Residents, or a two night use fee (whichever is less) will be deducted from any refund due. The cancellation policy for shelters is a one night use fee in addition to the cancellation transaction fee, these will be deducted from any refund due.
Bus groups with a confirmed reservation are welcome to visit the park on weekdays. Bus groups are not permitted on weekends or holidays.
A wildlife observation blind is located near the boat launch and is an ideal location to observe nesting songbirds and migratory waterfowl.
Spruce Run Reservoir is open to motor boating (electric and gas, 10hp limit), sailing (mast height limit: 30 feet above the waterline), canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing and paddleboarding. Motorized jet skis are not permitted. All watercraft must launch from the boat launch area, which is equipped with a cartop launch and a trailer launch with ramps and docks. A Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) is required for each person on board a watercraft. Boats must comply with all New Jersey State Boating Regulations. A wind-warning light system is located at the boat launch area and flashes when sustained winds on the reservoir are 25 miles per hour or more. When this occurs, all activities on the reservoir must stop and all boaters must clear the reservoir.
Boat rentals are available during the summer season, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Reservations are required and can be made online at flatwaterpaddle.co/
For further information call Flatwater Paddle at Spruce Run directly at 908.455.9101 (summertime only) or call the Spruce Run Park Office at 908-638-8572 (year-round).
Summer dry boat storage for 300 boats is available from April through October.
Winter dry boat storage for 153 boats is available from November through March.
Boat storage permits are available by filling out an application and submitting it to the office for processing. For more information please read the Boat Storage Selection Procedures and Regulations.
The waters of Spruce Run Reservoir and its two main tributaries, the Spruce Run and Mulhockaway Creek, contain many species of fish including largemouth bass, catfish, sunfish, yellow perch, and carp. Both streams are stocked by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. For fishing regulations please refer to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Fishing Digest.
Deer hunting (bow only) and waterfowl hunting are permitted in Spruce Run Recreation Area Mondays through Saturdays in designated areas only. Please contact the park office for maps and information.
The Clinton Wildlife Management Area is adjacent to Spruce Run Recreation Area and is open to the public for hunting. Maps and information for the Wildlife Management Area may be obtained by visiting the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s hunting website or by calling 908-735-8240.
The park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year. Contact the park office for a schedule of programs and to register. Program fees may apply.
First-come, First-served Picnic Areas
Four picnic areas are spread throughout the wooded and open spaces overlooking the reservoir. Facilities include picnic tables, charcoal grills and restrooms. Picnic Area 1 is near a playground and Picnic Area 2 includes a playground. Picnic Area 2 and Picnic Area 4 have covered pavilions that can accommodate 10-20 people on a rainy day. These picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Restrooms are open seasonally.
Charcoal grills are available in the designated Picnic Areas or you may bring your own. Charcoal grills are not permitted at the Spruce Run Beach or on the grassy lawn surrounding the Beach.
Reservable Group Picnic Area
Larger groups may inquire at the park office regarding the reservable group picnic area. This space can accommodate groups of up to 200 people, has a covered pavilion with picnic tables, large charcoal grills, a playground, parking and restroom facilities.
Group picnic reservations must be made at least five days in advance. Reservations can be made over the telephone using a credit card or by mail using the downloadable Group Picnic Reservation form. Payment in full of the group picnicking fee must accompany this application. Reservations are not permitted on holidays except as authorized by the superintendent.
Reservable Group Picnic Area Fees:
Park entry fees are in effect
Non-Resident: $150 per day
Every vehicle attending the group picnic must pay the park entry fees.
No park entry fees in effect
Non-Resident: $175 per day
There is no park entry fee charged at this time of year.
Swimming is closed for the 2023 season. Please check the State Park swimming schedule to plan your park visit. While swimming is closed visitors are welcome to enjoy playing or relaxing on the sandy beach. Two beach volleyball nets are available. There is a playground with slides and swings for children and the grassy lawns surrounding the beach can accommodate various ball and net games. Grilling is prohibited along the beachfront including the grassy lawn, grilling is welcome in the designated picnic areas.
A NJ State Park Service Special Use Permit is required for various types of short-duration, organized activities and/or events within a state park, forest and/or historic site. Examples of organized activities and/or special events include, but are not limited to press events, commercial photography and/or filming, corporate events, fundraisers, festivals, demonstrations, walkathons and races, concerts, Televised events and/or commercial use of or on State Park Service lands and/or waters.
To learn more about Special use Permits click here.
During the winter months, many visitors go sledding, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and ice sailing at the recreation area. Ice skating is not permitted. Please contact the park office for snow conditions or visit the local weather channel.
|Are pets allowed?
|Yes, on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Not in campgrounds or on the sandy swimming beach.
|Are alcoholic beverages permitted?
|Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any of New Jersey’s state parks.
|I go to the Park a lot during the summer, can I get a discount?
|There is an Annual NJ State Park Pass available for purchase, it provides entrance to all NJ State Parks but it does not guarantee entry if the park is full to capacity or closed. If you are a New Jersey resident who is 62 or older, you may apply for a free senior citizen pass at any NJ State Park Office.
|We would like to have a family reunion / Scout event at the park. Can you accommodate us?
|Spruce Run (as well as several other State Parks) offers a reservable Group Picnic Area which is available for a fee. View the details here.
Gatherings and events with 20 or more individuals require a Special Use Permit Application. View the details here.
|Are there hook-ups for RVs?
|Spruce Run has 7 trailer-only campsites with water and electric (30/50) hook-ups with a sanitary dump station available within the campground. They are campsites 1-4 and 55-57. Presently, there are no other hook-ups available at any other New Jersey State Campground. The electric hook-ups are not regular outlets and they will not work for tent campers with household appliances.
|Is swimming permitted when lifeguards are off duty?
|No. For the safety and security of our visitors, all parks that offer swimming must comply with regulations requiring that swimming is only permitted when and where lifeguards are on duty.
|Can we rent boats?
|There is a private concessionaire who rents boats. Rentals are seasonal (Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day) and weather permitting.
Access for Persons with Disabilities
Spruce Run Recreation Area facilities are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office at 908-638-8572 further information regarding disability access needs. Text telephone (TTY) users, call the NJ Relay & CapTel Service at 711 or 1-800-852-7897 for English or 1-866-658-7714 for Spanish.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Recreational use of ATVs is not permitted on NJ State Park Service property. This includes state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. Thank you for your help in protecting New Jersey’s natural and historic resources. [N.J.A.C. 7:2-3.4(d)]
State law prohibits the smoking of tobacco and use of electronic smoking (vaping) devices in all state parks, forests, historic sites, recreation areas, golf courses and marinas. [N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)]
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6 ]
Keep Your Park Clean and Green
Protect plants and animals and care for your parks by taking your trash with you. Whatever you carry into the park, plan on carrying it out too. It’s like crowdsourcing trash management! Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles in this park. Thank you!
Swimming is only permitted at the Spruce Run Swimming Beach during the summer months when lifeguards are on duty from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. Swimming is not permitted in the main reservoir. Please call the park office for more information. The beach area includes changing rooms, restrooms, showers, a first-aid station and a concession building where food and beach supplies may be purchased. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets are allowed.
Pets must always be on a leash no longer than six feet in length and under the control of the owner. Please clean up after your pets.
Use insect repellent, wear light-colored clothing, tuck pants into socks, stay on trails, check yourself when you get home, shower and wash clothes immediately.
Be Bear Aware
Black bears are found throughout New Jersey. Do not approach or attract bears by making food available. Feeding bears is dangerous and illegal. Never run from a bear! To report an aggressive bear, call 1-877-WARN-DEP (1-877-927-6337) immediately. Please report any damage or nuisance behavior to the park office. Visit the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife at www.njfishandwildlife.com for additional information on bear safety.
68 Van Syckles Road
Clinton, NJ 08809
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Everyday
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Monday - Friday