Hiking NJ: Cattus Island County Park in Toms River, New Jersey
It is a fantastic park located right here in Ocean County. In this latest edition of Hiking NJ, we returned to Cattus Island County Park in Toms River. Cattus Island Park is part of the Ocean County Park System.
It's amazing how you can travel just a couple of minutes and go from heavy traffic and people along Fischer Blvd to quiet and calm Cattus Island Park. The park is located right off Fischer Blvd and after a 2-minute drive you arrive at a beautiful waterside park with several trails to hike. Perfect for a walk with friends and family or to take your dogs out for some exercise.
The trails are not very long and are easy with no inclines, but are scenic and well maintained. If you do a combination of a couple of trails you will get a decent hike and as I mentioned earlier it's right here in Toms River.
If you combine the "red" Maritime Forest Trail and the "blue" Island Trail you will get about 3 miles of hiking. Check the park map when you arrive and simply follow the colors. Both the red and blue trails are well marked.
The trails can get muddy so I recommend hiking shoes as opposed to sneakers, they just handle the water and mud better. Some areas are on boardwalks so that helps to keep the mud off but on occasion, you run into some. I also enjoy this park more in the cooler months, it can get "buggy" during the dead of summer.
Cattus Island has some great views and in spring and summer, you will see some close-up views of our Jersey Shore seahawks, the osprey. When we recently visited we were able to see a few getting settled here for the upcoming warm season.
The Cooper Environmental Center is also located at Cattus Island Park and is worth a look when open. Check the park website for park information.