300 Navesink Avenue, Locust, NJ (Buttermilk Valley Entrance) 07716
1402 Portland Road, Highlands, NJ (Rocky Point Entrance) 07732
239 Locust Avenue, Locust, NJ (Claypit Creek) 07760
732-872-0336 - Ranger Station
Park Brochure & Map (pdf)
Park opens at 7 a.m. 365 days a year.
Closing time is 8 p.m. through April 12; 8:30 p.m. April 12-May 2; and 9 p.m. May 3-June 7.
On Monday, March 30, 2015, access to the Rocky Point parking lot in Hartshorne Woods Park may be limited due to the arrival of an historic gun barrel into the park. Visitors are welcome to watch the delivery. See details below.
Gun Barrel Delivery
The Monmouth County Park System is pleased to announce that a historic World War II naval gun from the Battleship New Jersey will be transported to Battery Lewis at Hartshorne Woods Park for permanent display as part of the Battery Lewis restoration. The gun barrel, which is 68 feet long and weighs 120 tons, is almost identical to the 16-inch guns on Battery Lewis during World War II.
Originally on the USS New Jersey and donated by the U.S. Navy to the Monmouth County Park System, the gun barrel has travelled by rail from Norfolk, Virginia to Red Bank, where it will be offloaded onto a tractor trailer for transport to Hartshorne Woods Park. At the park location it will be unloaded with a crane into its temporary position next to Battery Lewis. Once restoration of the gun barrel is complete and a pedestal is constructed, it will then be moved to its permanent location in the battery casemate.
Transport of the gun barrel from Red Bank to Hartshorne Woods Park is scheduled for Monday March 30, 2015 between 12 and 4 p.m. From the NJ Transit rail yard in Red Bank, the truck will travel via Pearl Street in Red Bank to Route 35 North to New Monmouth Road to Leonardville Road to Route 36 to Portland Road into the park.
Travel up Portland Road will take about 30 minutes and may involve a temporary road closure. Access to the Rocky Point parking lot in Hartshorne Woods Park may be limited due to the movement of heavy equipment, but visitors are welcome to watch the arrival of the historic gun barrel into the park. Learn more about this project.
A hilly, forested 787-acre site overlooking the Navesink River, this park is among the highest elevations along the Atlantic Coast and features prominently in area history as a former coastal defense site. Known for its challenging trail system and scenic views, Hartshorne Woods is a popular park for area hikers, bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts.
Park features: group cabin camping (by reservation), cross country ski trails, fishing in the Navesink River and trails for walking, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. It's the perfect place to escape the sounds of suburbia.
Please be aware that NJ anglers age 16 and up are now required to register with the NJ Saltwater Angler Registry (for free) to fish in marine and fresh tidal waters of NJ. For more information regarding the registration, click here.
This park is named after Richard Hartshorne an English Quaker from London who settled here in 1669 and acquired more than 2,300 acres of land. By the early 1880s, some of the land was sold to private individuals and the U.S. government, but large portions remained in Hartshorne family ownership.
The Park System acquired the first 660 acres of this park in 1974. Additional land was conveyed from the government in 1984, and subsequent purchases – including the 44-acre Claypit Creek section in 2005- brought the park to its current size.
Military Installations at Rocky Point 1940's
Information Sheet on Restoration & Interpretation of
Battery Lewis and the Navesink Military Reservation (updated 3/15)
The Hartshorne property was a desirable defense site because of its high elevation. Through the years, it hosted a number of different land and air-based military installations to defend New York Harbor and surrounding areas.
During the WWII era, batteries for heavy artillery were built on this site to modernize coastal defense efforts. These concrete and earth encasements or bunkers – considered “bomb-proof” at the time – protected personnel and equipment. These structures can still be viewed today.
With the rise of strategic air power and nuclear weapons, the reliance on artillery guns for coastal defense ended. During the Cold War Era, from the 1950s-1970s, the site served as a missile defense site and command center with radar, computers and electronic plotting devices. Structures from this era have all been removed.
Hartshorne Woods Park has the most extensive and challenging series of trails (over 14 miles) in the Park System. Hardy hikers, bicyclists, and casual walkers can all find trails to their liking. Please stay on marked trails, plan your route, take a trail map, and wear appropriate safety gear. Enter from Navesink Ave., Locust or Portland Rd., Highlands.
Park Map with Trails (Mobile Device)
Park Map with Trails (PDF)
Click on map to open as a PDF.
Buttermilk Valley Entrance:
- State Hwy. 35 to Navesink River Road and continue 4.7 miles. Turn right onto Locust Road. Cross Clay Pit Creek bridge to five way intersection. Bear right onto Navesink Ave and continue to Park.
- State Hwy 36 to Navesink Ave. Southbound turn right, northbound use jughandle for Locust/Navesink Ave. Cross Hwy and follow to park entrance on left.
Rocky Point Entrance:
- State Hwy 36 east towards Highlands Bridge. Turn right onto Portland Road before bridge. Follow to park. Traveling west, cross bridge and make 1st right. Travel downhill & under bridge to 1st right (Hillside Ave.). Up to Portland Road, turn left. Follow to park.
Claypit Creek Section:
- Garden State Parkway to Exit 109. Southbound, turn left onto Rt. 520. Take jughandle for Half Mile Rd; northbound, go straight at exit. Follow Half Mile Rd. to end. Turn right at traffic light onto East Front St. Follow East Front St. to Hubbard Ave. Turn left onto Hubbard Ave. and follow (.6 mile) to Navesink River Rd. Turn right onto Navesink River Rd.and continue as it turns into Locust Pointe Road. Turn right onto Locust Ave. Entrance on the right.
- State Hwy. 35 to Navesink River Rd. (north of Cooper Avenue Bridge, Red Bank.) Northbound, turn right. Southbound, use jughandle to make left turn. Travel east and continue as it turns into Locust Pointe Road. Turn right onto Locust Ave. Entrance on the right.