Round Valley Recreation Area, Lebanon

#35 of 78 in Wildlife in New Jersey
Nature / Park · Wildlife Area
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Office Hours:

November - March: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

April - October: Daily 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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. This resulted in the construction of Round Valley Reservoir and eventual completion of the recreation area, which was opened to the public in the spring of 1977. An earth dam was constructed across a narrow finger of water along the west side of the reservoir to form the swimming area, separating it from the main part of the reservoir. Therefore, the swimming area is not affected by the raising and lowering of the water in the reservoir.

The Round Valley Reservoir covers 2,350 acres and is more than 180 feet deep. It has a water capacity of 55 billion gallons. The 1,288 acre recreation area includes a swimming area, picnic facilities and wilderness campsites.

Round Valley has 85 wilderness campsites, located on the eastern end of the reservoir. They can only be reached by boat or by a 3-6 mile hike on the Cushetunk Trail. The Cushetunk Trail traverses the Cushetunk Mountain chain. The trail surface is rugged, rocky and steep in places which makes it more suitable for experienced hikers.

Round Valley has four trails; the Cushetunk Trail (red), which access the campsites, the Pine Tree Trail (green), the Family Hiking and Biking Trail (white) and the Water Trail (blue). All trails are accessed from the South Parking Lot and are open all year round.

Water clarity and rich aquatic life make Round Valley Reservoir one of the best freshwater lakes in NJ for scuba. All divers are required to register at Round Valley's office, have a dive buddy, inflatable vest and a dive flag. Diving is permitted from April 1 though October 31 depending upon water conditions. Scuba divers must be certified and are required to check-in prior to a dive, check-out after each dive and comply with diving hours.
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Round Valley Recreation Area reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
65 reviews
  • First of all the place is super nice! The lake , the green areas, the food court and the so, so, clean bathrooms. Life guards are always aware of what’s going on but they need to speak up! If you are....  more »
  • We decided to take a relaxing ride and walk about with our doggie to this recreation area. Yes. Some snow on the ground but not much. Easy walk by the lake. Surprisingly there were quite a few people....  more »
  • Great little place, cheap entry but park is huge. Beach area can get crowded but it's very well maintained and looked after. Life guards on duty and water is relatively clear and clean. Great place for a little picnic with family, there are lots of tables but you can just bring a spread and sprawl out on the grass, tons of that too. Volleyball court also available $5 on weekdays, $10 weekends, free after 5
  • Had a great day with my family. Enjoy the water but they could do better keeping the changing room and bathroom cleaner and and supplied with tissue. I suggest bring your own toilet tissue and sanitary wipes.
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