Summer is in full swing — and one of the best parts about summer is delicious barbecue. There are tons of ways to spend a summer weekend, but one of our favorites is enjoying some time around the grill. Nothing says summer like burgers, hot dogs, and grilled veggies — especially when enjoyed in the warm weather. We know everyone is eager to head outdoors, so we’ve rounded up some parks in North Jersey that allow grilling.
Darlington County Park | 600 Darlington Avenue, Mahwah
Darlington County Park is described as Bergen County’s ‘summertime jewel.’ The park offers 127 acres with handball and basketball courts, a swimming lake with sandy beaches, fishing, and tons of walking and biking paths. At Darlington County Park, you can also find twelve picnic areas. Availability for the grills is limited, but the park allows visitors to bring a charcoal grill along. From Memorial Day weekend up until Labor Day, Darlington Park does charge an entry fee per person. Their rates can be found here. Hours: 10AM – 6PM.
Eagle Rock Reservation | Eagle Rock Avenue + Prospect Avenue, West Orange
Eagle Rock Reservation, located in West Orange, NJ is over 400 acres and provides beautiful skyline views of New York City. The park includes a few available grills and a picnic area that’s open to the public without any permits needed. You can also find the Essex County 9/11 Memorial here, making it one of the best places to come and pay respects to courageous military and first responder personnel throughout Memorial Day weekend. Hours: 9AM – 9PM.
High Point State Park | 1480 NJ-23, Sussex
Located on the summit of Kittatinny Ridge and sitting 1,803 feet above sea level is High Point State Park – the highest elevation in the state of New Jersey. This massive 16,000-acre park features several picnic areas with grills and tables located throughout. Atop the summit is the High Point Monument, which is dedicated to New Jersey’s veterans of all wars. At High Point State Park, you’ll be sure to find the perfect mix of scenic views, trails and recreation, picnicking paradise, and plenty of history – what more do you need for Memorial Day weekend? Just make sure to get here early as spots tend to fill up fast. Hours: 8AM – 8PM.
James J. Braddock Park | 9003 Bergenline Avenue, North Bergen
James J.Braddock Park is home to 16-acre Woodcliff Lake, forty-five athletic facilities, and according to the website, is one of the most beautiful parks in Hudson County. There’s a designated picnic area on the west side of the park, along Bergenline Ave, to enjoy a picnic atop the cliffs of the Palisades – just be sure to bring your own grill along. James J. Braddock Park is also home of the Armed Forces Memorial that honors each branch of the military, making it a perfect place to head to this Memorial Day weekend. Hours: Open 24 hours.
Lewis Morris County Park | 270 Mendham Road, Morris Township
Sitting at over 2000 acres is Lewis Morris County Park in Morristown, NJ. This place has it all – hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and, of course – grilling! There are a variety of grills and tables located around the park. For groups larger than 25, Lewis Morris County Park can even accommodate reservations for picnic sites. Be sure to check out their website for more information. You can also check out Sunrise Lake Beach Club, located within the park, which opens this Memorial Day weekend. Hours: Sunrise to sunset.
Liberty State Park | 200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City
With views of the Hudson River, New York Skyline, and the Statue of Liberty (and now Reclining Liberty as well) – Liberty State Park is full of scenic beauty. This park, with over 300-acres developed for public recreation, welcomes the use of a charcoal grill. Don’t miss the opportunity to head to Empty Sky, a New Jersey 9/11 Memorial, where you can also pay respects to those who lost their lives that day. Hours: 6AM – 10PM.
Morris Canal Park + Jack W. Kuepfer, Sr. Nature Reserve | 1101 Broad Street, Clifton
Recently described by a local as a ‘little fairy land,’ Morris Canal Park is a small, tranquil, and delightful place to enjoy some grilled goodness. The small nature reserve features a scenic walking path, a huge field, tables, and three grills available for use. Morris Canal Park only has about six parking spots on site, so be sure to get here early to grab one. Hours: 7AM – 8PM.
South Mountain Reservation | South Orange Avenue + Cherry Lane, West Orange
There’s a lot to do in this area. Beyond the Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena, 23-miles of hiking paths, mini golf, reservoir walk, and paddle boating, there’s South Mountain Reservation. South Mountain is home to eight picnic areas that include tables and fire grates available for use. The interior picnic areas can be accessed via Cherry Lane and Brookside Drive or Crest Drive is a way to head into Summit Field. For groups over twenty, you’ll need to obtain a permit from the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs. Hours: 8AM – 4:30PM.
Van Saun County Park | 216 Forest Avenue, Paramus
At over 200-acres, Van Saun County Park is one Bergen County’s most utilized parks, according to the website. It’s home to the Bergen County Zoo, three various athletic fields, three miles of walking and biking paths, tennis courts, fishing, and seven picnic areas. For groups under 10, the areas are accessible permit free. Propane and electric grills are not permitted, so make sure to bring along your charcoal grill. For groups over 10 still interested in grilling at Van Saun, permit applications can be found here. Hours: 6:30AM – 8:30PM.
Wawayanda State Park | 885 Warwick Turnpike, Hewitt
Looking to set up a grill in a picnic area with lakeside views? Look no further than Wawayanda State Park. A nineteen-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail runs through this park, along with sixty miles of hiking trails. There’s Lake Wawayanda, which is surrounded by forested hills, canoers, boaters, and fishermen. On the north side of the lake, there are designated picnic areas that welcome the use of a personal grill. There are also metal grills provided at the site on a first-come, first-served basis. Hours: 8AM – 8PM.