Jetty Walk – Barnegat Lighthouse State Park – Barnegat Light, Ocean County, NJ
Type: Out and back
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset (Parking lot closes early and they will lock your car in. You can park just outside the entrance).
Distance: About a mile out and back walk on the jetty (just under two miles total).
Difficulty: 5 of 10 – rock hopping, occasional slippery spots.
Total score: 8 of 10.
Updated: March 5, 2017
Terrain – Ocean and bay views all around.
Trailhead – starts at base of lighthouse- 39°45’51.83″N, 74° 6’22.08″W
Standouts: Great views of the beach, views of Barnegat Lighthouse, and views of ships coming in and out of the inlet.
Markings – None, stay on the concrete, then on the rocks.
Description: The Lighthouse is fun to climb, but don’t miss out on walking down the concrete pathway toward the ocean. At the end of the path, if you are the adventurous sort, climb through the rails and walk/hop the jetty all the way out to the very end where the foghorn is. It’s a good mile walk/hop from the tower to the end of the jetty, leave plenty of time for hopping, admiring seagulls, looking for shells, admire the lighthouse, etc.
Also leave time to watch the boats come in and out, or to take in the sunrise or sunset. As the sun goes down (or after), get ice cream next door and watch the again shining lighthouse beams sweep over the ocean.
And while park hours are over at 4 PM or so, many, many years ago, some friends and I watched a meteor shower from the jetty, the meteors falling behind the lighthouse while dolphins played beside us in the water. It was amazing.
Overall recommendation – It’s such a nice spot, at least walk down to the end of the concrete, even if you aren’t up for heading onto the jetty.
In the area – Climb the lighthouse ($3 per person last I checked) and walk the Maritime Trail in the park.