Discover the Great Outdoors ­– here in N.J.

TRENTON – June is Great Outdoors Month, and the state Department of Environmental Protection is urging New Jerseyans to discover the great diversity of outdoors experiences – camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, rock-hunting, etc. – that the Garden State has to offer.

While these places make great destinations any time of year, the Department of Environmental Protection urges residents and visitors to take part in the many special events being held at many parks and forest this month during the state’s held in conjunction with Great Outdoors Month.

Among the special events: The DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife also will host Free Fishing Days statewide on June 11 and 12. No license will be needed for freshwater fishing on these days. Licenses are normally required for those ages 16 or older.

“Being outdoors and exploring nature improves our health, our well-being and our outlook on life,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said, announcing the state’s “Get Outdoors, New Jersey!” campaign.

And, the DEP noted, New Jersey boasts more than 750,000 acres of state forests, parks, natural areas and wildlife management areas that offer a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities.

“Whether you have a sense of adventure or simply want to commune with nature, travel off the beaten path and discover New Jersey’s hidden ecological wonders,” said Grace Hanlon, executive director of the state Division of Travel and Tourism. “New Jersey has a diverse landscape that offers an ecosystem of breathtaking beauty.”

Just some of the activities you can sample this month: Search for snakes, tadpoles, frogs and turtles on a Reptile Safari at Cape May Point State Park; discover the birds of Barnegat Bay at Island Beach State Park; learn how to use GPS to find hidden “treasures” at Kittatinny Valley State Park, and delve into stream ecology through the little critters that live in a brook at Double Trouble State Park.

For more information and a calendar of events, visit





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