With a belated blast of white stuff in the forecast — anywhere from an inch to two feet, depending on which social media pal you trust about such things — the folks at the Monmouth County Park System have issued a reminder that our many nearby public facilities are standing by for snowy-weather service over the coming days, “whether you’re looking to fly down the sledding hill, strap on your cross-country skis, or lace up your ice skates.”
The groomed trails at the county’s flagship Thompson Park in Lincroft are open to cross-country skiers as weather permits — and marked, ungroomed trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at three county locales in Middletown Township: Hartshorne Woods Park, Huber Woods Park, and Tatum Park.
A reminder also that the Park System’s Deer Management Program will be underway until February 20 at some of these sites (check website for details).
Thompson Park is also the place to go for those who are looking to get into some wintertime recreation, but who lack the necessary gear. Cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment is available for rent at the Ski Hut, located next to the Three Barns Parking Area in the park on Newman Springs Road. Rentals are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends — and the cost is $15 to rent ski equipment and $10 for snowshoes. Equipment is available on a first come, first served basis, and for more information, call (732)842-4000, ext. 4312.
If the temps remain below the freezing point for a week or more, Thompson Park and other county locations are open for ice fishing in designated areas — and nearby Holmdel Park posts its “Skating Today” signs, with hours for ice skating running between 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (sledding hill hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays).
An additional reminder to always check with park rangers before heading onto the ice — and to visit the Park System website for the latest updates on conditions.