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Botanical Gardens, a Manor, Hiking, and Biking
New Jersey was hit heavily with four nor’easter storms this year, and it’s looking like spring is going to be arriving late. But once the sun comes out and the snow starts melting, the flowers will start to bloom. With spring around the corner, visiting the Botanical Gardens and the Skyland Manor in Ringwood in Ringwood State Park are an excellent idea to explore New Jersey, get some outdoor time, or even go on a romantic date. Some even get married here!
Things to see and do in Ringwood State Park, NJ
Skyland’s Botanical Gardens
The Skyland Manor
Swimming, Fishing, Boating (Sheppard Lake)
The Botanical Gardens
The New Jersey Botanical Gardens are located in the Ringwood State Park in New Jersey. They are on the Skylands estate property, which is around 1000 acres of woodland and 96 acres of specialty gardens.
Visitors will often see lots of various kinds of trees and plants around the paved trails, benches of the unbeaten paths, a manor, and unusual plant species from around the world.
The tree-lined orchards in the Skyland botanical gardens are so beautiful to look at as one walks down the path by the manor. The atmosphere is very relaxing and even romantic.
Before heading out to the Skylands botanical gardens get the map of the property here.
The Skyland Manor
The manor in the Skyland estate was built for Clarence McKensie Lewis, a stockbroker and civil engineer, by John Russell Pope. The architecture of the manor resembles the English Jacobean architecture made up of stones and half-timbers. The Skyland manor has 44-rooms, and even contains 16th century stained-glass medallions in some large windows.
Now, the Skyland Manor serves as a wonderful, romantic location for weddings. The wedding ceremony is held at St. Luke’s church – similar English Jacobean architecture – by Sheppard Lake, about a mile from the Skyland Manor, followed by the wedding ceremony in the Manor.
Tours of the manor are available one Sunday per month, starting March through November.
Sheppard Lake, about a mile away from the manor and the botanical garden, is a great place to take the kids for a day outing.
Swimming is allowed when a lifeguard is present, fishing is allowed with a New Jersey’s fishing license, and it even has a boat launching site.
The area comes with several picnic tables, BBQ grills, and a building on the premises with restrooms.
Hiking and Mountain Biking
The area has multiple trails for day hikes. The state even allows mountain biking on the trails. You can check out the Mountain Bike Loop and the full list of trails available in Ringwood State Park here.
But before heading out on your hike make sure you get all the essentials and are fully prepared. To help you pack and prepare for your hike, we create this free downloadable and printable checklist for you.
Information about the Ringwood State Park
Location: 2 Morris Road, Ringwood, N.J. 07456 (GPS: Latitude/longitude: N 41.126950 W 74.23954)
Hours: Ringwood State Park hours are from 8 AM to 8 PM.
Fees: entrance fee is charged per vehicle on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day (NJ Residents: $5, Non-residents: $7).
Parking: Three parking lots – A, B, C – are available by the Skyland Botanical Gardens and one large parking lot by Sheppard Lake.
Parking Lot A is most convenient to the Carriage House Visitor Center, the Concert Lawn, and the Manor House. Parking Lot B is closer to several of the gardens – Lilac, Great Lawn, Peony, and the Azalea. For those want to go hiking or mountain biking, Parking Lot C is the best choice since it provides direct access to trails.
Restrooms: Available by Skyland’s Botanical Gardens and Sheppard Lake.
Dogs: The area is dog-friendly in most areas of the state park, but the dogs have to be leashed. Dogs are not allowed in the Botanical Garden’s area.