Where is Liberty State Park
Located on Upper New York Bay, Liberty State Park resides entirely within the state of New Jersey. The park lies within Jersey City and is maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry. The park is surrounded by the Morris Canal Big Basin, Upper New York Bay, and the New Jersey Turnpike Newark Bay Extension. Liberty State Park contains several monuments and memorials, the Liberty Science Center, and Cavan Point. The park is located 89 miles and an hour and twenty-two minutes north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 132 miles and a two-hour drive south of Hartford, Connecticut, and 55 miles and an hour east of Long Island, New York. Liberty US State Park has also been featured in several movies and television shows including The Godfather and Men in Black.
How Large is Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park covers a total area of 1,212 acres. The park’s geography is completely urban, and the park’s designation is technically as an Urban State Park. Liberty State Park was constructed on a landfill that was created by the Central Railroad of New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The park also contains the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal building, and State Cruises offers trips to the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island. Caven Point found within Liberty State Park covers 22 acres and is a designated bird sanctuary. Liberty State Park also contains the 36-acre Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area that houses an interpretive center and the few remaining salt marshes found on the Hudson River.
Liberty State Park Weather
The weather at Liberty State Park varies throughout the year. In summer, temperatures in the park average between 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter temperatures in the park average between 20- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest days of the year arrive at the park in July and August. The coldest days appear in Liberty State Park in January and February. On average, Liberty State Park sees about 75 days of rain per year. The total accumulation of rainfall throughout the year in the park is about 48 inches. Snowfall in the park totals around nine inches per year. A large majority of this snowfall occurs in December, January, and February. However, snowfall has occurred as late as April before.
When did Liberty State Park Become a State Park
Liberty State Park was first established in 1976. The park’s establishment was drafted for 1976 to coincide and celebrate with the country’s bicentennial celebration. Before European influence, the land that is now protected by Liberty State Park was inhabited by the Hackensack Indians. This culture used the area as their summer territory and subsisted off the fish and oysters that inhabited the nearby bay. The park’s establishment was influenced by several environmentalists including Audrey Zapp, Theodore Conrad, and Morris Pesin. In 2018, a section of the park that has been closed off to the public for several decades, was announced to be environmentally contaminated. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has drafted a plan to remedy the area into an urban forest and marshland.
Things to do in Liberty State Park
Visitors arriving at Liberty State Park will find a variety of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy during their trip. The most popular adventures and activities found within the park are listed below by our State Park Visitors Guide.
Explore the Interpretive Center
The interpretive center at Liberty State Park is one of the best places for visitors to begin their adventure at the park. The center contains several exhibits and displays that provide educational information about the park’s ecology, history, culture, and geology. The interpretive center also puts on a list of interpretive programs that dive deeper into specific topics related to the park and its resources. These programs are offered on a rotating schedule.
Visit the Liberty Science Center
The Liberty Science Center at Liberty State Park contains 16 different and distinct galleries that educate visitors and allow them to experience the true power of science. Popular exhibits inside of the Liberty Science Center include a climbing maze, a pitch-dark maze, exotic animals, and one of the largest planetariums in the world. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the Liberty Science Center on their trip to Liberty State Park.
See the Empty Sky Memorial
The Empty Sky Memorial in Liberty State Park was created to mourn and memorialize the lives lost in the terrorist attack of 9/11. Names featured on the memorial are all of the victims of 9/11 that had ties to the New Jersey area. The monument also features an actual piece of the world trade center.>
Take a Kayak Eco Tour
The kayak eco tours offered from Liberty State Park are the best way for visitors to experience the beauty of the Hudson River Estuary. The tours travel to Caven Point where wildlife species and several habitats are highlighted and discussed. Pre-registration for these tours is required and the schedule for each year is released in May.
Fishing at Liberty State Park
While Liberty State Park is mostly an urban park, the grounds still offer anglers visiting the park the opportunity to cast a line or two. Target species found in the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay include bluefish, shad, and striped bass. All anglers fishing within the park should obtain a valid New Jersey state fishing license and obey all state fishing regulations.
Take a Ferry to the Statue of Liberty
The ferry service offered at Liberty State Park will take visitors from the park to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Liberty Island. Tickets for the ferry can be purchased at the ticket office near the old CRRNJ terminal, or online through the state cruises website.
When to Visit Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park is open to visitors year-round. However, the best time to visit the park is during the summer season. Visitors who do visit Liberty State Park in the summer season are sure to experience the most of what the park offers. The season is the perfect time to visit the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area, take a kayak tour, and enjoy the rest of the park. Visitors not able to visit in the summer should aim to plan their trip for spring or early fall.
Must Have Things to Bring to Liberty State Park
Visitors looking to plan a trip to Liberty State Park will want to keep a few items in mind while packing. The following list includes several essential items we at List of Parks suggest visitors won't want to forget.
Water & Snacks
Water and snacks are two essential items every visitor should make sure they bring along with to Liberty State Park. The average person should pack one to two liters for every hour they plan to spend recreating in the sun.
Anglers visiting Liberty State Park will want to make a checklist in order to ensure they have packed all of the necessary fishing equipment along with them. Hopeful anglers should also obtain a New Jersey state fishing license from either the state’s online portal or other issuing establishment.
Comfortable Walking Shoes
Every visit to Liberty State Park involves a long day of walking. All of the park’s various attractions are spread across the grounds. A comfortable pair of walking shoes should be worn by all visitors arriving at Liberty State Park.
Wildlife Field Guides & Binoculars
Visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the flocks of avian species that call Liberty State Park home will want to bring along a New Jersey or North America specific field guide. Birders will also want to remember to bring along their binoculars in order to spot species wading in the wader of the Hudson River or Upper New York Bay.
Layers of Clothing
Wearing layers of clothing to Liberty State Park is the best way to combat fluctuating temperatures. These layers can be removed or added at will as the temperatures in the park increase and decrease. In the late fall and winter, temperatures in the park can especially require visitors to pack a jacket or sweater.
Where to Stay Near Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park does not offer visitors any overnight lodging. However, visitors can find various hotels in nearby Jersey City. Visitors looking to stay in a larger nearby city can make the drive to either New York City, Philadelphia, or Long Island.
Food Near Liberty State Park
The closest food to Liberty State Park is located in Jersey City. The city contains a host of restaurants and a few grocery stores that visitors can visit to grab a meal or stock up on supplies. Visitors looking for a larger culinary scene will want to make the drive to New York City, Philadelphia or Long Island. New York City and Long Island are considerably closer.
Airports Near Liberty State Park
The closest international airport to Liberty State Park is located in New York City. The John F. Kennedy International Airport is 22 miles and about a 30-minute drive away from the park. The next closest international airport to Liberty State Park is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is 98 miles and about a one hour and thirty-minute drive south of the park.