10 Lakes in New Jersey That Completely Freeze Over in the Winter

sunset ice fishing
© gnatoutdoors/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Kirstin Harrington

Published: January 7, 2024

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While New Jersey may not be the largest state, measuring in at 8,722 square miles, it’s still a sight to behold. New York’s neighbor has over 400 publicly accessible lakes that people flock to all year round. Whether for a place to relax under the warm summer sun or an ice fishing paradise, let’s take a look at the lakes in New Jersey that completely freeze over.

1. Lake Hopatcong

Lake Hopatcong

Lake Hopatcong has an average depth of 18 feet.

©iStock.com/andykazie

The largest lake in the Garden State is Lake Hopatcong. It’s within Hopatcong State Park and is among the lakes in New Jersey that freeze over around mid-December. The freshwater lake sits on 2,500 acres and is nine miles long. 

This is a favorite spot among locals to go ice fishing for species such as perch and pickerel. 

2. Assunpink Lake

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Eagles are often spotted soaring over Assunpink Lake.

The much smaller Assunpink Lake is located in Monmouth County. It’s roughly 225 square acres and is a hidden gem within the state. There are largemouth bass, yellow perch, and channel catfish within Assunpink Lake. 

This lake typically freezes around the beginning of December due to its lesser size. 

3. Lake Aeroflex

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Kittatinny Valley State Park is home to four lakes, one of which is Lake Aeroflex. This entire area is truly a sight to behold. People visit this 115-acre lake for paddling, hiking, camping, and fishing. 

Lake Aeroflex is the deepest natural lake in the Garden State with a maximum depth of 110 feet. While it is one of the lakes in New Jersey that completely freezes over, it may take well into winter before it’s safe enough to walk on. 

4. Swartswood Lakes

Vibrant autumn foliage reflected in Swartswood Lake at Swartswood Lake State Park, Stillwater, New Jersey

Before the ice freezes at Swartswood Lakes, the surrounding forest is painted with the festive colors of autumn.

©Frank DeBonis/iStock via Getty Images

Next, Swartswood Lake is a stunning glacial lake in Sussex County. This body of water consumes 520 acres with dense forests all around the edges. It has been a favorite with locals since 1914 and is a great place for ice fishing. 

Once this lake in New Jersey completely freezes over, you can expect to catch perch, pickerel, and brown trout. 

5. Lake Wawayanda

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The quiet serenity of Lake Wawayanda brings in outdoor enthusiasts from across the East Coast. With the Wawayanda Mountains surrounding the lake, it’s hard not to get lost in the natural beauty. 

The 255 acres of water typically freezes around the beginning of January and is a hot spot for ice fishing in specific areas. Birding is a popular activity here as well. You may see barred owls, red-shouldered hawks, or great blue herons. 

6. Jefferson Lake

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Another lake in New Jersey that completely freezes over is Jefferson Lake. This body of water freezes much faster than others on this list due to its relatively small size. At just 46 acres, Jefferson Lake is tucked away off Waterloo Road. 

The deepest part of the lake is just 12 feet. In the summer this location is everything you could want for an afternoon spent outdoors. There are a variety of water activities and a nearby camp that is open in both the winter and summer seasons! 

7. Cranberry Lake 

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Cranberry Lake has a community club that puts on events all year round.

Located in Byram Township near Allamuchy State Park, Cranberry Lake freezes over as the temperatures drop in New Jersey. It’s roughly 193 square acres in size and is a short drive from Stanhope. 

Cranberry Lake has been around since 1837 and serves as an excellent lake for paddling activities such as kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. It has an average depth of seven feet with a maximum depth of 12 feet. The surrounding region has everything from rocky shores to thick brush. 

8. Lake Musconetcong

Beautiful pink sunrise viewing church across Lake Musconetcong

Lake Musconetcong was built in the early 1800s.

©Gabriel Q/Shutterstock.com

Taking up 329 acres in Morris and Sussex Counties, Lake Musconetcong is another lake within Hopatcong State Park. Something unique about this lake in New Jersey that completely freezes over is that the Musconetcong River runs through the lake. 

Similarly to the nearby Lake Hopatcong, you can expect to reel in perch and pickerel once the water freezes over. Because of the river flowing through the lake, it’s a must to check local records to ensure the water is safe to walk on. 

9. Horicon Lake

Crappie ice fishing in Lake Hopatcong NJ

Crappies

are one of the most commonly caught fish when ice fishing in New Jersey.

©qiangli6/Shutterstock.com

Lakehurst, NJ is home to Horicon Lake. This is a stream-fed lake that is just 63 acres in size. This is a peaceful place overall, no matter what time of year you visit. People who call the Borough of Lakehurst home favor Horicon Lake as their way to immerse themselves in nature and spend time outdoors. 

While you may not catch many fish here in the winter, it’s still a beautiful place to relax and take in the natural beauty of New Jersey. 

10. Greenwood Lake 

Greenwood Lake New Jersey

People travel to Greenwood Lake solely for the sunrises.

©Oralleff/Shutterstock.com

Right on the border of New York and New Jersey, Greenwood Lake is the last lake on our list today that freezes over when the temperatures drop. It is seven miles long and was a massive tourist attraction around 1874. 

With a surface acre of 1,920 acres, there’s no shortage of things to do here. In fact, the Morgan Freeman film The Magic of Belle Isle was filmed here! This lake typically freezes around mid-January, making it a hotspot to fish for carp, catfish, and eels. 

Summary of Lakes in New Jersey That Completely Freeze Over 

NumberLakeLocation
1Lake HopatcongSussex and Morris Counties 
2Lake AssunpinkMonmouth County 
3Lake AeroflexSussex County
4Swartswood LakesSussex County
5Lake WawayandaSussex County
6Jefferson LakeMorris County
7Cranberry Lake Sussex County
8Lake MusconetcongSussex and Morris Counties
9Horicon LakeOcean County
10Greenwood Lake Passaic County


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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