A Summer Classic
Tomahawk Lake is a classic family day trip destination. Beside the still water stretches a beach made of glistening white sand, upon which many parents find suntan Nirvana while their kids find out what summer's all about.
On the quiet, back shore of Tomahawk Lake, Chester and June Wallace have finished up their annual interviews for summer help and are ready to open the family park for the season. They became the owners of this resort for daytrippers in 1956, four years after two guys named Laucks and Yonkers built a dam, a small beach and refreshment stand on a small farm lake at the base of Sparta Mountain. Every year since, the Wallaces have made improvements, and today's Tomahawk Lake is a treasure for the families that come here.
The 200 acre property, part of Sparta, Byram and Hopatcong townships, includes a large perimeter around the 25 acre lake, assuring contamination-free water and allowing spacious picnic and recreation areas. Two brooks, one from the top of the mountain and one from Seneca Lake, provide constant flow through Tomahawk during the summer. In winter, the lake is drained, depleting most all vestige of the season's growth. The result is weed-free, crystal clear water for the ultimate summer refreshment.
The first waterslide came to Tomahawk Lake in 1978; a 500 ft., two-flume affair and the longest of its day. Now a total of six slides includes a speed slide; a sled slide which shoots 100 ft. out over the lake; the 7 ft wide, double tube Rocky Mountain slide; and the Black Snake, a 54" enclosed tube that winds its way swiftly down a steep hill.
There is a large 200 ft. Kiddie Area with a variety of props for the under 4 set, including three kiddie slides, a Tarzan Swing, Lily Pads to walk on, a Tom Sawyer raft, and a splash fountain called Raindrop. Every move in this section- and all over the lake- is carefully surveyed by a team of 25 lifeguards.
For the more traditional, Tomahawk Lake provides an immaculate sand bottom (no concrete, no chlorine) that slopes gently out to floating rafts. Outside the swimming areas, you can enjoy rowboats, paddle boats, and kiddie & adult bumper boats. Back ashore you can visit a large refreshment stand, outdoor beer garden (with live weekend entertainment), an ice cream trailer, a novelty trailer, an arcade, an 18 hole miniature golf course, a putting green and a brand new ball field.
Eight hundred picnic tables inhabit lawns and groves throughout the park, and four spotless bathroom facilities are a quick walk from anywhere.
Tomahawk Lake provides an outstanding value for groups or large family reunions (50 people or more). Food prepared on site in the original 1857 farmhouse and served under large circus tents keeps guests happy eating all they want, all day long. Homemade donuts on arrival; homemade clam chowder at mid morning; hotdogs, burgers and salads for lunch; lemonade, birch beer, ice cream, cotton candy, and popcorn all afternoon; and freshly killed barbequed chicken with Jersey corn on the cob and ziti for supper.
Tomahawk Lake is a survivor; a classic summer place where you can bring your grill and do your own cooking. Or leave it all to a capable staff, knowing you have all the advantages of a family-run facility. The Wallaces are always there to make sure things are the way they're supposed to be.
For admission prices and information check the website or call the lake office at (973) 398-7777 or Group Sales at (973) 478-7490.
Tomahawk Lake is perfect for group functions!
The Tomahawk Lake is the host to many group functions, big & small from corporations to birthday parties, church groups & family reunions. We offer our Old Fashioned Country Picnic which we cater your picnic under large red and white circus tents with our “All You Can Eat Menu”. If you prefer to do the work yourself we have many picnic areas available for groups.
Started in the '50s on a run down potato farm, a lake was constructed and developed into a private picnic and swimming club, Tomahawk Lake has since grown to be a popular recreational stop and water park specializing in family fun.
Nearby accommodations and attractions
- Whistling Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast
- Grey Towers
- Windy Brow Farms
- Harmony Ridge Campground
- Sterling Hill Mine Tour and Museum
Nine guestrooms, each with private bath, some with 2-person Jacuzzis and fireplaces. Queen and King-sized beds. Full buffet-style breakfast plus complimentary 24-hour snacks and soft drinks. Free wireless connection, guest computer and printer available. Covered wrap-around porch with 2-person hammock and gardens for relaxing. Located 1 mile off I-80, 6 miles north of Chester and 8 miles south of Newton.
110 Main St., Stanhope 07874, 973/347-6369 toll free: 888-507-2337
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Outstanding family facilities near Culver Lake and Stokes Forest include over 200 sites on 160 acres, cabins, trailers, tent sites, camp store, laundry, hot showers and full range of on-site activities.
23 Risdon Drive, Branchville 07826, 973/948-4941
Step Into Earth Science! Mining museum with underground mine tour and over 30 acres of indoor & outdoor displays and historical buildings. Recent additions include expanded fluorescent display at Thomas S. Warren Museum and the Million Dollar display at the Oreck Family Mineral Gallery. Gift shop with a collection of world wide minerals.
30 Plant St., Ogdensburg 07439, 973/209-7212
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