March Down to this Free Beach btwn Sea Girt & Manasquan, Camping for Vets, Active Military
Updated: May 22, 2022
As you leave the Sea Girt beach walk and head toward Manasquan, there's a little-known parcel of the Jersey Shore. Inland, military vehicles are in view. Residents in neighboring towns mistakenly tell people they can't access the beach. Even the Sea Girt Borough staff is unclear about access to the beach.
In the summer, you have pay to play (or sit) on the beaches of Sea Girt and Manasquan. But the half-mile long beach between those Boroughs is free! Welcome to the state-owned National Guard Training Center (NGTC) Beach. The photos below show views from the NGTC beach looking north to Sea Girt and south to Manasquan (with the tower).
The beach is free to access all year. However, the amenities available to veterans, active military and other government-related officials are only available May 28 to September 24 from 0900 to 1900 (military time!).
Feel free to walk, sit or hang out on the beach, but the dunes are off-limits for environmental reasons. The area west of the dunes at the NGTC is also not open to the public.
Special parking, camp sites for RVs, cottages for vets and active military
Parking and access to the active training center are not open to the general public. But for active military duty, veterans and other government-related employees, NGTC offers the best parking deal at the Jersey Shore at a cost of $50 for a seasonal parking pass. The revenue essentially pays for the lifeguards of the swimming beach on the southern section near Manasquan. The northern area is reserved for fishermen. Click on this link for detailed information.
There are nine RV campsites located along Stockton Lake with water, electric, and sewage hook ups. Summer season runs May 28, 2022 through September 24, 2022. For self-sustainable RV's, sites are available September 24, 2022 through May 27, 2023. A bathhouse is also available for campers to utilize.
There are three cottages available as week-long summer rentals through September 24. Rentals are selected through an application process.
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Only current and retired military members can apply. There is a covered pavilion with picnic tables, a gas grill, and a horseshoe pit. The pavilion can only be used with a reservation. The grassy picnic area near the beach has picnic tables that must be reserved. For more information on how to reserve or use these facilities, click on this link.
Take a run inside the Center on June 18
Take a run inside the training center on Saturday, June 18 with with the 18th Annual Sergeant Nutter 5K Run. This event is organized by the SGT Sam Nutter Organization Inc (SSNO) in memory of the late SGT Samuel Nutter, to benefit the family of a NJ National Guard service member. To register, click here.
Along the beach, there are two protected areas for rare and endangered species. The state staff emphasized that people stay away from the dunes. DEP staff is nearby to enforce this restriction.
Tips for Visiting NGTC Beach
What's New: Classified information -- sorry!
Access and Parking: Parking is limited to vets and active military, so others have to park in Sea Girt or Manasquan, walk to the beaches of those towns and head north or south. For vets and active military seeking parking, see above.
Amenities: There are changing rooms, outdoor showers and restrooms.
Follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he recounts his 2021 walk of every beach along the 139 miles of the Jersey Shore coastline from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Read all updated stories at www.JerseyShoreWalk.com.