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The Unknown Free Beach! Plus Parking, Camping for Vets, Active Military at NGTC Beach

Updated: May 23, 2021

All photos by R.C. Staab

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 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 27 to September 26 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.

(From the vantage point of the beachfront or boardwalk, this is a breezy overview of what you see, where to park and beach access, plus a bit or history and the latest happenings. See map below. For a glimpse of all the beach towns, county parks, state beaches and national beaches, starting from Sandy Hook to this beach, got to )

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. A bathhouse is also available for campers to utilize.

There are three cottages available as week-long summer rentals beginning May 29, 2021 through September 25, 2021. Rentals are selected through an application process. Only current and


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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.

Wildlife Area

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.

Beaches: Free.

This spring, summer and fall, follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he walks the entire 139 miles of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, from Old Barney to Beach Haven, from Brigantine to Cape May.

Next stop: Manasquan at mile post 26. See all the Jersey Shore Walk stories at


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