Island Beach State Park, recently ranked as America’s best, to offer lifeguards through September

Ocean Bathing Area 1 in Island Beach State Park in July 2014. (Justin Auciello/JSHN)

Ocean Bathing Area 1 in Island Beach State Park in July 2014. (Justin Auciello/JSHN)

Recently ranked as America’s best state park, Island Beach State Park will offer a guarded bathing area for long weekends throughout September, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced.

Swimmers will enjoy the protection of lifeguards at the Ocean Bathing Area 1 every Friday and weekend through September 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The park, located between South Seaside Park and the Barnegat Inlet in Ocean County, is open from 8 a.m. until sunset.

“Lifeguard service continues at Island Beach State Park after Labor Day while the weather and water are ideal for swimming, and crowds are smaller,” New Jersey Parks and Forestry Director Olivia Glenn said. “Our lifeguards are there weekends throughout September to make sure visitors have a safe and enjoyable time swimming, or just relaxing at the beach.”

Swimming will remain strictly prohibited in unguarded sections of the park.

Island Beach State Park was recently ranked as the country’s best state park by vacation site HomeToGo, beating out 17 other destinations stretching from Hawaii to the East Coast.

The site described the park as offering “white sand shores and blue waters” and “10 miles of undeveloped paradise.”

Some beaches along the Jersey Shore continue to offer lifeguard protection through September. Check with your local municipality.

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