where in NJ? Up in Pompton Lakes (Northern NJ) there are a couple of lake access points (mostly boat access ramps). I just took my puppy to a park with one yesterday but she's not quite ready to jump IN, ha (she splashes, but won't go in past her knees!)
I found this list on tidalflats.com. I think the options are pretty limited for beach access during the spring and summer.
State and National Parks: Dogs allowed on beaches, year round, on a 6-ft. lead. Dogs prohibited from bathing areas when guarded at Island Beach State Park and prohibited from Ocean Beaches at Sandy Hook National Seashore from March 15th through Labor Day. There is a similar restriction at Townsends Inlet State Park and Cape May State Park (April 1 to Sept. 15).
Monmouth County Beaches: dog beach on Manasquan Inlet (Fisherman's Cove) open year round. Dogs should be on lead.
Ocean County Beaches: Mantoloking allows dogs on lead year round but are restricted between 8 am and 6 pm from May15 to Oct 1. South Seaside allows dogs on or off lead in the off season (Sept 15 to May 15). Seaside Park does not allow dogs on beaches, year round.
Long Beach Island: Beach rules vary by township but (where allowed) dog use is generally excluded from May 1 through Oct. 1. However, we found Beach Haven to be very dog friendly through Mid-May. Prior to Memorial Day and after Sept. 30 dogs are allowed on the beach, off-lead. There is a year-round dog beach on the bay side in Beach Haven at the end of Taylor Ave. The is also a bay beach at the end of Joan drive in Long Beach township that allows dogs from Oct. 1 through Mid-May.
Brigantine Island Brigantine has a dog beach on the northern end of the island that allows dogs year round, on lead
Atlantic County Ocean City allows dogs from Oct. 1 to April 30.
Cape May County: Avalon/Stone Harbor allow dogs anytime between Oct. 1 and Feb. 28. Otherwise restricted. North Wildwood allows dogs from Sept. 16 to May 14. Cape May Beaches allow dogs only from November through February.
Higbee Beach WMA: dogs allowed year round on leash.
I'm in Landing NJ Roxbury Township Morris County near Hopatcong Lake (exit 30 off of Rt 80) near Rockaway, Ledgwood, Succasunna, Dover, Budd Lake... I am near routes 80,46,10 & 206... I am near a lot of lakes but not sure which allow dogs on the beach and in water...
I also just remembered that there are several lakes at Ramapo Reservation right off 202 in Mahwah, NJ. There is one right near the enterance that people fish in and I see dogs in there all the time! There is also one with a big boulder that I see dogs jumping off of- its an uphill hike, but its on a paved path. Let me know if you want more info. It's a great park for dogs (they have to be leashed though)
thanks Sarah! yes if you can post more info on it. its a bit far from me but if i can have my dog go into water for a little bit it'll be worth the trip. my fiance went to school in ramapo so he might know of the area but any info will help us find the spots. thanks!