This man-made lake in southern Monmouth County is great for the beginner and families! It's very clean and relatively safe. Being a reservoir they don't allow any gasoline engines so all you'll have to contend with are other kayaks, canoes, rowboats, sailboats and the occasional fisherman with an electric trolling motor. Very peaceful! Being a county park it also has a ranger who watches over things.
The lake itself is on the order of 770 acres and is surrounded by a 5-mile perimeter trail for hiking, riding, etc. There are numerous little nooks and crannies to explore. They created "wetlands" in the process of build the lake so you'll get to see lots of birds in your travels.
A great place to teach the kids about the basics of boating! Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
A small concession is run on weekends but there are vending machines too. The boat/kayak rental shop sells some fishing gear as well the ramp pass.
$4 daily ramp fee to put in. If you go often buy the season pass.
Near intersection of Routes 195 and 9. See the link below for more details.