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The mute swans glide across the surface of Spring Lake, their heads tipped demurely toward the clean, spring water. Their graceful presence is an elegant, visual manifestation of the charming Victorian town surrounding the lake. Spring Lake and the town of the same name are on the New Jersey shore bumped up against the Atlantic Ocean. For over a hundred years people have been flocking to the summer resort town to enjoy the sand and surf, strolling down the boardwalk, along the streets of the town past shops and restaurants or meandering around the path that rings Spring Lake. It is a town from a quieter, gentler era, but Spring Lake still maintains its lure today.
Spring Lake was officially established as a borough in 1892 encompassing Spring Lake Beach, Brighton, North Brighton, Como and Villa Park. Many of its buildings, however, date from slightly earlier. The seaside town grew in the mid to late 1800's with businesses, permanent residences and summer cottages all springing up along the Atlantic coast. Today the town retains the character and many of the buildings of that earlier time. Visitors can walk past historic inns and businesses some of which have been in the same family for several generations. In fact, the Spring Lake Historical Society has prepared a seven block tour chronicling the town's rich history.
The Spring Lake Historically Society is also instrumental in cataloguing the beauty and diversity of Divine Park. The park surrounds Spring Lake, a 16 acre lake fed by multiple fresh water springs. The lake sits almost at sea level and has a maximum depth of eight feet and an average depth of five feet. It drains into the Atlantic Ocean. The Divine Park Nature Walk winds around the lake and offers the perfect opportunity to watch the swans as well as the great blue herons, ring-billed gulls and geese that make their home at the lake. Spring Lake is stocked with trout, and there is a ramp to launch car top boats. No outboard motors are permitted on the lake, however, and its quiet tree lined shore is best explored by canoe or kayak.
On the edge of town, Wreck Pond is a large tidal pond that also offers visitors a chance to enjoy the water. The Town of Spring Lake maintains two miles of beach with public access for a small daily or seasonal fee, and the town's boardwalk is the longest non-commercial boardwalk in the entire state of New Jersey. The Monmouth County lake and town are also known as the "Irish Riviera" because of the large Irish-American population that settled the area. In addition to the lake, beach and turn of the century architecture, Spring Lake has restaurants, quaint shops full of unexpected treasures and a variety of accommodations including some vacation rentals with a waterfront view.
With its rich history, interesting architecture and clean, clear spring fed lake, the Town of Spring Lake draws visitors from all over. Add the power and beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and people are sure to enjoy Spring Lake for years to come.
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