The holly near the beaches of Sandy Hook, New Jersey isn't just pretty to look it -- it's one of a kind along the East Coast.

The nearly 300 acres of American holly at Gateway National Recreation Area is the largest native holly forest on the East Coast, according to the National Park Service (NPS).

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Most of the trees are decades or even a century old. The NPS dates one of the trees in the forest back to the 1830s.

Where to Find the Holly Forest at Sandy Hook, NJ

Want to see the unique forest the Jersey Shore proudly has bragging rights to?

The forest is located on the bayside of the peninsula at the northern end of Spermaceti Cove across from the former Nike missile launch site. A walking path meanders through the forest. This path is easily accessible by parking in Lot D or Lot 4.

If you visit in the summer, you will have to pay the parking fee to enter, regardless of whether or not you have a beach day planned as part of your holly trek.

Don't Pick the Holly at Sandy Hook, NJ

While it can be tempting to want to take a sprig of holly with you after your visit, don't do it.

It's illegal in New Jersey to take wild holly.

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National Park Service regulations also prohibit you from doing any damage to flora in the park.

Sandy Hook sometimes hosts events taking visitors through the holly forest. Keep an eye on the calendar for the next event listing.

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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