NEW JERSEY

BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING

WHARTON STATE FOREST

Wharton State Forest encompasses a considerable portion of New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, an enormous wild area in the south-central part of the state. Given New Jersey’s relatively small size and high population density, it’s rather surprising and gratifying to find such a place here.

This is a region of largely flat terrain with sandy soil, some interesting and diverse vegetation, and a vast forest of pitch pine. There are many lakes and streams, marshes and swamps, and four small rivers. Wildlife includes white-tailed deer and fox.

Activities: Some fine, easy canoeing is available on the Mullica, Batsto, Wading, and Oswego Rivers. Canoe rentals are available nearby. There’s one marked trail here for hiking and backpacking, the 51-mile Batona Trail (see entry page 208). Hiking is also possible on old sandy roads, as is horseback riding. Fishing is available, and hunting is permitted in season.

Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are restricted to nine designated camping areas, some of which are in relatively remote areas. A camping permit is required, and may be obtained at the forest office. Horses are allowed at some camping areas. Pets are prohibited.

For Further Information: Wharton State Forest, RD #9 Batsto, Hammonton, NJ 08037; (609)561-3262.

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