Brent Porche

Brent Porche

Brent Porche

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New Jersey may be a small state, but it has a lot to offer campers. From the pine barrens to the beaches, there’s something for everyone. Here are a few of the best places to camp and visit in New Jersey. Remember to always check the parks’ websites for updates before you go.

Before you head out, here are some tips for visiting the best parks in New Jersey:

The best parks in New Jersey can get crowded on weekends, so it’s best to visit during the week if possible.
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes for hiking or biking.
Bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are no food vendors in the park.
Pack sunscreen and insect repellent, especially during the summer months.

High Point State Park

High Point State Park is located in the northwestern corner of New Jersey, in the Kittatinny Mountains. It is the highest point in New Jersey, with an elevation of 1,803 feet. The park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and swimming. There are also several historic sites in the park, including the High Point Monument, which honors New Jersey’s veterans.

The park has over 100 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging. Some of the most popular trails include the High Point Trail, which leads to the top of High Point, and the Appalachian Trail, which passes through the park. The park also has several biking trails, including the D&R Canal Trail, which is a 75-mile trail that runs from New Hope, Pennsylvania to Trenton, New Jersey.

The park has two campgrounds, with over 200 campsites available. The campgrounds offer a variety of amenities, including showers, flush toilets, and drinking water. The park also has a number of cabins and yurts that can be rented.

The park has several lakes and streams, which are popular for fishing and swimming. Lake Marcia is the park’s only lake, and it offers a swimming beach, boat rentals, and a fishing pier.

The High Point Monument is a 150-foot-tall tower that offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The monument was built in 1930 to honor New Jersey’s veterans.

High Point State Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and learn about New Jersey’s history and natural beauty. The park is open year-round, and admission is free.

Be aware of all park rules and regulations, which can be found on the park’s website.

Here are some of the best parks to camp and visit in New Jersey:

  • Stokes State Forest

    smores

    Stokes State Forest is a 22,000-acre state forest located in Sussex and Warren counties in northwestern New Jersey. The forest is named after James J. Stokes, a former New Jersey State Senator. Stokes State Forest is a popular destination for hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting.

    The forest is home to a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging. Some of the most popular trails include the Stokes Trail, which is a 7-mile loop trail that passes through the heart of the forest, and the Wildcat Ridge Trail, which is a 4-mile  trail that offers stunning views of the Delaware Water Gap. The forest also has several biking trails, including the Stokes Rail Trail, which is a 10-mile trail that runs through the forest.

    The forest has two campgrounds, with over 200 campsites available. The campgrounds offer a variety of amenities, including showers, flush toilets, and drinking water. The forest also has a number of cabins and yurts that can be rented.

    The forest has several lakes and streams, which are popular for fishing and swimming. Lake Hopatcong is the largest lake in the forest, and it offers a swimming beach, boat rentals, and a fishing pier.

    Stokes State Forest is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and learn about New Jersey’s natural beauty. The forest is open year-round, and admission is free.

  • Belleplain State Forest

    hiking

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    Belleplain State Forest  is a popular destination for hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting.

    The forest is home to a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging. Some of the most popular trails include the White Cedar Swamp Trail, which is a 2-mile loop trail that passes through a white cedar swamp, and the Great Pine Barrens Trail, which is a 60-mile trail that runs through the heart of the Pine Barrens. The forest also has several biking trails, including the Pine Barrens Bikeway, which is a 25-mile trail that runs through the forest.

    The forest has one campground, with over 200 campsites available. The campground offers a variety of amenities, including showers, flush toilets, and drinking water. The forest also has a number of cabins and yurts that can be rented.

    The forest has several lakes and streams, which are popular for fishing and swimming. Lake Nummy is the largest lake in the forest, and it offers a swimming beach, boat rentals, and a fishing pier.

    Belleplain State Forest is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and learn about New Jersey’s natural beauty. The forest is open year-round, and admission is free.

    Things to Do:

    Hiking: There are over 20 miles of hiking trails in Belleplain State Forest, ranging from easy to challenging. Some of the most popular trails include the White Cedar Swamp Trail, which is a 2-mile loop trail that passes through a white cedar swamp, and the Great Pine Barrens Trail, which is a 60-mile (97 km) trail that runs through the heart of the Pine Barrens.

    Camping: There is one campground in Belleplain State Forest, with over 200 campsites available. The campground offers a variety of amenities, including showers, flush toilets, and drinking water. The forest also has a number of cabins and yurts that can be rented.

    Fishing: There are several lakes and streams in Belleplain State Forest, which are popular for fishing. Lake Nummy is the largest lake in the forest, and it offers a swimming beach, boat rentals, and a fishing pier.

    Swimming: Lake Nummy is the largest lake in the forest, and it offers a swimming beach, boat rentals, and a fishing pier.
    Biking: There are several biking trails in Belleplain State Forest, including the Pine Barrens Bikeway, which is a 25-mile (40 km) trail that runs through the forest.

    Wildlife Viewing: Belleplain State Forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, bears, foxes, and owls. Visitors can often spot these animals while hiking or biking through the forest.

  • Round Valley Reservoir

    boating

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    Round Valley Reservoir is a 3,000-acre reservoir located in Hunterdon County in central New Jersey. The reservoir was created in 1963 by damming the Round Valley River. Round Valley Reservoir is a popular destination for fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking.

    The reservoir is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, trout, and panfish. Boating is allowed on the reservoir, but there are no motors allowed. Swimming is allowed at designated areas, and there are several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the reservoir.

    Round Valley Reservoir is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and learn about New Jersey’s natural beauty. The reservoir is open year-round, and admission is free.

    Things to Do at Round Valley Reservoir:

    Fishing: There are a variety of fish species in Round Valley Reservoir, including bass, trout, and panfish. Fishing licenses are required, and can be purchased online or at most sporting goods stores.

    Boating: Boating is allowed on Round Valley Reservoir, but there are no motors allowed. Boats can be rented from several outfitters in the area.

    Swimming: Swimming is allowed at designated areas on Round Valley Reservoir. Lifeguards are not on duty, so swimmers should use caution.

    Hiking: There are several hiking trails that offer stunning views of Round Valley Reservoir. The most popular trail is the Round Valley Trail, which is a 5-mile loop trail that passes through the heart of the reservoir.

  • Cape May National Seashore

    beach

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    Cape May National Seashore is a 70-mile stretch of barrier islands along the southern coast of New Jersey. The park was established in 1965 to protect the unique natural and cultural resources of the area. Cape May National Seashore is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, birdwatching, hiking, and biking.

    The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including shorebirds, waterfowl, dolphins, and whales. Visitors can often spot these animals while exploring the park’s beaches, dunes, and marshes.

    Cape May National Seashore is also home to a number of historic sites, including the Cape May Lighthouse, the Physick Estate, and the Congress Hall Hotel. These sites offer visitors a glimpse into the rich history of the area.

    The park is open year-round, and admission is free.

    Things to Do:

    Swimming: There are several beaches within the park that are open to swimming. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months.

    Sunbathing: There are several beaches within the park that are perfect for sunbathing. Visitors can relax on the sand, swim in the ocean, or build sandcastles.

    Fishing: There are several spots within the park where visitors can fish. Fishing licenses are required, and can be purchased online or at most sporting goods stores.

    Birdwatching: Cape May National Seashore is a great place to birdwatch. There are over 300 species of birds that have been recorded in the park.

    Hiking: There are several hiking trails within the park that offer stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding marshes.

    Biking: There are several biking trails within the park that offer a variety of landscapes, from the beach to the marshes.

  • Jersey Shore State Parks

    people hanging together on a blanket

    The Jersey Shore is home to a number of state parks that offer a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. From swimming and sunbathing to hiking and biking, there is something for everyone at the Jersey Shore State Parks.

    Some of the most popular Jersey Shore State Parks include:

    Brigantine State Beach: This park is located on the barrier island of Brigantine and offers over 10 miles of beachfront. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, fish, and birdwatch at this park.

    Island Beach State Park: This park is located on the barrier island of Long Beach and offers over 5 miles of beachfront. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, fish, and boat at this park.

    Seaside Heights State Park: This park is located in the town of Seaside Heights and offers a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and biking.

    Wildwood Crest State Park: This park is located in the town of Wildwood Crest and offers a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and biking.

    In addition to the beaches, the Jersey Shore State Parks also offer a variety of hiking and biking trails. These trails offer stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding marshes.

    The Jersey Shore State Parks are a great place to enjoy the outdoors and learn about New Jersey’s natural beauty. The parks are open year-round, and admission is free.

  • New Jersey Pine Barrens

    Camping

    The New Jersey Pine Barrens is a unique ecosystem located in the southern part of the state. It is a vast, 1.1 million-acre (4,500 km2) forest of pines, cedars, and swamps. The Pine Barrens is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, bears, foxes, and owls. It is also home to a number of natural wonders, including the Pine Barrens Trail, the Batsto Village, and the Wharton State Forest.

    The Pine Barrens is a popular destination for outdoor recreation. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and hunting in the Pine Barrens. There are also a number of historical sites in the Pine Barrens, including the Batsto Village, which was a former glassmaking town, and the Wharton State Forest, which is home to a number of historic buildings.

    Things to Do:

    Hiking: There are over 100 miles of hiking trails in the Pine Barrens, ranging from easy to challenging. Some of the most popular trails include the Batona Trail, which is a 50-mile (80 km) trail that runs through the heart of the Pine Barrens, and the Green Swamp Trail, which is a 10-mile (16 km) trail that passes through a white cedar swamp.

    Biking: There are over 50 miles of biking trails in the Pine Barrens, ranging from easy to challenging. Some of the most popular trails include the Pine Barrens Bikeway, which is a 25-mile (40 km) trail that runs through the heart of the Pine Barrens, and the Batsto River Trail, which is a 5-mile (8 km) trail that passes through the Batsto Village.

    Camping: There are over 20 campgrounds in the Pine Barrens, with over 1,000 campsites available. The campgrounds offer a variety of amenities, including showers, flush toilets, and drinking water.

    Fishing: There are several lakes and streams in the Pine Barrens, which are popular for fishing. Lake Nummy is the largest lake in the forest, and it offers a swimming beach, boat rentals, and a fishing pier.

  • Here are a few other things to keep in mind when camping or visiting a park in New Jersey:

    • Campsite Reservations: Most campgrounds in New Jersey require reservations, so be sure to book your site in advance.
    • Pets: Pets are allowed at some campgrounds, but there may be restrictions on size and breed.
    • Fires: Fires are allowed at most campgrounds, but there may be restrictions on the type of wood that can be used.
    • Leave No Trace: Be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles when camping in New Jersey. This means packing out all of your trash and respecting the environment.

    When camping and visiting parks in New Jersey, be sure to check the weather conditions and pack accordingly. The weather can change quickly, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for anything.

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