Camping Gems - Places to Go in New Jersey
Wharton State Forest
Throughout Wharton are rivers and streams for canoeing, hiking trails (including a major section of the Batona Trail), miles of unpaved roads for mountain biking and horseback riding and numerous lakes, ponds and fields ideal for wildlife observation. Look for bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, ospreys, great blue herons, swans, and screech owls.
Bass River State Forest
Lake Absegami, a 67-acre lake created in the 1930s, is the center of the forest's recreational activities and provides an area for swimming and a serene setting for boating and canoeing. A trail through the Absegami Natural Area wanders through a pine/oak woods and a small Atlantic white cedar bog. Don't miss the terrific fishing, swimming, and boating.
Charming Cape May offers ocean sailing, gorgeous beaches, and streets lined with Victorian homes. Be sure not to miss the Cape May County Historical Society Museum, the Cape May County Park Zoo, the Cape May Point Light House, the Emlen Physick Estate, and Historic Cold Spring Village.
Ringwood State Park
This park has more than just trails, woods, and areas for fishing and hunting. As well as having some of the best mountain biking in the state, you can also visit the historic Ringwood Manor, the Skylands Manor, and the Thunder Mountain Skeet Range. In the winter, visit the park for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and sledding.
The Appalachian Trail is a more than 2,175-mile long footpath stretching through 14 eastern states from Maine to Georgia. Conceived in 1921 and first completed in 1937, it traverses the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. In New Jersey, pay a visit to Sunfish Pond, a beautiful glacial lake with rocky shores.
Point Pleasant Beach
This family destination has something for everyone -- amusement parks, Lakewood Blue Claws baseball, and an excellent boardwalk and aquarium. Sport fishing is popular here, as are crabbing and clamming.
Palisades Interstate Park
You'll find wildflowers, hiking trails, ocean views, and wildlife at the Palisades Interstate Park. Take the Long Path trail across the George Washington Bridge, then high above the Hudson River.
If you're looking for a quiet family beach that's away from the hubbub, head to Bradley Beach. With a charming boardwalk, bingo hall, and all the old Atlantic coast standards, this beach is a perfect family getaway spot.
Edwin B Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, Oceanville
This refuge features 40,000+ virgin acres of coastal salt meadows, upland fields, woodlands, and open channels and bays. As you are driving along, you'll want to keep your camera handy in case you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of the more than 200 species of birds that call this retreat home. (Great Creek Rd., Route 9, 609-652-1665)
New Jersey Festival of Ballooning
Held in Readington, New Jersey, this incredible festival takes place every year in late July. For three days, all of New Jersey turns its eyes to the sky, to see colorful hot air balloons filling the sky.