New Jersey April 28, 2017
You Haven’t Lived Until You’ve Experienced This One Incredible Park In New Jersey
There are dozens of beautiful places in New Jersey, but one natural paradise stands out above the rest. While our mountains offer spectacular views and endless adventure and our shoreline can only be described as stunning, our Pine Barrens play host to another gem – one that truly has something for everyone.
At 115,000 acres, Wharton State Forest is the largest state park in New Jersey.
Spanning three counties (Burlington, Camden and Atlantic), the park is part of the Pinelands National Reserve. This New Jersey nature reserve has a special honor -
established by Congress in 1978, it was the country's first national reserve.
Heaven for nature lovers, you'll find miles of trails, a variety of campgrounds and opportunities for everything from boating to fishing.
Trails range from .5 to over 50 miles and there is a trail for everyone. Several trails are wheelchair accessible (including the Atsion Lake Blue Trail) while others are designed to accommodate bikes and horses.
The park is home to several beautiful bodies of water including Atsion Lake, Goshen Pond and the Mullica River.
Paddling these waters is always a fun activity and a great way for beginners to try it out is through Pinelands Adventures. They offer guided tours and all the equipment you'll need.
You'll also find Apple Pie Hill, the highest point in the Pine Barrens. Climb the fire tower for views like this.
You'll see trees for miles and it's something truly incredible to take in. While you used to be able to climb at any time, repeated vandalism has limited access. Still, hikers are welcome to visit when a New Jersey Forest Fire Service fire watcher is manning it.
In warmer weather, enjoy the park's beach.
This is a great swimming spot and it's affordable, too. Entrance to the park is free and access to Atsion Lake beach is just $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 on weekends. Hike or ride your bike and you can get in for $2.
Visit historic Batsto Village and explore restored buildings dating back centuries. Check out the blacksmith shop for live demonstrations.
Free to visit on weekdays and just $5 per vehicle on weekends for New Jersey residents, you can enjoy guided tours and even smartphone tours that you can take at your own pace.
Head to the other side of the park for architectural tours of Atsion Mansion.
The interior is not entirely restored but the building itself is an architectural gem.
If ruins are more your thing, head to Harrisville - a thriving mill town turned ghost town.
Abandoned in 1891, you can observe a variety of ruins here including those of a boarding house and a gristmill. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can take a video tour. If not, you can always explore on your own. Just be sure to respect all the structures.
Of course, you don't need to do anything at all to have a wonderful time here.
Just find a spot, sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.
You’ll also find a wide range of wildlife and a memorial to aviator Emilio Carranza. There’s so much to explore and you can visit year-round. While you’re at the park, consider taking this
abandoned railroad hike. For other gorgeous places in the Garden State, check out these 15 scenic spots.