Nestled in the heart of the Pinelands National Reserve, Wharton State Forest offers a chance to experience the unique Pine Barrens ecosystem with a variety of natural and historic activities. Visitors may enjoy scenic hiking trails, canoeing or kayaking, exploring historic Batsto Village, swimming and picnicking at Atsion Recreation Area during the summer, fishing, bicycling, bird watching, camping, and more.
With over 125,000 acres, Wharton State Forest is the largest State Forest in the New Jersey State Park System. We are conveniently located near a number of major metropolitan areas: approximately 30 minutes from Atlantic City, an hour from Philadelphia, an hour and a half from Trenton and two hours from New York City.
From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the Atsion Recreation Area within Wharton State Forest offers a swimming beach staffed with lifeguards. Restrooms and shower facilities are available to the public during this time.
Atsion Recreation Area also offers picnic tables and charcoal grills available on a first-come, first-serve basis, a short nature trail, canoe/kayak launch area, two playgrounds and an open playfield.
Wharton State Forest is home to many interesting plants and animals, some which are unique to the Pinelands ecosystem. Visitors will enjoy traversing our hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking trails. More than half of the 50+ mile long Batona Trail runs through Wharton State Forest. Other ways to enjoy the Forest include boating, paddling and fishing on our numerous rivers and lakes.
Boaters can launch into the Mullica River at the Crowleys Landing boat launch. Launch fees are charged from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and are collected at the Batsto visitor center. Frequent boaters may purchase an annual launch permit from the office, a convenient alternative to the daily fees.
Our main office is located in the visitor center at Batsto Village, a former bog iron and glassmaking industrial center from 1766 to 1867 that currently reflects the agricultural and commercial enterprises that existed here during the late 19th century. Visitors to Batsto Village can imagine what life was like over 150 years ago through exploring the original buildings from the 1800’s. Mansion tours, Sawmill and Blacksmithing demonstrations, and other interpretive historic programs are offered seasonally; please call the office at (609) 561-0024 for the schedule or more information. Along with the historic programs, the Annie M. Carter Nature Center offers guided nature hikes and various nature-themed interpretive programs year-round. For more information, please call the Nature Center at (609) 567-4559. Atsion Family Campground has 50 tent and trailer sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and access to flush toilets and shower facilities, open April 1st-October 31st. Located on Atsion Lake, across from the recreation area. Godfrey Bridge Campground has 34 primitive tent and trailer sites, with fire rings, access to potable drinking water and pit toilet facilities. Located along the Wading River. Hawkins Bridge Campground has 9 primitive tent sites and 4 group sites, with access to potable drinking water and pit toilet facilities. Located along the Wading River. Goshen Pond Campground offers 14 primitive tent sites, 2 tent or trailer sites, and 3 group sites, with access to potable drinking water and pit toilet facilities. Located along the Mullica River at Goshen Pond. These sites have no flush toilets or showers, and use of the Atsion Family Campground facilities is prohibited. Buttonwood Hill Campground offers 5 primitive tent and trailer sites with fire rings. Pit toilet facilities, no access to drinking water. Located on Rt. 542, across the street from Crowleys Landing Boat Launch. Batona Campground offers 12 primitive tent and trailer sites and 1 group site. Access to potable drinking water, pit toilet facilities. Located in the northern part of the Forest near the Carranza Memorial and along the Batona Trail. Lower Forge Campground has 9 tent sites and is only accessible by hiking or paddling. Access to pit toilets, no drinking water. Located along the Batona Trail and Batsto River. Mullica Campground has 10 tent sites, and is only accessible by hiking or paddling. Access to pit toilets and potable drinking water. Located along the Mullica River and Mullica River trail. Bodine Campground has access to pit toilets and potable drinking water. This campground must be reserved through our field office. The 9 Atsion cabins are a blend of rustic and modern amenities. Each cabin has a full bathroom, a kitchen with a refrigerator and electric stove, an indoor fireplace, an outdoor fire ring, a picnic table and charcoal grill. All cabins are along Atsion Lake, and sleep 4, 6, or 8 people depending on the specific cabin. Cabins are open April 1st-October 31st, and there is a 2 night minimum stay in April and May until Memorial Day weekend, and after Labor Day weekend until the end of October. From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, the cabins are rented on a weekly basis.
For campers, we offer 9 different campgrounds located throughout the Forest, and 9 rustic cabins situated on Atsion Lake.
Our Atsion office is open seasonally from April 1st-October 31st. Housed in the former general store of Atsion Village, visitors can obtain hiking trail maps, information about the Forest, and camping permits. Visitors may also inquire about tours of the newly-renovated Atsion Mansion, located conveniently next door. For Atsion Mansion tour schedules and information about the Recreation Area or campgrounds, please call the Atsion Office at (609) 268-0444.
Franklin Parker Preserve, Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, Tuckerton Seaport, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Historic Smithville Village, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Noyes Museum of Art - Oceanville, Wheaton Arts
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL 911 OR DEP COMMUNICATIONS AT 1-877-927-6337.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE - Please check in at the office. Check in is mandatory and must be done by the site's named permit holder (Primary Occupant) with ID. If arriving after park office hours (9 AM - 4 PM), please check in the following morning between the hours of 9 AM and 10 AM.
Make and license plates of all vehicles must be provided at registration.
CHECK IN — 12 Noon for Tent sites. 3 PM for Cabins
CHECK OUT - 12 Noon for all sites.
FACILITY HOURS AND LOCATION - Wharton State Forest has two offices - one at Batsto Village and one at Atsion. Batsto Village is located on Route 542, eight miles east of Hammonton. Atsion is on Route 206, eight miles north of Hammonton. Both park offices are open during the hours 9:00AM to 4:00PM. The Atsion Office is open April 1st- October 31st.
AGE REGULATIONS - Campsites must be registered and occupied by a responsible person 18 years of age or older.
OCCUPANCY - Limited to 6 individuals per campsite unless a group site. Only 2 tents and 2 vehicles permitted on any campsite unless otherwise specified. Primary occupant/permit holder must be present at site during the stay.
VISITORS - Visitors are permitted from 8AM to 8PM.
QUIET HOURS - Please observe quiet hours from 10PM until 6AM.
ANIMAL ALERTS - Pets are prohibited in Cabins 1-9, Atsion Family Campsites #001-025 and 035-050, Mullica River Campground and Bodine Field Campground. All other campgrounds are pet friendly once pets have been registered and paid for at one of our park offices. Rabies vaccination paperwork must be on hand and on file at the office.
RESTRICTIONS - Alcohol is prohibited. No additional tents or equipment can be set up on a cabin site. All terrain vehicles (ATV), motorized trail bikes and off-road vehicles are prohibited.
GENERATORS - May be used except during quiet hours. If the use of a generator is deemed unreasonably loud by the facility staff then individual use of a generator may be prohibited/limited.
GROUP/PRIMITIVE CAMPSITES - NO SHOWER FACILITIES AVAILABLE. The group sites do not have flush toilets or showers and the use of the family campground facilities is prohibited.
FIRES - All campfires must comply with the NJ Forest Fire regulations and are to be built only in the fire rings provided at each site. No chainsaws are allowed in campgrounds, and cutting down trees, alive or dead is prohibited. Firewood can be purchased at the park office. Firewood may not be brought in from out of state.
TRASH—Wharton State Forest is a carry in, carry out facility. All trash must be removed from camp site at the time of check out.
SWIMMING - Swimming is permitted at the Atsion Rec Area beach from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day while lifeguards are on duty. Visitors will find a beach complex containing changing area, restrooms, a first-aid station and a concession offering refreshments and beach equipment rentals. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Each year the campground makes every effort to provide safe swimming opportunities by testing the water and by keeping the swimming areas staffed with lifeguards. Please be aware that if the safety of our swimmers is compromised, due to lack of lifeguard coverage or water quality issues, swimming will be prohibited and therefore cannot be a guaranteed activity. We apologize for this inconvenience as it may occur with little advance notice.