Camping for the first time? Check out these tips for an unforgettable experience. Now is the time to choose a location. Consider the size of your party and what activities interest everyone. Start with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection website, Camping in NJ Parks, or look at these local camping areas. Make a reservation for these parks at ReserveAmerica online or one of the links below.
Allaire State Park
4265 Atlantic Ave, Farmingdale
campsites at $20-25; shelters from $48 to $60; Group campsites from $50 to $200
While camping here, you can visit the historic village of Allaire, which includes the explosion of old blacksmith and carpenter shops, a general store and a church. There are year-round craft shows and markets, as well as living history events. Hike the trail system, visit the visitor center museum, canoeing and more.
Bass River State Forest
762 Stage Road, Bass River Township
Campgrounds $50-100, cabins $75-85/night
Stop at New Jersey’s first state forest that was created over a century ago! Find rare plants and animals or hike over 20 km of trails. Bring your pet and have a picnic. Don’t leave without trying to locate birds like bald eagles and whip-poor-wills.
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
Mile Marker 1, Highway Rt. 72 E., Woodland Township.
Email for prices
Hunt, picnic, grill, mountain bike and, of course, hike. There are wonderful views along these trails due to lowland forests and swamps. These forests are part of the famous NJ Pine Barrens. Don’t miss a trip to Whitesbog Village, a cranberry and blueberry community being restored.
Camp Glen Gray
200 Midvale Mountain Road, Mahwah
$135-305/weekend cabins, campsites $10/person
Test your fishing skills or take a boat trip along the shores of Lake Vreeland. Try the different trails or walk around the neighborhood and you’ll find snow tubing and skiing. Bring your organized youth group for arctic and outdoor cooking competitions!
Cheesequake State Park
300 Gordon Road, Matawan
$20 campsites; Group campsites from $50 to $100
Visit the nature center, jump in a canoe or go swimming and relax at the concession afterwards! If you’re looking to get your rod out, head to freshwater Hooks Creek Lake for largemouth bass, catfish, sunfish, and trout.
High Point State Park
1480 State Rt. 23, Wantage
campsites $20-25; group campsites from $50 to $100; $75-85/cabin night; $175-185/night in group cabin
These trails are popular for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and horseback riding. Discover swamps, woods and wetlands with your family. Go swimming in Lake Marcia, water rafting or fishing.
17 Coles Mill Road, Williamstown
Check online for prices
Spend an afternoon fishing, swimming, swinging and boating in the resort’s 30-acre lake. Look for gems as a family before attempting the obstacle course. Don’t forget all the outdoor games like volleyball and gaga ball!
Parvin State Park
701 Almond Road, Pittsgrove
Tent site $20-25, group site $50-100, cabins $55-65/night
Home to hundreds of wildlife and plants, this state park is a must visit. Pike and yellow perch run free in the three main bodies of water. Hit the water with canoes, kayaks or boats. Discover among others the wild azalea and the magnolia as well as the barred owl.
Round Valley Recreation Area
1220 Lebanon-Stanton Rd., Lebanon
wild camping $22-27; $50-$100 group wild camping
Do you like to scuba dive? Head to Round Valley Reservoir for a freshwater dive (must be certified). Swim with your crew, grill by the water’s edge or watch the birds from the Pine Tree Trail!
Swartswood State Park
1091 county road. 619 Newtons
campsites at $20-25; group campsites $40-80; $48-60 shelter
Fish for bass, pumpkinseed, catfish and more on Little Swartswood and Swartswood lakes. If you prefer to hunt, find white-tailed deer or ring-necked pheasants in the woods surrounding Rt. 619 County. Go swimming and boating, too; lifeguards are on duty all summer.
Voorhees State Park
251 County Road. Rte. 513 Glen Gardner
$20-25 tents/trailers; group campsites from $60 to $200; $48-60 shelter
Enjoy nearly a dozen trails where you can mountain bike and ski in the winter. Have fun on the two public playgrounds, fish at Willoughby Brook or go turkey hunting. If you have a space lover in your crew, head to the observatory hosted by the New Jersey Astronomical Association. There is a 26-inch Cassegrain reflector, one of the largest private telescopes in the state.
Washington Crossing State Park
355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville
Group campsites from $30 to $200/night
Travel back in time at the Johnson Ferry House, built around 1740, where you can watch living history demonstrations on weekends. The Washington Crossing Visitor Center Museum contains hundreds of American Revolution artifacts for all history buffs. The nature interpretation center and outdoor theater may also be available.
Wawayanda State Park
885 Warwick Tpk., Hewitt
$20-140/night group campsites
Discover beautiful views atop Wawayanda Mountain or conquer a 19-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. Swim on the white sand beach and picnic by Lake Wawayanda with canoes and kayaks just steps away!
Discover more places to camp in New Jersey’s parks and forests here! Looking to camp with a little more flare? Try glamping in one of these places!