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Wharton State Forest
photo of: wharton state park
Photo by William Matulewicz

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Wharton
State Forest

Location:
Atlantic, Burlington and Camden Counties

Mailing Address:
31 Batsto Road
Hammonton, NJ 08037
Batsto Office: (609) 561-0024
Atsion Office: (609) 268-0444

Size: 122,880 acres

Fees: No entrance fee for Wharton State Forest.
Batsto Village: Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

N/A
weekdays
New Jersey Resident $5.00
Non-Resident $7.00
weekends
N/A
walk-in/bicycle

Link to the Related Fees page

Directions:
Wharton State Forest has two offices - one at Batsto Village and one at Atsion Recreation Area. Batsto Village is located on Route 542, eight miles east of Hammonton. Atsion is on Route 206, eight miles north of Hammonton.

Facilities & Activities:

Trails:

  • Hiking
  • Nature trails
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Batona Trail
 

 

Wharton State Forest is the largest single tract of land within the New Jersey State Park System. It is also the site of 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.

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. Bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, marsh hawks, ospreys, great blue herons, swans, screech owls, great-horned owls, bluebirds, hummingbirds, purple martins, goldfinch, turkeys, beavers, river otters, fox and deer are only some of the wildlife the alert visitor can see.

Keep Your Forest Clean

Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep your parks clean and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags are provided throughout the site. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.

Park Hours

Open daily sunrise to sunset
Batsto Office Hours: Open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Atsion Office: Open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Park Advisory

The Crowley's Landing Boat Launch within Wharton State Forest is closed due to structural damage.  We anticipate repairs to be completed and the boat launch reopened for the Spring, 2015 season. Boat launch permit holders are advised to contact the Wharton State Forest Office for additional information at (609) 561-0024.

Batsto Village

Batsto Village is the site of a former bog iron and glass making industrial center (1766 - 1867). This Pine Barrens village consists of thirty-three historic buildings and structures including the Batsto Mansion, gristmill, sawmill, general store, workers' homes and post office. Watch the video "Batsto Stories in the Pines" (w/subtitles)

For more information about Batsto Village and tours of Batsto Mansion, call (609) 561-0024.

Visitors can also take a guided tour via their smart phone. Accompanied by a walking guide brochure, the smart phone tour highlights 18 historic sites and buildings in the village. Taking the cell phone tour is simple and free.  A data plan is required.  Visitors simply scan the QR code at each location along the way.  A short video and pre-recorded message will play.  Each video is approximately 2-3 minutes.  This project is supported and funded by the Batsto Citizens Committee, Inc., a volunteer group dedicated to preserving and promoting the site, and was created as an Eagle Scout project.  For more information, visitors may stop by the Visitor Center or call 609-561-0024.

Historic Batsto Village Area satellite photo map (PDF 3,682 KB)

Batsto Blacksmith Shop

Batsto Blacksmith ShopThe Batsto Blacksmith Shop is open for live demonstrations on weekends during the spring, summer and fall.  Please contact the Batsto Visitor Center for additional details; (609) 561-0024.

Click to view Blacksmithing Video

 

 

Teacher Resources

Batsto Through the Years: A Teaching Resource (PDF 3.84 MB) was recently developed to help educators explain the importance of the New Jersey Pinelands and the lifestyles of the people who lived and worked there. It is the result of collaboration between the State Park Service and the Batsto Citizens Committee, Inc.

The 10 lessons included in the teaching resource are based on fourth grade Core Curriculum standards for Social Studies. Topics range from the environment and early Pinelands industry to daily life in the village. The suggested follow-up activities help students make connections between life in the 18th and 19th centuries and the present day. Critical thinking activities challenge students to examine their own community and evaluate how society deals with preservation of historic buildings and open spaces.

In conjunction with the manual, Batsto Village offers seasonal educational programs and interpreter-led tours. Age appropriate presentations and a “child friendly” museum greet our visitors. For schools unable to travel to Batsto Village, staff and volunteers also offer in-school presentations. For more information about Historic Batsto Village, contact the Batsto Village Visitor Center at (609) 561-0024.

Harrisville Village Video Podcast

Take a tour of historic Harrisville, the remains of a company town located in Wharton State Forest. Isolated deep in the Pinelands, Harrisville is a genuine ghost town from the late 1800's. Once a flourishing village, it was abandoned in 1891 after the driving force of the community, the great paper mill, went out of business.

Harrisville Village Video Podcast for iPhone/ iPod - 50.6MB
Courtesy of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance
Download and unzip this file and then add the video file to iTunes for your iPod or iPhone.

Key stops on this tour include:

  • The Papermill & Artesian Well
  • The Boarding House
  • McCarty Mansion
  • Workers Homes
  • View of the Canal
  • Howard Harris Mansion
  • The Store
  • The Gristmill

Atsion Mansion


Atsion Mansion ToursThe Atsion Mansion was built in 1826 as a summer home for Samuel Richards. Richards, who a prominent ironmaster from Philadelphia, was the operator of the Atsion furnace along the Mullica River. After Richards died in 1842, the property was passed down through his heirs, and finally sold to another Philadelphia merchant, Maurice Raleigh. The Raleigh family was the last to use the mansion as a residence. When Joseph Wharton purchased the property in 1892, he used the mansion for packing and storage for his cranberry production. The state acquired the property in 1955.

Today the mansion appears as it was back in 1826. As such, it does not contain plumbing, electricity, or heat other than fireplaces. The home, unfurnished, is offered as an architectural tour, reflecting on the Greek Revival style of the building.

Tours of the Atsion Mansion are available seasonally.  Please call the Atsion Office at (609) 268-0444 for more information.

Podcast about Atsion Village

Atsion Tour Map

Batona Trail

Batona Trail BrochureThis 50-mile trail connects Brendan T. Byrne, Wharton and Bass River State Forests. The  Batona Trail is maintained by the NJ State Park Service, the Batona Hiking Club and the Outdoor Club of South Jersey.  Please note:  The Batona Trail has been re-routed in two locations.  These changes are not represented on this map.  Between Route 532 and Route 72 in Woodland Township, the newly designed trail traverses the NJ Conservation Foundation’s Franklin Parker Preserve.  An addendum to the trail map is attached.  Also, the southern end within Bass River State Forest has been rerouted.  Please contact the Bass River State Forest office for details; 609-296-1114.  A new map is presently under design to reflect both edits.”

 

Batsto Natural Area (9449 acres)

This natural area is composed of two sections bordering the Batsto and Mullica rivers and contains several forest communities that are representative of New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Oswego River Natural Area (1,927 acres)

Extensive white cedar and pitch pine forests border the Oswego River. This freshwater wetland corridor is home to the rare bog asphodel, Pine Barren boneset, curly grass fern and Pine Barrens treefrog.

Swimming at Atsion Recreation Area

Swimming facilities are available at Atsion Recreation Area on Route 206 in Shamong Township from Memorial Weekend to Labor Day, while lifeguards are on duty. For more information call (609) 268-0444. The Recreation Area is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

After Memorial day, swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 10 am to 6 pm.

PLEASE NOTE
: During the summer months, the park and swimming area may close temporarily if we reach the maximum capacity for visitors. We advise you to call the park prior to your visit to check the status.

Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach.

Fees: Entrance fees are only charged from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

New Jersey Resident $5.00
Non-Resident $10.00
weekdays
New Jersey Resident $10.00
Non-Resident $20.00
weekends
New Jersey Resident $2.00
Non-Resident $2.00
walk-in/bicycle
New Jersey Resident $5.00
Non-Resident $7.00
motorcycle

Link to the Related Fees page

Camping Advisory

Bodine Field Campers: Bodine Field Camp will be closed for a maintenance, conservation and improvement project. 

Camping

For forms and information on booking a campsite visit our: reservations page

The Department of Environmental Protection, State Park Service is pleased to announce through ReserveAmerica our new reservation system for all overnight facilities within the New Jersey State Parks and Forests. Reservations are now available online or through the ReserveAmerica call center.

Online reservations can be made 7 days per week/24 hours a day at ReserveAmerica. To make a reservation through the call center, please contact ReserveAmerica at 1-855-607-3075 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from April 1st through October 31st. Beginning November 1st through March 31st, hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed on Saturdays and Sundays. 

We anticipate our visitors will be pleased with our new streamlined reservation system as it provides greater flexibility in searching and reserving available overnight facilities. 

Alcohol is prohibited. Pets are prohibited in overnight facilities with the exception of pet friendly campsites.

Beginning January 1, 2014, a transaction fee of $5 will be charged for all walk-in overnight reservations.

View Pet Friendly Campsites-Now taking reservations

Atsion campsites: 50 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Potable water, flush toilets and showers are within walking distance. Please call ahead for campfire regulations. Trailer sanitary station open April 1 through October 31. Campsites open April 1 through October 31. New Jersey Residents: $20 per night; Non-Residents: $25 per night.

Atsion Campground Map (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Atsion Campground Map (High resolution for printing purposes) File Size:1,440 KB
Atsion Recreation Area satellite photo map (PDF file size 4,214 kb)

Godfrey Bridge: 34 tent and trailer sites (21 feet or less), water, picnic tables, fire rings, pit toilets. Please call ahead for campfire regulations. Campsites open all year. New Jersey Residents: $3 per person/per night; Non-Residents: $5 per person/per night.

Primitive Campsites: Bodine Field, Hawkins Bridge, Batona, Mullica River and Goshen Pond have hand pumps for water and pit toilets. Buttonwood Hill and Lower Forge sites have no water. Mullica River and Lower Forge can only be accessed by hiking, canoeing or horseback; motor vehicles are not permitted. All other areas are accessible by motor vehicles. Please call ahead for campfire regulations. Maximum campsite capacities vary from 50 to 250 persons. New Jersey Residents: $3 per person, per night; Non-Residents: $5 per person, per night. We highly recommend that group leaders carefully estimate their group size so not to over estimate as refunds cannot be made later.

Batona Campground (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Batona Campground (High resolution for printing purposes) File Size:164 KB

Bodine Field camp area (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Bodine Field camp area (High resolution for printing purposes) File Size:94 KB

Buttonwood Campground (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Buttonwood Campground (High resolution for printing purposes) File Size:175 KB

Godfrey Bridge Campground Map (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Godfrey Bridge Campground Map (High resolution for printing purposes) File Size:109 KB

Goshen Pond camp area (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Goshen Pond camp area (High resolution for printing purposes) File Size:540 KB

Hawkin Bridge Campground (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Hawkin Bridge Campground (High resolution for printing purposes) File Size:243 KB

Lower Forge camp area (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Lower Forge camp area (High resolution for printing purposes) File Size:83 KB

Mullica River camp area (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Mullica River camp area (High resolution for printing purposes) File Size:81 KB

Cabins: Nine furnished cabins with screened porch, fireplace, outdoor campfire rings, refrigerator, hot and cold running water, bathroom with toilet and shower; single beds. Cabin #6 contains 2 bunks. All cabins are designed for people with disabilities. Five cabins accommodate 4 people; three cabins accommodate 6 people; 1 cabin accommodates 8 people. Cabins are located on Atsion Lake. Open April 1 through October 31.

From the Friday before Memorial Day through and including Labor Day, cabins must be reserved for seven or fourteen consecutive nights only. From April 1st to the Friday before Memorial Day and from the day after Labor Day through October 31st, cabins may be reserved for a minimum of two consecutive nights to a maximum of fourteen consecutive nights.

Four Person Cabin: New Jersey Residents: $55 per night; $385 per week; Non-Residents: $65 per night; $455 per week
Six Person Cabin:New Jersey Residents: $75 per night; $525 per week; Non-Residents: $85 per night; $595 per week
Eight Person Cabin:New Jersey Residents: $100 per night; $700 per week; Non-Residents: $110 per night; $770 per week

Special Use Permit Application

Special Use Permit Application Package

A Special Use Permit is utilized to accommodate a specific activity or event being conducted over a short duration. There are two types of special use permits: Non-Commercial and Commercial and fees are based on NJ residency and Non-residents.  A completed application must be submitted to the park/forest area where the activity or event is being held at least 90 days prior to the event. If the special use or event is extremely large or complex, at least one-year’s prior notice is recommended. 

Boating/Canoeing

Mullica River provides excellent boating for electric motors, trailer launch, and cartop launch. Canoeing can also be enjoyed on Mullica, Batsto, Wading and Oswego Rivers.

Launching fees are charged on the Mullica River beginning on Memorial Day weekend and ending on Labor Day inclusive.

Launch Ramp Fees:

New Jersey Resident $12.00 per Launch.

Non-Resident $20.00 per Launch.

Daily

New Jersey Resident $60.00

Non-Resident $80.00

Annual

Hunting

State Park Service areas open to hunting for 2013-2014

Hunting is permitted in designated areas within the park and is subject to Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.

Interpretive Programs

The Park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year. Contact the park office for a schedule of programs and to register. Program fees may apply.

Related Links

Batsto Citizens Committee, Inc.

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Questions regarding our parks and forests can be directed to
Michele Buckley of the State Park Service.

 

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 19, 2013

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