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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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June 1, 2009

Contact: Darlene Yuhas (609) 984-1795
Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994


(09/P10) TRENTON - Attention Fido, Fluffy and Felix: If your people are going camping in New Jersey this year, now you can go, too.

Under a pilot program launched today, campers can bring along their dogs and domestic cats when they book accommodations at select campgrounds in three state parks and forests, Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Mark N. Mauriello announced.

“For many people, dogs and cats are bona fide members of the family. Taking pets along can make a family vacation even more special, so we’re delighted to offer this new option,” Commissioner Mauriello said. “Responsible pet ownership is the key to making this program a success.”

Pet-friendly camping is available at the following locations:

  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest: Family campsites 17 through 32
  • Parvin State Park: Family campsites 45 through 56
  • Wharton State Forest: Batona Camp, Goshen Pond Camp, Hawkin Bridge Camp and Lower Forge Camp

The pilot program will continue until Dec. 31, and no additional fees will be charged for using a pet-friendly campsite.

At each of the pet-friendly pilot sites, dog and cat owners must comply with people-friendly guidelines, including leashing, proper cleanup and disposal of pet waste, and discouraging barking and other noise. A maximum of two pets per camping permit will be allowed, and owners must be able to show proof of required pet licensing and necessary vaccinations.

In addition, dogs and cats are prohibited from all buildings, swimming beaches and swimming waters, and any campsites or overnight facilities not specifically designated as pet-friendly.

Campers who violate any guidelines could be required to remove their pets from park grounds.

The DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry will gauge the success of the pet-friendly pilot program by evaluating pet owners’ compliance with the guidelines and gathering comments from all campers.

For more information, visit:



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Last Updated: June 1, 2009