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Bass River
State Forest

Burlington and Ocean Counties
762 Stage Road

Mailing Address:
762 Stage Rd
Tuckerton, NJ 08087
(609) 296-1114

GPS Coordinates
39° 37’ 13.91” N 74° 25' 28.74" W

Size: 29,147 acres

Fees: Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
NJ Resident

$ 5.00

$ 2.00
$ 2.00
$ 5.00
$ 7.00
Link to the Related Fees page 

Bass River State
Forest is about 25 miles north of Atlantic City and six miles west of Tuckerton. Take the Garden State Parkway to exit 52 heading south and exit 50 heading north.

Facilities & Activities:


  • Batona Trail
  • Hiking(trails from 1 to 3 miles long)
  • Horseback riding


Bass River State Forest was the first forest acquired by the state of New Jersey in 1905 for public recreation, water conservation, and wildlife and timber management. Lake Absegami, a 67-acre lake created in the 1930's, is the center of the forest's recreational activities and provides an area for swimming and a serene setting for boating and canoeing. A trail through the Absegami Natural Area wanders through a pine/oak woods and a small Atlantic white cedar bog

Keep Your Forest Clean

Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep the parks clean and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Please bring a biodegradable bag with you when visiting to take your trash home. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.

Access for Persons with Disabilities

The Bass River State Forest recreational facilities are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office for further information regarding disability access needs. Text telephone (TT) users, call the New Jersey Relay Service at (800) 852-7899.

Park Advisory

Visit and follow for the most recent information on park operations — some amenities may not be available due to COVID-19.

Dump Station is closed for the rest of the season.

Park Hours

Open daily sunrise to sunset
Day Use Area: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Office Hours: Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday  10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Fishing is subject to New Jersey's Fish and Wildlife Laws. Freshwater species are mainly pickerel, sunfish, and catfish. Fishing License are available nearby.

North Brigantine Natural Area

Mobile Sportfishing Vehicle Permit Application and Information Sheet [PDF 306KB]

Persons with Disabilities Vehicle Permit for Beach Access Application and Information Sheet [PDF 325KB]

Permits are issued to 4-wheel drive vehicle owners for fishing purposes only. Carrying the basic equipment listed is required whenever the MSFV is on the beach.
1) Fishing equipment and bait and tackle for each person over 12 years of age;
2) Tire gauge;
3) Spare tire;
4) Workable jack and board/support for jack in sand (3/4 in. x 12 x 12 in. plywood square minimum size)
5) Tow chain or snatch line;
6) Shovel;
7) Flashlight;
8) Fire extinguisher;
9) Auto first aid kit;
10) Litter/trash bag;
11) Minimum of 1/4 tank of fuel.
A current tide chart is highly recommended.  Jumper cables for the vehicle's specific battery type are also recommended

NOTE: The north end of the natural area is closed to vehicles May 15 to September 15

Park Maps

Bass River State Forest Map

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

Civilain Conservation CorpsThe Civilian Conservation Corps was created during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "The Hundred Days," the beginning of FDR's first term, and a time of massive legislative efforts to deal with the paralyzing effects of the Great Depression. The CCC put needy young men to work and sent a large portion of their pay back to their families. The fact that only 37 days elapsed between FDR's swearing in and the induction of the first CCC enrollee on April 7, 1933 reflects the importance of this program. By the time the program ended in 1942, due to World War II, over three million unemployed young men had been enrolled, planting over three billion trees and completing many other conservation projects including building much of the infrastructure at Bass River State Forest.

The CCC camp at Bass River State Forest, Camp S-55, lasted from 1933 to 1942, throughout the entire life of CCC. Company 225 served at the camp from 1933-1937 and Company 2201-V, a Veteran’s company, followed from 1937-1942. There were usually 200 men at the camp, which was a full complement. The CCC members performed wide range of conservation work. The young men of the CCC built park roads, trails, bridle paths, bridges for vehicles, ponds for fish and waterfowl, lookout towers, nature observatory shelters, picnic areas, cabins, fireplaces, campgrounds, recreational lakes, and landscaping. The most noteworthy feat was the creation of the 67-acre Lake Absegami, by damming two streams flowing through the forest. The foundations of Camp S-55 and the CCC Memorial are part of a self-guided trail. Brochures are available at the Forest Office and at the beginning of the trail near the parking lot on East Greenbush Road. Stop in at the Forest Office to see artifacts from our Camp as well as a list of members from our Camp.

Check to see if your family member or relative was a CCC Camp s-55 member at Bass River between 1933 and 1942. If you know of anybody whose name should be on the list please let us know by contacting Cynthia Coritz, Superintendent at Bass River state Forest.

Absegami Natural Area (128 acres)

A self guided nature trail loops through this wetland forest, where Atlantic white cedars share the canopy with red maple and magnolia. The Pinelands white cedar swamp and surrounding oak-pine forest community make up the Absegami Natural Area.

West Pine Plains Natural Area (3,830 acres)

This unique stunted forest ecosystem, known locally as the Pygmy Forest, is globally rare and supports an extensive forest of pine and oak trees that may obtain a canopy height of only four feet at maturity. New Jersey contains the largest acreage of this forest community type worldwide. The area also supports an endangered plant species - the broom crowberry - and numerous rare species of moths.


Bass River State Forest has eight easy walking (non-ADA accessible) trails from 1 to 3.2 miles. The 1/2 mile self-guided Absegami Trail includes a wooden foot bridge with benches. All trails start at the second parking lot at the beach. Animals, birds and plant life of the Pine Barrens may be found. A trail brochure is available at the office, or on the portion of the Orange Trail that passes through the old Civilian Conservation Corps camp near East Greenbush Road. This guide describes the camp foundations.

Bass River State Forest Trail Map

*To view this map, please download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat

Batona Trail

This easy walking trail, well marked with pink blazes, runs for 50 miles through Bass River State Forest, Wharton State Forest and Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, crossing streams and passing through forested areas that were once bustling towns with names such as Four Mile, Butler, Martha and Washington. This portion of the Batona Trail is maintained by the NJ State Park Service, Outdoor Club of South Jersey and the Batona Hiking Club.


Reserve a campsite at  Please note tent and trailer family campsites are available to reserve until December 15, 2020. Cabins, group cabins, shelters, lean-tos, group lean-tos, wilderness campsites, group campsites, primitive campsites, and primitive group campsites remain closed until further notice.

Alcohol is prohibited. Pets are prohibited in overnight facilities.

A non-refundable service fee of $5.00 will be charged to the customer for each reservation.
Changes to the reservation that occur prior to the Start/Check in date will incur a non refundable fee of $5.00.
Changes made after the start/check-in date will be chargerd a service fee according to the following:

  • If the total fee is greater then or equal to $50.00 then a fee of $5.00 will be charged.

  • If the total fee is less then $50.00 then the fee of $2.00 will be charge

Pet Friendly Campsites please click here for details on sites that are designated Pet Friendly, license and innoculation paperwork requirements and additional cost. Pet friendly sites are 1-85.

Campsites: 176 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities are within walking distance of all sites. No hook-ups provided. Each site accommodates a maximum of six campers, two vehicles (including trailers) and two tents. Trailer sanitary station is open March 1 through November 30. Open year round. Fee: NJ Resident $20 per night; Non Resident $25 per night.

Group Campsites: Six group campsites with water and pit toilets are within walking distance. Each site accommodates a maximum of 25 campers. Parking is directly on the site. Open year round. Fee: NJ Resident: $50 per night; Non Resident $100 per night.

Six licensed vehicles only are permitted to park on each group campsite, within the campsite limit signs.  Additional vehicles are required to pay $5.00 per night and park in the designated parking area.

Group Campsite Manifest

Lean-tos: Nine handicap accessible lean-tos each with a hardwood floor and a woodburning stove. Outdoor picnic table, fire ring and grill. Flush toilets, showers, and laundry facilities are within walking distance. Located on the south shore. Accommodates a maximum of six people. Open year round. Fee: NJ Residents: $35 per night; Non Residents: $40 per night.

Shelters: Six lakeside shelters with two bunk rooms, one double-deck bunk in each room, a living room with a picnic table and bench, woodburning stove, fire ring and screened double door. Outdoor grill for cooking, table and benches. Flush toilets and shower facilities are nearby. Shelters are located along the north shore of Lake Absegami. Accommodates a maximum of four people. Open April 1 through October 31. Fees: NJ Residents: $48 per night; Non Residents: $60 per night.

Cabins: Six lakefront cabins with living room with double-deck bunk and fireplace; two bunk rooms with double-deck bunks; kitchen with running water, electric stove, refrigerator; bathroom with shower, toilet, and sink. Screened-in porch faces lake. Outdoor fire rings. Electricity. Each accommodates a maximum of six people. Cabins are located along the north shore of Lake Absegami. Open April 1 through October 31. Fees: NJ Residents: $75 per night; $525 per week; Non Residents: $85 per night; $595 per week.

Camping Map (Low resolution for viewing purposes)
Camping Map (High resolution for printing purposes) File
Size:740 KB


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. 



State Park Service areas open to hunting

Tree Stands and Blinds Policy

Bass River State Forest Hunting Zones 22 & 24 Map

Hunting is allowed in large parts of the forest and is subject to New Jersey's Fish and Wildlife Laws. Game found in the forest include deer, rabbit, and grouse. Contact the forest office for further details.

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.

Located near the beach are 74 picnic tables with charcoal grills, a picnic shelter, restrooms, athletic field for games and playground. Pets are permitted at the picnic area on a six foot leash. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Bass River offers a Group Picnic Area for larger groups. It holds a capacity of 50 people, provides shelter, playfields and playground equipment. It may be reserved for a fee:

New Jersey Resident $55 per day, plus applicable parking fees

Non-Resident $65 per day, plus applicable parking fees.

Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day

New Jersey Resident $80 per day

Non-Resident $90 per day

Day After Labor Day to Friday Before Memorial Day
50 percent of Fee
Group Picnic Cancellation Fee

• Groups of 20 or more people shall reserve picnic facilities at least five days in advance. Such group use is not permitted on Holidays except as authorized by the Superintendent. Reservations for picnic areas are handled by the individual park area offices.

Reservations can be made over the telephone using a credit card, or by mail using the Group Picnic Reservation form* downloadable here. Payment in full of the appropriate group picnicking fee must accompany this application.

*To view this form, please download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat


A public boat launch is located north of the recreational area parking lot. Powered boats are limited to electric motors only. A canoe, kayak, rowboat concession is operated during the summer months. Coast guard approved life preservers are required.



Closed for season.

Swimming is permitted in Lake Absegami while lifeguards are on duty. Please check our swimming schedule prior to your visit. Visitors will find a beach complex containing changing area, restrooms, showers, a first-aid station and a concession building offering refreshments, novelties and beach supplies. 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.

Forest Management

The Division's State Forestry Services has published a comprehensive Forest Resource Management Plan for Bass River State Forest to improve the long-term forest management practices and resource protection needs of Bass River. For a copy, please call (609)292-2531.


FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I have a fire? You will receive the fire regulations upon arrival.
Check-in and checkout times? Campsites and Group Campsites check-in is 12pm and checkout is 12pm. Lean-tos, shelters and cabins check-in at 4pm and checkout at 12 pm.
How much is it for the day-use area? $5 per vehicle on weekdays, $10 on holidays and weekends. Buses need to make a reservation. Please call the office for details.

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Last Updated: December 23, 2020