National Parks / Natural World

Wharton State Forest Hammonton

Where is it at?

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Wharton State Forest
31 Batsto Road
Hammonton
NJ
08037
Tel: 609 561 0024

Directions

$7 parking at Batso Village.

Where are we going today?

Here's a fun fact! Did you know that the Wharton State Forest is the LARGEST single tract of land within the entire State Park System of New Jersey? That's pretty impressive isn't it...and it's all there for families to explore and enjoy!

It also happens to be the site of the historic Batsto Village, which is a former glassmaking and bog iron center which was in operation from 1766 to 1867. You can imagine it has lots of stories to tell! 

This site has 33 historic buildings for you to explore, which include the sawmill, Batsto Mansion, the gristmill, general store, the post office and even the workers homes. You can take the guided tour via your smart phone, which works well with the walking guide brochure. Great for educating everyone on the fascinating history right under your feet!

The tour takes you around 18 of the historic buildings and sites - and it's FREE! 

What's also very cool is that the Blacksmith Shop is open for live demonstrations on the weekends during the year except for winter. 

Wharton State Forest is perfect for those families who love the outdoors, love a bit of adventure, and LOVE being active! The park is FILLED with rivers and streams perfect for canoeing, which isn't a bad way to spend the day!  There are miles of great unpaved roads which are great for mountain biking and horse riding, and of course hiking is a popular activity in the area.

With all the lakes and ponds, you can be sure to see some pretty cool wildlife - from those iconic bald eagles, to marsh hawks, great blue herons, screen owls, swans, bluebirds, hummingbirds, river otters, turkeys, deer, beavers...we could keep going and going!

Did we mention there's swimming at the Atsion Recreation Area? Better bring those swimmers! 

Family fun out in the beautiful New Jersey nature ready and waiting at Wharton State Forest! 

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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsFree! The village has a charge Memorial Day to Labor Day
  • ChildrenSame as adult
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

Year round daylight access. Batsto Office Hours: daily 9am to 4pm.

All year round.

Teachers corner

There certainly is history to be learnt! They have developed teaching resources with 10 lessons, where the topics range from the environment and early Pinelands industry to daily life in the village. .

I'm Hungry!

Take a picnic and enjoy it out in nature!.

Healthy Eating!

Make sure you have plenty of water. .

Any Top Tips?

To take the guided cell phone tour, you just need a data plan and the QR code app to scan!.

Doing our bit

Help keep their forest clean with the carry in / carry out program, so all the park can be kept beautiful! .

Need a little extra help?

The trails are unpaved so you might have difficulty. Give them call to discuss the access of the village. .

More information

There's a podcast tour you can download online that can tell you all about the historic tour of Harrisville! - a genuine ghost town of the late 1800s!.

What people are saying?

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    This place blew me away. I'd never been to the pine Barrens before and didn't realize how truly "barren" it really is, since I don't usually think of a forest as barren. It was wall to wall pine trees and nothing else, deadly silent. I didn't even hear birds or squirrels most of the time we were there. Definitely a different experience. Additional points go to all the tea stained, black water for a little extra otherwordliness and creepiness. I also liked that there were so many driving trails so that you could get out in the middle of it...Read More

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    Huge amount of area. Lots of dirt trails to explore with a Jeep or by foot. Would love to try biking through it. Good fishing spots. Bring a map, or a good GPS, because you can get lost really easy if you're not paying attention, and cell phone reception is problematic.

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    The Woods and Batsto Village are great for walking, hiking, biking, or dirt road "exploration" by SUV. Camping is good in some campgrounds depending on your neighbors and crowding. We've canoed the rivers (Upper Mullica, Wading, and Bass) several times and on weekends in the summers can be crowded but on weekdays the river or creek is "yours" to enjoy. I've also launched my 22.5 foot Grady-White at the state ramp at Crowley's Landing off Rt.542 but that was a very tight fit (depth, width of river at that point and cross current). Beautiful cruise...Read More

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    great place if your on parole.

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    Go here every year and the scenery is by far a sight you will never forget

Submit a review

by encartaphile

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This place blew me away. I'd never been to the pine Barrens before and didn't realize how truly "barren" it really is, since I don't usually think of a forest as barren. It was wall to wall pine trees and nothing else, deadly silent. I didn't even hear birds or squirrels most of the time we were there. Definitely a different experience. Additional points go to all the tea stained, black water for a little extra otherwordliness and creepiness. I also liked that there were so many driving trails so that you could get out in the middle of it so easily.

by Alex Mishkovsky

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The Woods and Batsto Village are great for walking, hiking, biking, or dirt road "exploration" by SUV. Camping is good in some campgrounds depending on your neighbors and crowding. We've canoed the rivers (Upper Mullica, Wading, and Bass) several times and on weekends in the summers can be crowded but on weekdays the river or creek is "yours" to enjoy. I've also launched my 22.5 foot Grady-White at the state ramp at Crowley's Landing off Rt.542 but that was a very tight fit (depth, width of river at that point and cross current). Beautiful cruise down and into Great Bay and the ocean. If you're expecting major vistas and a tourist thrill park experience move on... if you love nature, woods and water this is a great place. Just be aware that deer ticks and Lyme's are endemic and you need to be prepared (repellent/check self and clothes for ticks if you traveled through in the grasses or underbrush in the woods).

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