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Wharton State Forest, Batsto

4.2
#22 of 57 in Nature in New Jersey
Forest · Nature / Park
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Wharton State Forest is the largest state forest in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It is the largest single tract of land in the state park system of New Jersey, encompassing approximately 122,880 acres (497.3 km2) of the Pinelands northeast of Hammonton. Its protected acreage is divided between Burlington, Camden, and Atlantic counties. The entire forest is located within the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion as well as the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve. The forest is located in the forested watershed of the Mullica River, which drains the central Pinelands region into the Great Bay. The forest is under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.

The forest is also the location of the historic Batsto Village, a former bog iron and glass manufacturing site from 1766 to 1867. The forest includes extensive hiking trails, including a section of the Batona Trail, which connects the forest to nearby Brendan T. Byrne State Forest and Bass River State Forest. It also includes over 500 miles (800 km) of unpaved roads. The rivers, including the Mullica, are popular destinations for recreational canoeing.

The forest is named for Joseph Wharton, who purchased most of the land that now lies within the forest in the 19th century. Wharton wanted to tap the groundwater under the Pine Barrens to provide a source of clean drinking water for Philadelphia; however, the New Jersey Legislature quashed the plan by passing a law that banned the export of water from the state. The state bought the vast tract from Wharton's heirs in the 1950s.
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Wharton State Forest reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
68 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • It is a great destination for people who like to walk. We enjoyed countless hikes here through the years. The trail network is quite good, well marked and interesting. The camping conditions are... 
    It is a great destination for people who like to walk. We enjoyed countless hikes here through the years. The trail network is quite good, well marked and interesting. The camping conditions are...  more »
  • When I drove down to Wharton from Central New Jersey it felt like I entered a completely different state. It’s worth checking out, and I see why this park would be a hot spot for ATV riding. Unpaved.....  more
    When I drove down to Wharton from Central New Jersey it felt like I entered a completely different state. It’s worth checking out, and I see why this park would be a hot spot for ATV riding. Unpaved.....  more »
Google
  • Great place to enjoy A good grill steak and take a quick swim, A lot trees 🌳 to enjoy the shade and fresh breeze on those hot days. The entrance cost $20, They give u trash bags to put all your trash and also has a dumpster. Bring your humbrella and enjoy the lake with the sand!! Water color is like ice tea!!
  • Stayed at Atsion family campground on a short overnight in my car. No electric at any sites (this is clearly stated on website). Flush toilets, showers and sinks in bathroom. Most of the sites looked fully shaded and some had water access to the lake. Overall clean and seemed safe.

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