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Since it was late in the season, I called ahead to make sure this campground (22 individual sites plus two group sites and four cabins– two rustic and two modern) was still open. I was reassured that it was, that reservations were not needed, and that a ranger would come around to collect our fee ($30 cash or check). We arrived around 6 pm to a completely empty campground. Granted it was a rainy Sunday night, but the gates were open and so were the restrooms, so we settled into site 16, across from the restrooms. Aside from occasional road noise on Cafferty Road, we didn’t hear any noise or see another soul (including the ranger) during our overnight stay. There was no place to self/register/pay that we could find. The next morning, we woke to sunshine and the campground looked beautiful. No hookups and the bathrooms were reasonable but not the best we’ve encountered. The shower did not look very appealing. I did not see the cabins or the pool that is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. I read that two water releases each year in March and early November are very popular for whitewater rafters and many of these paddlers stay in the cabins and campground. I also read about hiking trails but could not find them on the Google map on my phone. Not seeing much to do, we packed up and left what was likely the most peaceful night of camping we’ve experienced in a long time!
Looking for a place to escape without having to drive out of your way to get to? Lower forge is the place. One if the few places in New Jersey you have to backpack into with access from either (Atsion 5+ miles in) or Batsto (7 miles) located right on the Basto River you’re even able to boat in. It’s one of my personal favorites to disappear for a weekend and great for beginners who you’re trying to break into backpacking. Located right off the Batona trail your bound for adventure.