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.
This was our first time camping with our new to us pop up trailer and we decided to stay local Incase we ran into any problems! We ended up pulling in after dark since we both ended up working late and took us about 1 1/2 hours to set up our water and electrical lines were short from where we parked and they lent us loaners for the weekend. Owners were extremely nice and helped us tremendously! They have kayaking and tubing available with their own transport 2,3 and 5 hour trips and you come right back down to the campsite!! Bring your own and just pay a small transport fee. We will go back and do the kayaking for sure!! We had a beautiful weekend and the camp activities were great for the kids!! Can’t wait to go back!!
This campsite has everything, several beaches, historic building and history, amazing sunsets ,shade trees and very long bike trails.
There are 20 tent sites spread across four loops. There is NO beach access. Some sites have shelters, others do not. Pay attention when reserving. All sites have a fire pit and picnic table. Sites are walk-in (only about¼ mile) and carts are available to haul gear. Two water spigots and bathrooms with flush toilets are also on-premise. No electric, hook-ups, or showers. The nearby beaches have outdoor shower facilities though. The racoons are fierce. They will eat through your tent. Use the bear lockers provided to store anything scented.
Activities abound: hit the beaches for (non-motorized) water sports or sunbathing (Gunnison is the nude beach), learn about the military history of the area on an NPS tour, visit the oldest working lighthouse in the US, walk or bike the multi-use trails, go birding, and more! Nearby Hartshorne Woods Park (Monmouth County Park System) has great hiking and mountain bike trails too.
Wharton Forest has several campgrounds.
We tent camped at Atsion in 2015: had flush toilets and was close to the checkin station/store as well as the beach on the lake. Some sites were right on the water and the sites were very big.
We wanted a more rustic experience and tent camped at Bodine campground in 2018. Our site was right on Wading River and we launched our kayaks right at the site! Our tent is has a full view of the sky and at night it was like a planetarium as we admired the sky from our cots. Pit toilets, pump water, fire ring, nice big site. Road in is sandy but it is the pine barrens. Although we were there on Friday the 13th, sadly neither Jason or the Jersey Devil stopped by for s’mores.
Enjoyed the rustic setting. In the sparse woods of the northern pine barrens. Nicely manicured sand roads and sites. Stay in the outer loops if you like more privacy.
It was a beautiful day on Sunday so my girlfriend and I decided to picnic in the park. The areas for that seemed well groomed, bathrooms were acceptable, and there was plenty of space. Some nice trees not too close allowed for good shade, without feeling like in a forest. Park is a lot bigger than you would think, and is really a great spot to get away for a few hours. A lot of history as well.
The place was nice & cleaned and cheap. The lady in the store is rude & smokes to much, the pool area closes at 6pm that’s to early I think, the Baseball fields is run down, Quite time is from 10:00pm-8am Strictly Enforced but people were still partying & making noise at till 1am.
This was our 5th year camping at Baker's Acres. Their slogan is "Where friends are made for life" and they couldn't be any more right. This is the friendliest, family run for 50+ years, clean, fun, campground we've been to in a long time.
The Camp Store is large and well stocked. The salt pool is always clean!
Campsites are level and somewhat sandy (You're in the Pine Barrens, it should be expected). The bathhouses near our site were cleaned 2x daily and the best part is, they're private! (Shower, sink, toilet in a 10 room bathhouse).
Check the activities schedule, there is always something fun to do!
Close to LBI and a short drive to Smithville, I highly recommend Baker's Acres!
I haven't seen a review since 2017 and that should have been my first clue. Let me start by saying the check in area was nearly 12 miles away from the site. At the site there were no bathrooms. One outhouse which smelled like death for the entire camp site. I would say there had to be about 60 people using one outhouse NO FLUSHING! Ewwwwwwwwwwwww Camp sites were one on top of the other. There were no clearly marked roads and several cars got stuck in the sand area, one car even drove through our site during the night. Luckily we werent run over. There were no picnic tables either. If you didnt have a table and/or chair you stood all weekend. The road leading to the actual site was full of twists and turns and we nearly smashed into a tree coming out of a turn doing about 20 mph. The police patrolled at 730 pm, 930 and then 1130. THERE WAS NO INTERNET, CELLULAR SERVICE. That didnt bother me but the fact that if there was an emergency there was no way to contact police was pretty alarming. I honestly didnt think the mosquitos or bug situation was bad. There was a questionable tick but didnt see much more than spiders and ants. The lake/beach area also 12 miles away was really nice. You could rent a paddle board, canoe or kayak for a reasonable fee. We will not be back because of the unkempt roads, no running water.(Hey if you want only port a potties ok but put enough to be sanitary for the 60 or so people you jam in on top of each other.) and no way to reach the outside world in an emergency.
There isn’t camping anywhere in the park, at least none that’s sanctioned by the state park service. Not exactly the most secluded park, but has a series of nice walking trails and big open areas and grills for bbq. Gets crowded around the fourth. The waterfront trails are excellent for birding and usually not crowded.