I have camped Beaver Pond for the last 45 years and have found something new and better each every year I've gone to the campgrounds. I have gone from tent platform, tent camping, tarp, and now hammock camping. The sites can be a bit tight, at times and you may find a few visitors, not necessarily on two legs, but always a delight. It's great to be among the trees away from the hustle and bustle of the city in what I consider a majestic chapel that will always welcome and embrace your presence. Something for all, swimming, camping, access to bear mountain pool, or the appalachian trails, and lean tos, (not on the camp sites). Prices all can afford to come. Great for all types of levels of campers.
This place was actually fantastic, I don't really have anything negative to say about it. The whole scene was exactly what I love about camping, a nice little remote campground in the mountains.
We actually only stayed here overnight to just get out and see the autumn colors before winter hit, so I wasn't really expecting much, but man was I impressed. The drive up to this place was so breathtaking the entire way. Adorable little mountain houses, with bridges that go over a stream to get to their front door. Made me quake with jealousy.
My husband said he would come back here just for the scenic drive to this campsite even, and I'd have to agree. We couldn't have picked a better time of the year too, the fall leaves were so vibrant. When we got to the campsite and checked in, there was a chicken right outside the camp office, which my dog seemed to appreciate most! We were kindly escorted to our site (a nice refreshing change from having to wander around to find the sites ourselves), which was the one farthest away from the entrance. We were able to just drive right up into our site and make ourselves at home for the day. The drive to our site had some inclines and was relatively rocky and some vehicles would surely struggle.
This place was just so calming and quiet, it was really just such a relaxing place to be. There was no irritation from loud, busy nearby roads, no city noise, no people yelling or stomping about. We set up camp and went for a little walk around to explore a bit. There were some open fields, some hunting trails with tree stands, and some remains of old structure foundations, chimneys, and farm equipment. Nothing super exciting but a nice way to walk the dog anyway.
Once it was time to turn in for the night, that's when the cool part happened. I've camped many times at multiple state parks, huge remote state forests, but I've never heard so much wildlife there as I did here. Only shortly after we settled into our tent did we hear foxes fighting right outside our tent, the snorts of deer, and there were bats right above us all night making noise! I guess if you don't like that kind of stuff you should avoid an area like this, but for some of us, this is what camping is all about. It was just so awesome to hear the sounds of wildlife all around you, and it's not something that's too easy to experience at a lot of NJ campgrounds, usually because the places aren't remote enough or campers are too rowdy. This place really delivers when it comes to spending some time in nature.
After a nice relaxing night out in the woods we packed up early in the morning (it was planned to rain the entire day) and headed out to the Cracker Barrel in Clinton to get a hot breakfast before heading home. Every moment was well worth it and the trip was just so rejuvenating despite how short it was. I will definitely be back next season.
Picnic tables and fire rings at each site. Fire ring had a grate for cooking.
Nice flat area for your tent. Our site was fully private (could not see or hear neighbors).
Beautifully secluded and quiet. Pretty rare for campgrounds in NJ.
Drive right up to your spot for your convenience. The drive up to the campsite was literally jaw-dropping the whole way up into the mountains. You pass through beautiful, quaint little towns and go over aged bridges, along mountain streams and though open valleys. The entire area is just gorgeous, open country.
Campsites are either in thick, wooded areas, or in open fields.
A playground for kids.
Porta-potties were super clean and…actually smelled good??? Maybe they were just cleaned or they are just really well cared for. Either way, it was unusual for a campsite.
Close to the Delaware River, Spruce Run Reservoir, and Round Valley Reservoir.
The free-range chickens by the office are a warm welcome.
Our site was on a hill and most likely not in a flood area.
Strict rules so that nature lovers can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about noisy neighbors or trash everywhere. Not a place you go to if you want to throw a rowdy party and just generally be a nuisance.
- Occasional, very minor traffic noise (mainly just from loud sports cars on the highway)
- The ground is moderately rocky, so there may be some slight troubles getting tent stakes in the ground.
- They do not allow you to gather your own firewood, but they do sell it in their camp store.
Points of interest nearby:
Spruce Run Reservoir and Round Valley Reservoir are nearby for all your fishing, boating, hiking, and swimming (even scuba diving) needs.
If you're looking for a scenic drive that makes you forget that you're in NJ, head on over to the Alpha Grasslands Preserve in Alpha, NJ.
The Delaware River is nearby with some great fishing spots.
Just past the Delaware River through Milford NJ, into PA, is a park called Ringing Rocks County Park. Some waterfalls to see and hiking to do. If you strike certain rocks with a metal hammer they ring, hence the name of the park!
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!
This campground is a nice little hideaway not too far from the beaten path. You can hear some of the highway sounds from the campsites (especially the jake brake). The sites are hit or miss in terms of comfort, some have large, flat, clear spaces for multiple tents, some you have to wedge a tent to avoid rocks. Bathrooms were standard, compost toilets. The showers were free and generally quite hot.
This is one of the best campsite I’ve been this year, clean bathrooms with very hot water and flushable toilet. The grounds are full of grass which makes my tent easy to pitch. Most campsite has a view of the Reservoir when sundown has amazing sunsets. Staff are friendly and helpful.
One of the best places in NJ to camp. If your into kayaking, boating, fishing, camping, hiking and much more then this is the place for you. You can either hike in to a site up to 7 miles or as we did, we loaded everything onto our kayaks and took the trip straight across. The view from the beach side sites are amazing, there is plenty of space in each site and plenty of space in between sites. I highly recommend this one to anyone who is trying to get away.
This campsite has everything, several beaches, historic building and history, amazing sunsets ,shade trees and very long bike trails.
A quick 40 minutes north of NYC, Harriman State Park has an eclectic little campground called Beaver Pond. The grounds are just steps away from Welch Lake, offering a lifeguard monitored sandy beach which is open during the summer season for swimming, fishing, and small boat craft further out.
“Welcome to Bear Mountain” grumbles the park ranger as he sits in complete darkness! He is in his ranger hut, checking in the late evening arrivals to the campground. It’s totally dark inside, lit only by the glow of the outside lamps. The atmosphere is complete with spider webs covering the walk up window, and I swear I saw a black widow doppelgänger . He’s nice, but you can tell he’s given this welcome speech too many times to get overly excited about it. He offers us a highlighted map to our site, wishes us a good stay, and gives us the run down on bear activity in the area. I mean, we are in Bear Mountain, what do you expect?!?
The campground offers several different sties, from platform tent spaces to those for 25’ trailers. All sites have a standard picnic table and fire ring. Our site is a trailer site, it’s perfect for the trusty old pop-up, and feels nice and roomy. Although no site offers electric or water hook up, camp amenities include: a moderately stocked store, public bath houses, a laundry facility, playground for the kids and camp-sinks with access to water.
Offering the peaceful tranquility of sitting under the changing oak, sumacs, maples, and poplars, I wouldn’t recommend this site for the quiet hearted. There is a constant buzz in the air of conversation, music, laughter and shrieking toddlers. Quiet time at night is laughable as the enjoyment of being in nature rages on into the early morning. I myself could go either way; I’m not overly bothered by the late nights and chorus of noise, but living in the megalopolis that I call home, it would be nice to not have the ruckus constantly follow you to the great outdoors.
We didn’t visit Welch Lake beach but for a quick walk to the area for a few pictures; it’s past season at this point, and I still have to do some fishing pole shopping. A quick 15 minute drive from Beaver Pond, is Bear Mountain State Park. Here you can find some of the Appalachian Trail, with various smaller trail heads for this historic (Revolutionary Times 1770s) part of the region including the one to Doodle Town. Long since the last resident left, the area is a ruins with markers showing where a house was, but most of the area has been taken back by nature leaving only a stone stair case here or a partial foundation wall there. It terminates at Iona Island Bird Sanctuary, a lovely long grassed marshland. The trails in the area are friendly to hikers, bikers, and the non arthritic kneers, as most are rated moderate to challenging. Don’t fret, trails that are rated easy and accessible to disabled are equally enjoyable and beautiful. They offer stunning views of the changing foliage, quick glances at the Hudson River and the rolling hills of the area. We didn’t take the Perkins Memorial Tower trail, but heard it was amazing. Next Time!!!
First, it is a state park so it has many of the things you would expect like a beach area, picnic areas, playground, volley ball, pavilion, etc. We went out of season so there were no lifeguards, or anything “open” at the pavilion. We are always after campgrounds with as little going on as possible other than the nature so this would not be a place for us during the summer when I imagine it gets quite packed. There are about 50 camp sites but many of them, from 1 to 30ish are wide open with ZERO privacy. That said, it’s great for large groups that book a few sites next to each other. There were 3 groups during our stay. Which got pretty loud if you were in sites in the 30s. Starting there, sites get more separated and a wee bit secluded. There are only 4 dog friendly sites, which we need. They are 42-45. Be careful with site 44, no good place for a tent. The other are nice. There is one spot for showers and bathroom. They were really clean. Same for dishwashing facility. So depending on what you’re looking for, it has something for you. Like I mentioned, we like quiet spots so the fact that it has the potential to be too loud in peak times meant 4 starts from me.
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.
Mom was away so took 3 babies on a trip. Went to Ringing Rocks county park and the kids were having so much fun making music they didn’t want to leave. Made a last minute decision to try out Ringing Rocks Family Campground 2 minutes up the road instead of finding one back in Jersey. Owner was very accommodating. Campground was clean and well layed out. Kids had a blast with hay rides and playground. All other campers were very nice and courteous of noise curfew. Would Definetely go again and plan to next time with the wife as well.
Round Valley is certainly a must see for any type of outdoors person, or someone who appreciates relaxation in a gorgeous landscape. It is a semi-mountainous, forested setting with a very large "lake", which is really a man-made reservoir in the middle of a valley. The crystal-clear water is home to huge lake trout and the forests are bursting with wildlife. The sunsets across the lake are to die for. You will have to look very hard to find a more beautiful camping scene in New Jersey. Also, it's dog friendly!
There is no car access to these campsites, you must keep your vehicle overnight in their south parking lot. If you have a camping registration you do not have to pay the fee to enter the park after you check in to the office. The only way to get to the campsites which are located on the other side of the reservoir deep in the woods, are by boating in, backpacking in, or biking in. If you are boating, kayaking, or canoeing to your site, be very careful and watch the wind warnings. If the wind-warning strobe lights go off you should get off of the water asap because the waters can get very rough and this place is nicknamed the Bermuda Triangle of NJ. We were originally going to boat in for a quick overnight, but at the last minute we decided we wanted a challenge. We backpacked 5.5 miles in on an August morning to site #52. The trail was mountainous, rocky, hilly, but for the most part in the shade. This is definitely not a walk through the park easy trail, pack light and don't bring coolers or wagons if you are hiking it. The first three miles are very rocky, with some larger rocks protruding from the ground, but from there on the trail turns into smooth asphalt to allow for ranger and emergency vehicles and it gets a lot easier. We were a bit sore the next day with a couple of mild blisters but we were still able to easily do the 5.5 mile hike back in the afternoon. Someone who does a lot of hiking and backpacking will find the trail easy, but with little to no experience you may struggle. My dog is a 7 year old retriever with minor joint issues and the trail was a piece of cake to her (she even carried all of her own gear).
These are truly primitive sites with only a few drinking water pumps scattered about and some primitive outhouses, however, you never feel completely alone here because the campsites are not spaced too far apart. My honest opinion: filter or purify your water right from the reservoir if you have the option, because you may be far from a pump, or it may be temporarily closed, and the reservoir water tastes good and is cold. I also opt to skip the outhouses too because they are never clean and always stink unbearably no matter where they are. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. Alcohol and smoking are not permitted. If you must bring alchohol, bring a little in a subtle container and do not bother the other campers. Swimming is also technically not permitted but there were many people swimming and we swam also and no one was bothered.
Now onto our campsite. Site 52 was nearly perfect. The views were to die for. We were able to clearly see the water past the trees from our tent and from our picnic table. The trip to the water was just a few yards away by a footpath carved through tall grass. Unfortunately, the guests before us were very dirty and there was fresh trash scattered about our spot, so we had some cleaning to do when we arrived. The other downside to this spot is you could just barely see site 53 from your spot, which wasn't a huge deal but it wasn't total privacy. Since the surrounding campsites are just barely spaced out to give enough privacy, you can clearly hear your neighbors if they are being noisy. Keep that in mind if you are being the noisy one too. The park strictly enforces its rules and if you are being a nuisance you will be escorted off the property. We saw it first hand on our overnight trip. Our neighbors were college-age, very loud and rowdy, chugging beers and smoking (both are not permitted so don't make it obvious if you are doing either). Suddenly it got quiet and we look over and there are 3 cops at their site arresting them. We were thankful that it got quiet after that, but it was short lived, right before the sun set our other neighbors boat in and start playing music loudly and chopping wood, this continued until around 1am. We would have complained but we were just too tired and kept just falling back asleep. But seriously please don't be that guy.
Onto the the tl;dr!
- Breathtaking scenery
- Gorgeous crystal-clear water
- Sites are in a beautiful wooded area
- Sites have a picnic table and nice fire rings
- You can boat, kayak, or canoe right into your spot if you have a water-access site, site numbers are posted to help you find your spot
- Great spot to watch wildlife
- Amazing spot for water sports, fishing, swimming, etc
- Beautiful, scenic trails to hike or bike
- Can confirm the sunsets are gorgeous
- Every site is dog friendly!
- There is a lot of variety with the sites (water access or more into the mountain, full shade, partial, or no shade, how far they are spaced apart, etc) so you will be able to find the site that is perfect for you
- Paths that allow for emergency vehicles, police, and rangers keep the place safe and fun while giving you the remote feeling of a campsite
- Lots of tinder and firewood available to gather
- Our site had a couple clotheslines hung already
- Each outhouse had bear-proof trash cans, very handy
- Our site was left littered
- Noisy, disruptive neighbors
- Not full privacy (depending on the site)
- Outhouses smelled like death and were terribly dirty and dark
- Only 2 water pumps were working when we went, and they were both way too far, we brought a water filter and pumped our own water straight out of the reservoir
- The trail had a surprising amount of litter, mainly tinfoil and cigarette butts scattered along the trail. Perhaps the rangers could be more strict about littering
- Mild boat noise at water-front sites
THINGS TO DO AT ROUND VALLEY
- Great fishing
- Beautiful hiking trails
- Wildlife/bird watching
- Mountain biking
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.
The campgrounds were just okay. If bringing your RV, the safest bet is to reserve a spot with no shade as the other spots often times have very low hanging tree limbs.
It was very loud and rowdy into the late night. There were campers making lots of noise, arming/disarming their car alarms, slamming doors, cars driving in/out, bright lights flashing, etc. all PASSED 2am!!
Otherwise, the overall park itself is very nice during the day.
This campground is old and there isn't much there, but it depends on why you're camping whether that matters to you. We wanted to be by the beach and we were.
The playground is new and centrally located. They also have a horseshoe pit.
There are lots of RVs but not close to tent sites. There were lots of showers but only 1 was unlocked (free and with hot water). The bathroom was very clean and well stocked.
There are 5-7 tent sites. Ours was #59, well shaded and spacious.
The water spigot and the gray-water dump are not right by the tent sites. Seems silly since the tents are the ones using them.
Our site was not clean when we arrived. There was garbage in the woods and cigarette butts on the ground. We cleaned up everything ourselves (except in the woods due to poison ivy), but I think they can do better.
There are NO fire pits, you must bring your own. Fires are allowed but you must have a fire container or bucket for your fire off of the ground.
The sites all have a table and raised BBQ "pit" for cooking only.
They are extremely nice there.
I still give this campground 4 stars because it was quiet, the campground itself was clean, the bathrooms were clean and it was centrally located to what I wanted to do plus the sites are very big.
I was looking forward to a Worthington State Park campgrounds visit but that day they were all packed and I was suggested to Jenny Jump State. I enjoyed the overnight camp out with my kids and they had a blast. Nice size primitive tent site we had and was nice for beginner camping.