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!
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 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.
Love it here!Great place to picnic fish from land or boat, go for a nice scenic walk, go Kayaking, etc. If you don't own a boat, you can rent one right at the lake. There is a place here swim as well even though we never swam. The lake is huge and the the area is clean and beautiful! My family and I love going to Nockamixon.DCNR is on top of their game here and my dogs love it as well!There a a couple little spots around the area that have great food as well! Lots of things to do and plenty of room to explore and the cabins are nice and very inexpensive if you want to camp but don't like tents.It's a nice place for boating, but it's pretty popular so don't expect isolation. There are at least three boat launches…one at either end and one in the middle. You can kayak there but the whole lake permits wakes so expect for some choppyness as the boats go back and forth. There are a lot of sailboats there though so at least they're nice to look at.
Great park to do everything outdoorsy including, hiking, horseback riding, hunting and fishing. I cought a beautiful Brown Trout here a few weeks ago! Great park.(I put the Trout back in, it was very healthy and I managed to get the hook out quickly, otherwise he would have been dinner!) You need a license to fish, and if you plan on catching Trout you need the Trout endorsement on the fishing licence, currently$9.90.The restroom facilities we're clean. There were plenty of maps and brochures available at the different parking areas. It was a great place to walk with your dog and enjoy the Pennsylvania outdoors.
This is a very nice KOA, just over the Delaware River from Philly. The park is clean, quiet, full of families. The staff are friendly and welcoming. It’s easy to navigate to the park from the interstate, and big rigs fit easily. I would definitely plan to stay here to visit Philly!
We stayed here a week in October. The owners are nice and we found the campground to be quite and a good place to hop on a train and ride into Philly. We camped right by the large/nice playground that my kids enjoyed. It’s not far from town, but far enough to drown out the noise of the city.
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.
Stayed here once a year for the past three years but this is the first time I feel I need to write a review. I felt like I was bothering the front desk by checking in. The golf carts driven by minors speeding through the park. The water stank and was straight brown. The site itself was ok and it had a concrete pad The dirt/sand roads were horrible. The pool was heated
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.
Stayed here in our RV. It was the closest campground to Philly so we called a Lyft to get us into the city. The staff was super friendly and helpful. We also filled our propane tank here The restrooms were immaculate compared to most campgrounds.
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
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.
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.