See listings under Hiking and Boating for additional references to New Jersey campgrounds. Many state and all national parks offer engaging interpretive programs on the history and environment of the area, with many offered in the evening for campers.
new jersey state parks
New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, PO Box 404, Trenton, 08625-0404. 1-800-843-6420, 609-984-0370. Campsites, cabins, group cabins, lean-tos, shelters and yurts may be available depending on the park. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance either in person at the area office; by mail using an overnight application form (available online); or by telephone using a credit card, for a minimum of 2 nights to a maximum of 14 nights. Cabins must be reserved for 7 or 14 consecutive nights Memorial Day through Labor Day or for a 2 night minimum at other times.
A guide to activities and facilities at New Jersey’s state parks and forests can be picked up at any state park service office or can be mailed by calling 1-800-843-6420. Information is also available online.
Ask for a Passport when visiting a state park, forest or historic site and collect an official passport sticker as you visit sites throughout the state. Each sticker represents a significant feature of the area. Collect a minimum of 10 different stickers to receive a prize.
new jersey campground association
29 Cook's Beach Rd., Cape May Court House, NJ 08210-1723, 1-800-2-CAMP-NJ. For a free copy of the annual Campground & RV Guidebook for New Jersey, call, write or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or download online.
national park service
Individual campsite reservations for National Park Service sites can be made up to 6 months in advance on a rolling basis. For Yosemite, individual campsites can be reserved up to 5 months in advance with inventory going on sale on the 15th of each month. Cabins and lookouts can be reserved up to 6 months in advance for all sites. Group facilities can be reserved up to 12 months in advance. Check the National Park Service reservation website for reservation and campground details. Reservations can be made online, by phone or in person at a site. Phone reservations are taken 10am-12am daily March-Oct; 10am-10pm Nov.-Feb. Call 1-877-444-6777. For customer service, phone 1-888-448-1474. For park information, visit website. Additional information is available at www.nationalparks.org and American Park Network, publishers of visitor guides for national and state parks across America.
Reservations for lodging at a number of parks can also be made via authorized concessionaires such as Xanterra Parks & Resorts and Forever Resorts.
Visit Reserve America for campground information, trail maps, guidebooks and to make reservations at many public and private campgrounds nationwide.
The Junior Ranger program, available at many National Parks, consists of completing an activity booklet while visiting the park and upon completion, earning a Junior Ranger badge. For more information, visit website. For those who are unable to visit a national park, a Junior Ranger program with activities and rewards can be completed online.
Camp Speers-Eljabar YMCA Family Camp
RR1, Dingmans Ferry, 877-SPEERSY, 570-828-2329. Canoeing, sailing, swimming, horseback riding, and hiking in the Pocono Mountains for multi-generational campers available Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends and for a week during the summer.
Fairview Lake YMCA Family Camp
1035 Fairview Lake Rd., Newton, 973-383-9282. Open to organizations and families during the spring, fall and winter. Facilities include modern, winterized cabins with meals in the dining hall or rustic Adirondack shelters with firepits for cooking and campfires (spring and fall only). Seasonal activities include canoeing/boating, archery, swimming, fishing, orienteering and arts and crafts.
Frost Valley YMCA
2000 Frost Valley Rd., Claryville, 845-985-2291. Established in 1901 as one of the nation's first summer camps, Frost Valley YMCA is a 6,000 acre residential camping, environmental education and conference center open to individual families, scouts and community groups.
Jenny Jump State Forest
State Park Rd., Hope, NJ, 908-459-4366. Small state campground has 23 private campsites in the woods and
6 shelter cabins each furnished with 2 bunk beds, woodburning stove & small table & benches. Several miles of hiking trails lead thru rugged, rocky terrain with scenic overlooks to Delaware Water Gap and other vistas; convenient to Land of Make Believe. United Astronomy Clubs of NJ Greenwood Observatory open 8-10:30pm Sat. late April thru Oct. for presentations and public observing.
Stargazing & Lectures, 8-10:30pm. Beginners and children are welcome.
Mohican Outdoor Center
50 Camp Rd., Blairstown, 908-362-5670. Former boy scout camp on the banks of Catfish Pond, a 60-acre glacial lake, is now operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club in partnership with the National Park Service. Hiking on the Appalachian Trail, fishing, swimming, canoeing, biking, rock climbing, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, campsites and lodging available.
Outdoor programs for all ages and levels of interest are offered year round for members and non-members. Facilities, available on a space-available basis, include lodge with heated central gathering area, seasonal meals, shower and fireplace; shared bunkroom and private cabins; seven rustic campsites; group campsite; and three tent platforms and ground site overlooking Catfish Pond.
Weekend Getaways, volunteer-led themed-programs are open year 'round to adult members and non-members.
Family Adventure Camps & Weekends are offered at AMC locations in New Hampshire during school vacations and summer. Check website for dates.
Pocono Environmental Education Center
Rt. 209, Dingmans Ferry, PA, 570-828-2319. Located in a former Pocono resort in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, PEEC offers daytime and overnight nature programs for families. Educational family weekends, nature and birding treks, homeschool programs, workshops for educators, scout/school trips and other special events are held throughout the year.
Wharton State Forest
Batsto Village, Rt. 542, Hammonton, 609-561-0024; Atsion Office, Rt. 206, Hammonton, 609-268-0444; 609-567-4559. Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day: $5 weekends. The largest single tract of land within the New Jersey State Park system, Wharton State Forest is the site of Batsto Village in the Pine Barrens, a former bog iron and glassmaking industrial center from 1766 to 1867, and features miles of unpaved roads for mountain biking and horseback riding, trails for hiking, rivers and streams for canoeing/kayaking, and numerous lakes, ponds and fields for wildlife observation. The 50-mile Batona Trail connects Wharton, Brendan Byrne (formerly Lebanon) and Bass River State Forests. Campsites include tent and trailer sites, wilderness campsites and nine furnished cabins.
YMCA Camp Mason
23 Birch Ridge Rd., Hardwick, 908-362-8217. Family camping weekends are generally offered over Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and for fall foliage. Fee includes accommodations in heated duplex cabins with full bathrooms and bunk beds, meals, self-directed and staff-led activities, and use of facilities. Group rentals available.