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“Batso Village....a great place to spend almost an entire day!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wharton State Forest

Wharton State Forest
Batsto, NJ 08037
609- 561-0024
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Ranked #2 of 2 things to do in Batsto
Activities: Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: This outdoor recreational area has rivers for canoeing and fishing, 500 miles of unpaved roads for mountain biking and horseback riding, and scenic trails for hiking and viewing wildlife.
Bedminster, New Jersey
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Batso Village....a great place to spend almost an entire day!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Through exhibits in their museam and interpreters throughout the village, Batso Village offers a way to learn about the history of the Pinelands in a friendly, relaxed, and interesting way. Well worth the visit!!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Somerset, New Jersey
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“It was raining and we didn't care”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Big, peaceful forest. The trees aren't very tall - I think some of the old growth may have been destroyed by fire. But, if you visit some of the ghost towns (we went to Harrisville), you can see how thoroughly the forest has reclaimed areas that humans had cleared for construction. It was drizzling on us for a while, which somehow made the peaceful trails and meandering waterways seem even more enchanting. Great place for nature lovers and history lovers alike.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Great respite from the city”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

I have spent many times out in the wilderness and was not disappointed with the unique ecosystem that the Pine Barrens offers. Wharton State Park is a great starting point for exploration as it offers a great base for hiking, swimming, and canoeing. We stayed at Atsion State Park, which offers HUGE sites with a fire ring, picnic table, and showers (rustic this is camping mind you) and clean water. If you reserve early enough, the spots right off Atsion river offer a fantastic little spot within a few steps from your site (the lake is hidden behind some trees ). We rented a canoe from Adams Canoe, which is right down the street from the campground. The owner dropped the canoe off and picked it up at our convenience. Our plan was to canoe down the Batso river,but the conditions were not suitable and settled for canoeing around the lake. The birds early morning on the lake were fantastic even for rookie birders like us. The Atsion and Batso office staff were friendly and helpful. Upon recommendation, we hiked the 4 mile Batso River Loop starting at Batso village and did not encounter a soul on our trip. The path led us next to the Batso river and curved down around not the forest full of wild blueberries. This trip was done during the week,so it may be more crowded on the weekends for the weekend warrior crowd. Another cool little activity is swimming in the Atsion lake off the man-made beach. Not quite a rustic swimming hole, but on an extremely hot day, we were happy to be able to drive 5 minutes (or canoe) to the sandy beach for a dip in the lake. Wharton State Forest and Atsion campground has got us thinking about another trip to further explore the Pines. We didn't encounter the Jersey Devil, but we did realize why he likes hanging around the Pine Barrens so much!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Jersey
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
60 attraction reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
“Best part of New Jersey”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

New Jersey does not bring to mind wilderness, but that's just what Wharton State Forest is. Approximately one bazillion acres (source needed) of beautiful woodlands with lots and lots of activities. This is not a "take a paved road and come up to playing fields and a playground" type of park. It's a "your car can get stuck in the deep dark woods and the Jersey Devil will eat you" type of park. I've been fortunate enough to have been going into it in all four seasons of the year for over twenty years.

Swimming - lovely Atsion Lake (fee - lifeguards) or Lake Oswego (no fee - no lifeguards).

Canoeing and/or Kayaking - The Wading River, Oswego River, Batsto River, Mullica River (can do an overnight on this one), Harrisville Pond, Batsto Lake, Lake Oswego... the list goes on and on.

Camping - there is "civilized" camping at Atsion Family Campground or wilderness camping (pit toilet and usually a water pump) at Goshen Pond, Batona Campground, Bodine Field, Hawkins Bridge, Buttonwood Camp, and Godfrey Bridge. Hike in only camping at Lower Forge and Mullica River Camp and Canoe in Camping at Mullica River Camp and Bodine Field. Primitive camping is $3 per person, per night, with a stupid $10 fee being assessed for registering starting this year (thanks privatization).

Hiking - Tons and tons of it, from the Batona Trail to the Quaker Bridge Trail, and the various trails around Batsto and Atsion. Can also just follow old dirt roads.

Backpacking - the 53 mile Batona Trail runs mostly through Wharton State Forest (I've done it twice end-to-end, a very nice journey. It's harder than you think though, don't be deceived by the flatness of South Jersey). Can also backpack for one night into Mullica River Camp.

Exploring - this entire area was once an industrial powerhouse that helped arm the Continental Army during the War for Independence. Many of the old roads and many clues to the towns and factories that once stood here are still to be found. Be careful offroading! "Sugar sand" has trapped many a vehicle deep in the woods. Also, if you aren't sure where you are going, a topo map and compass or a real GPS (not a car directions one) is definitely a good idea. I've gone without crossing a paved road for three hours before back there.

History - Batsto Village is an absolute gem, kind of like Colonial Williamsburg without all the reenactors. Atsion village also has many remains, and more history is scattered throughout the park.

Biking - miles and miles and miles of paved backcountry roads to ride your motorized or nonmotorized bike through. Also has trails for mountain biking.

Like I said, I've been going for more than twenty years, and I've never run out of activities or places to explore in Wharton.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sicklerville, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great day trip.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

We regularly visit Crowley's Landing in Wharton State Forest. We take sand chairs and a picnic lunch and watch the boats. Batsto is nice as well, many hiking trails and places to sit along the water. The canoeing is awesome as well, and reasonably priced.

Visited June 2013
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