For New Yorkers fed up with the city’s crowds, camping in New Jersey offers a breath of fresh air – and some stunning campsites. Trust us: the Garden State may be small but it’s got plenty of outdoor space to get lost in. Whether you want to rock it by the Delaware riverside or stargaze in the seclusion of a state park like Voorhees, setting up a tent in New Jersey should be on your northeast camping bucket list. These are our favorites – bookable with our trusted partner, Tentrr.
Looking to wind down and disconnect for a spell? Pittstown is ready to uncork a fantastic camping experience. This New Jersey town will welcome you with a bottle of wine from one of their vineyards for you to carry into camp. As you sip under the stars with the fire crackling, you’ll wonder why William Pitt even bothered to cross the Delaware when there was plenty to soak in on this side of the river.
If you’re not camping inside Wawayanda State Park then you’d better get an early start for your visit to this popular destination. Outdoor enthusiasts from all over the tri-state area fill the park to capacity during the summer, racing to hike more than 60mi (96km) of trails and take a dip in Lake Wawayanda. If you are pitching your tent inside this forest, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic wildlife viewing and a wealth of diverse topography to explore.
You can check the Appalachian Trail off of your hiking list with an overnight at this campsite. Planted at the foot of Wawayanda Mountain, it gives you instant access to the popular Pochuck Boardwalk, Stairway to Heaven, and Pinwheel Vista hikes. If your walking boots weren’t broken in already, they will be by the time you’re done. Bring the basics like cookware and flashlights – your Tentrr camp keeper will take care of the tent, toilet, and the rest.
Stargazers, Voorhees State Park will light up your night like never before: 1,300 acres (526ha) of dark sky space are yours to savor. Still not satisfied? Wander over to the New Jersey Astronomical Observatory and peer at the galaxy through their super-powered lens. Not an astro nerd? Don’t worry, Voorhees State Park is just as fun in the daytime – with hiking, hunting, and other activities ready to go from sunrise.
This all-season-suitable tent sits on an elevated platform, so no need to worry about the weather getting in. It even has a heater to keep you cozy in the cooler months. If you’re after an adrenaline-spiked adventure, you can take to the water with river rafting and kayaking, or kick back with a spot of bocce ball or giant Jenga at the campsite. Just don’t miss the antiquing, apple tasting, and pumpkin picking at the quaint towns along the Delaware River.
Heading to the coast for a weekend of recreation and relaxation? There are few spots more peaceful – and playful – in New Jersey than the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. Right on the Manahawkin Bay, this protected marine area feels a world away from the nearby, tourist-heavy resorts of Seaside Heights and Atlantic City. Connected to the Manahawkin Wildlife Management Area, it’s a paradise for birdwatchers, with rare wetlands birds regularly spotted up and down this stretch of coast.
Pinelands Getaway is a pretty sweet stay, and that’s not just because this fully equipped campsite is on a fruit-stuffed cranberry farm. Let the host take you on an RTV tour and they’ll show you the ponds where they grow the berries, and relaxing bogs to stroll through. It also has all of the sleeping, cooking, and chilling equipment you’ll need to stay completely relaxed. But for a change of scene, hop over for a hike through the neighboring Brendan T Byrne State Forest.
Venture into Sparta and you’ll be shocked that these handful of cozy lakeside communities are so close to Times Square. Oozing country vibes, yet within minutes of Interstate 80, Sparta’s exciting outdoor lifestyle will rival that of the Catskills. Make your way around Lake Mohawk by car, bike, or boat, stopping along the way to hike the trails or soak up the sun on the beach. By the time you get to your campsite, you’ll wish you could stake a claim in the land and call it home forever.
You won’t believe that the lakefront mountain hideaway of Camp Lake Grinnell is only an hour away from the Big Apple. Leave the concrete jungle behind and settle into this secluded campsite with three of your best friends. A portable toilet, portable shower, large fire pit, and tents are already on site – so all you’ll need to bring is a kayak, a sturdy pair of shoes, and snacks for enjoying nearby Sparta Glen Park or Tomahawk Lake to their fullest.
Sitting on the Pennsylvania/New Jersey state line is Titusville, a Delaware River town that’s dominated by Washington Crossing State Park. General George himself crossed the waters from this site in 1776, making this park a must-visit for any history buff. You don’t need to be a Revolutionary War fanatic to enjoy this riverside green space, though. The historical sites are connected to a trail that runs through the nature preserve – which sat at this site long before Georgie’s soldiers ever did.
With private access to the Delaware River and a well-equipped creekside campsite with an elevated tent, this Jacobs Creek stay really is a riverside paradise. Kayaks and tubes are on site for you to cruise down the river before coming back and savoring every drop of unlimited hot water from the sun shower. Snuggle up alongside the campfire or on the tent’s queen bed, and enjoy secluded riverside bliss for as long as you’d like.
A communal fire pit and outhouse are ready and waiting for you at this no-frills, backcountry campsite. While you may share this three-acre space with one or two other camping groups, you’ll still have plenty of quiet time – especially if you pitch your tent amongst the pines. Then again, it’s not like you’re going to be spending your whole time at the base when you’ve got mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding on your doorstep.
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