Wharton State Forest has two offices - one at
Batsto Village and one at Atsion Recreation Area.
Batsto Village is located on Route 542, eight
miles east of Hammonton. Atsion is on Route 206,
eight miles north of Hammonton.
Facilities & Activities:
Visitors center, exhibit gallery,
museum shop, interpretive center
Wharton State Forest
is the largest single tract of land within the New Jersey
State Park System. It is also the site of Batsto Village,
a former bog iron and glassmaking industrial center from 1766
to 1867 that currently reflects the agricultural and commercial
enterprises that existed here during the late 19th century.
Throughout Wharton are rivers and streams
for canoeing, hiking trails (including a major section of
the Batona Trail), miles of unpaved roads for mountain biking
and horseback riding and numerous lakes, ponds and fields
ideal for wildlife observation. Bald eagles, red-tailed hawks,
marsh hawks, ospreys, great blue herons, swans, screech owls,
great-horned owls, bluebirds, hummingbirds, purple martins,
goldfinch, turkeys, beavers, river otters, fox and deer are
only some of the wildlife the alert visitor can see.
Keep Your Forest Clean
Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep your parks clean
and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags are provided
throughout the site. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.
Open daily sunrise to sunset Batsto Office Hours: Open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Atsion Office: Thursday - Monday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The bridge over Skits Branch in Wharton State Forest is closed effective October 11, 2017. Physical barriers and signs have been posted at both ends of the bridge. Sorrow House Road is most affected by this closure. The bridge sustained damage by a suspected large, heavy vehicle. NJDOT will be assisting the State Park Service with its repair.
Please be advised that the Harrisville Lake section of Wharton State Forest is undergoing additional site work in consultations with Dam Safety. The Canoe/ Kayak Launch remains open for public use during Daylight hours. We suggest that visitors travel a few miles east and enjoy Lake Absegami in Bass River State Forest. Lifeguards there staff the lake 7 days a week. Ample parking. barbeque grills and picnic tables are provided.
Road grading maintenance is happening on a number of roads which were rebuilt in the past years (Carranza, Tuckerton, High Crossing). While these roads are not closed to traffic, motorists should exercise caution if they encounter a road grader, slow down and give the road crew space to operate safely.
Batsto Village is the site of a former bog iron and glass making industrial center (1766 - 1867) that currently reflects the agricultural and commercial enterprises that existed here during the late 19th century. This Pine Barrens village consists of thirty-three historic buildings and structures including the Batsto Mansion, gristmill, sawmill, general store, workers' homes and post office. Watch the video "Batsto Stories in the Pines" (w/subtitles)
For more information about Batsto Village and tours of Batsto Mansion, call (609) 561-0024.
Visitors can also take a guided tour via their smart phone. Accompanied by a walking guide brochure, the smart phone tour highlights 18 historic sites and buildings in the village. Taking the cell phone tour is simple and free. A data plan is required. Visitors simply scan the QR code at each location along the way. A short video and pre-recorded message will play. Each video is approximately 2-3 minutes. This project is supported and funded by the Batsto Citizens Committee, Inc., a volunteer group dedicated to preserving and promoting the site, and was created as an Eagle Scout project. For more information, visitors may stop by the Visitor Center or call 609-561-0024.
Topics range from the environment and early Pinelands industry to daily life in the village. The suggested follow-up activities help students make connections between life in the 18th and 19th centuries and the present day. Critical thinking activities challenge students to examine their own community and evaluate how society deals with preservation of historic buildings and open spaces.
In conjunction with the manual, Batsto Village offers seasonal educational programs and interpreter-led tours. Age appropriate presentations and a “child friendly” museum greet our visitors. For schools unable to travel to Batsto Village, staff and volunteers also offer in-school presentations. For more information about Historic Batsto Village, contact the Batsto Village Visitor Center at (609) 561-0024.
Harrisville Village Video Podcast
Take a tour of historic Harrisville, the remains of a company town located in Wharton State Forest. Isolated deep in the Pinelands, Harrisville is a genuine ghost town from the late 1800's. Once a flourishing village, it was abandoned in 1891 after the driving force of the community, the great paper mill, went out of business.
The Atsion Mansion was built in 1826 as a summer home for Samuel Richards. Richards, who a prominent ironmaster from Philadelphia, was the operator of the Atsion furnace along the Mullica River. After Richards died in 1842, the property was passed down through his heirs, and finally sold to another Philadelphia merchant, Maurice Raleigh. The Raleigh family was the last to use the mansion as a residence. When Joseph Wharton purchased the property in 1892, he used the mansion for packing and storage for his cranberry production. The state acquired the property in 1955.
Today the mansion appears as it was back in 1826. As such, it does not contain plumbing, electricity, or heat other than fireplaces. The home, unfurnished, is offered as an architectural tour, reflecting on the Greek Revival style of the building.
Tours of the Atsion Mansion are available seasonally. Please call the Atsion Office at (609) 268-0444 for more information.
This 50-mile trail connects Brendan T. Byrne, Wharton and Bass River State Forests. The Batona Trail is maintained by the NJ State Park Service, the Batona Hiking Club and the Outdoor Club of South Jersey. Please note: The Batona Trail has been re-routed in two locations. These changes are not represented on this map. Between Route 532 and Route 72 in Woodland Township, the newly designed trail traverses the NJ Conservation Foundation’s Franklin Parker Preserve. An addendum to the trail map is attached. Also, the southern end within Bass River State Forest has been rerouted. Please contact the Bass River State Forest office for details; 609-296-1114. A new map is presently under design to reflect both edits.”
This natural area is composed of two sections
bordering the Batsto and Mullica rivers and contains several
forest communities that are representative of New Jersey Pine
River Natural Area (1,927 acres)
Extensive white cedar and pitch pine forests
border the Oswego River. This freshwater wetland corridor
is home to the rare bog asphodel, Pine Barren boneset, curly
grass fern and Pine Barrens treefrog.
Swimming at Atsion
Swimming facilities are available at Atsion
Recreation Area on Route 206 in Shamong Township from Memorial Weekend to Labor Day, while lifeguards are on duty. For more information
call (609) 268-0444. The Recreation Area is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
After Memorial day, swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on dutyfrom 10 am to 6 pm.
PLEASE NOTE: During the summer months, the park and swimming area may close temporarily if we reach the maximum capacity for visitors. We advise you to call the park prior to your visit to check the status.
tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted
in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach.
Fees: Entrance fees are only charged from
Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
Wharton State Forest is pleased to announce that beginning November 4, 2017, we will be offering Atsion Lake Cabin #1, 4, 5 and 6 for winter rentals through January 31, 2018. The cabins are available as dry cabins, which means there is no running water or interior bathrooms. Outside portable restroom stalls will be made available at each cabin site.
Additionally, Wharton State Forest’s Atsion Family Campground will remain open year-round with full facilities. Cabin renters may use the Atsion Family Campground bathhouse for restrooms, running water and hot showers. You may call either Wharton State Forest Camp Office for more details on winter camping.
Alcohol is prohibited. Pets are prohibited in overnight facilities with the exception of pet friendly campsites.
Atsion campsites: 50 tent
and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Potable
water, flush toilets and showers are within walking distance.
Please call ahead for campfire regulations. Trailer sanitary
station open April 1 through October 31. Campsites open April
1 through October 31. Fees: NJ residents $20 per night;
Non-Residents: $25 per night.
Godfrey Bridge: 34 tent
and trailer sites (21 feet or less), water, picnic tables,
fire rings, pit toilets. Please call ahead for campfire regulations.
Campsites open all year. New Jersey Residents: $3 per person/per night;
Non-Residents: $5 per person/per night.
Group Campsites: Sixteen group campsites. One group campsite is located at Batona and contains a hand pump for water and pit toilets. This campsite accommodates up to 15 people. Fee: NJ Resident $30 per night; Non Resident $60 per night. Eight group campsites are located at Bodine Field and have hand pumps for water and pit toilets. Campsites A, E and F accommodate up to 15 people. Fee: NJ Resident $30 per night; Non Resident $50 per night. Campsites B, C and D accommodate up to 25 people. Fee: NJ resident $50 per night; Non Residents $100 per night. Campsites G and H accommodate up to 50 people. Fee: NJ Resident $100 per night; Non Resident $200 per night. Three group campsites are located at Goshen Pond and have hand pumps for water and pit toilets. Campsite A accommodates up to 50 people. Fee: NJ Residents $100 per night; Non Residents $200 per night. Campsite B accommodates up to 25 people. Fee: NJ Resident $50 per night; Non Resident $10o per night. Campsite C accommodates up to 15 people. Fee: NJ Resident $30 per night; Non Residents $60 per night. Four group campsites ate located at Hawkins Bridge. Each site has hand pumps for water and pit toilets. Each site accommodates up to 25 people. Fee: NJ Resident $50 per night; Non Resident $100 per night.
Primitive Campsites: Bodine Field, Hawkins Bridge, Batona, Mullica River and Goshen Pond have hand pumps for water and pit toilets. Buttonwood Hill and Lower Forge sites have no water. Mullica River and Lower Forge can only be accessed by hiking, canoeing or horseback; motor vehicles are not permitted. All other areas are accessible by motor vehicles. Please call ahead for campfire regulations. Maximum campsite capacities vary from 50 to 250 persons. Fee: NJ Resident $3 per person, per night; Non Resident: $5 per person, per night. We highly recommend that group leaders carefully estimate their group size so not to over estimate as refunds cannot be made later.
Cabins: Nine furnished cabins with screened porch, fireplace, outdoor campfire rings, refrigerator, hot and cold running water, bathroom with toilet and shower; single beds. Cabin #6 contains 2 bunks. Most cabins are designed for people with disabilities. Five cabins accommodate 4 people; three cabins accommodate 6 people; 1 cabin accommodates 8 people. Cabins are located on Atsion Lake. Open April 1 through October 31.
From the Friday before Memorial Day through and including Labor Day, cabins must be reserved for seven or fourteen consecutive nights only. From April 1st to the Friday before Memorial Day and from the day after Labor Day through October 31st, cabins may be reserved for a minimum of two consecutive nights to a maximum of fourteen consecutive nights.
Four Person Cabin: NJ Residents: $55 per night; $385 per week;
Non-Residents: $65 per night; $455 per week
Six Person Cabin: NJ Residents: $75 per night; $525 per week;
Non-Residents: $85 per night; $595 per week
Eight Person Cabin: NJ Residents: $100 per night; $700 per week;
Non-Residents: $110 per night; $770 per week
A Special Use Permit is utilized to accommodate a specific activity or event being conducted over a short duration. There are two types of special use permits: Non-Commercial and Commercial and fees are based on NJ residency and Non-residents. A completed application must be submitted to the park/forest area where the activity or event is being held at least 90 days prior to the event. If the special use or event is extremely large or complex, at least one-year’s prior notice is recommended.
Mullica River provides excellent boating
for electric motors, trailer launch, and cartop launch. Canoeing
can also be enjoyed on Mullica, Batsto, Wading and Oswego
Launching fees are charged on the Mullica River beginning on Memorial Day weekend and ending on Labor Day inclusive.