Wharton State Forest, on the borders of Burlington and Atlantic counties, is the largest single tract of land within the New Jersey State Park System, with over 110,000 acres. It is the home of the Annie M. Carter Nature Interpretive Center, which features nature hikes, slide/video programs, hands-on activities and live animal displays. Many of these presentations focus on the delicate nature of the ecology of the Pinelands and the impacts of human activities on this geographic area. The Interpretive Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, from April though November. It is open on Tuesday through Saturday from December through March.
- The forest contains historic Batsto Village, the site of a former bog iron and glassmaking industrial center (1766 - 1867). It now reflects the agricultural and commercial enterprises that existed here in the 19th century.
- The Visitor Center contains a museum and a museum shop offering post cards, T-shirts, mugs, books and other novelty items.
- Guided tours, 45 minutes in length, are available for the historic mansion at Batsto. Tour fees vary by group and are limited to 15 people.
- Also within the forest, about a 25-minute drive from Batsto, is the Atsion Recreation Area, with a swimming area at Atsion Lake.
- Picnicking, fishing, boating and canoeing facilities are available at the Atsion Recreation Area and Batsto.
- Call the numbers listed below to request a copy of the Environmental Interpretive Programs brochure.
General public, organizations, educators, students of all ages
Environmental interpretive programs offered by staff at the Annie M. Carter Nature Interpretive Center at Batsto "take to the road" to visit schools and organized groups within a 30-mile radius of Batsto. These free outreach programs are available September through March.
- The staff naturalist will present a program suited to specific curriculum needs. Programs may include an audiovisual presentation, nature artifacts and motivational activities.
- Sample topics include; Introduction to the New Jersey Pinelands, and Reptiles of the New Jersey Pinelands. Programs and topics can be prepared based on individual curriculum needs.
Wharton State Forest
Annie M. Carter Nature Interpretive Center
4110 Nesco Road
Hammonton NJ 08037
Park Office: 609-561- 0024
Teachers' Guide to Educational Programs with New Jersey State Parks, Forests, Recreation Areas, Historic Sites and the Forest Resource Education Center