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Celebrate Bass River State Forest's 100th Anniversary

Bass River Nursery 1907

Governor Edward Stokes established the Forest Park Reservation Commission in 1905 to acquire and restore depleted woodlands, thereby protecting watersheds and wildlife in New Jersey. Bass River became the first State Forest with the purchase of 597 acres in November 1905. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of our state forests and the birthday of Bass River State Forest. Join us in our year long celebration.

When the state began acquiring land for Bass River State Forest, the intent was for research and forest regeneration. Today the forest has grown to more than 26,000 acres nestled within the Pinelands and visitors can enjoy still enjoy the natural setting, as well as many recreational opportunities.



For more information about Bass River State Forest and its centennial celebration call (609) 296-1114.

Lake Absegami

APRIL 30: Arbor Day Guided Walk & Forestry Celebration: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Join us as we kick-off a yearlong celebration of the centennial of Bass River State Forest, New Jersey’s first state forest, with tree planting, plantation history and Atlantic white cedar restoration hikes. Meet at the forest office; bring work gloves for planting.

A view from the cabins

MAY 15: Spring in the Pines: Birds & Botany of Bass River State Forest: 9 a.m. to noon – Take time to stop and take in the sights and sounds of the Pinelands forest. Meet at the forest office; binoculars are recommended.

MAY 22: First Annual Children’s Fishing Derby at Forest Edge Lake: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - This free event is for children ages 15 and under with trophies awarded in each age category; pre-registration is required. This event is part of the Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs program where law enforcement officers teach the values, stewardship and enjoyment of outdoor opportunities through the sport of fishing. Park rangers and other law enforcement officers will be available to offer children instruction on fishing. Bring your own rods; a limited supply of rods will be available.

JUNE 4: National Trails Day Centennial Hike: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Join the Outdoor Club of South Jersey on a 7-mile guided hike from Lake Absegami into the lowlands between the east and west branches of the Bass River. Meet at Lake Absegami beach parking lot next to the Red Trail kiosk. Bring a lunch and beverages. Other activities include kayaking and swimming in Lake Absegami; canoeing on Hansville Pond or the Wading River; and biking around the perimeter of the park.

JUNE 4: CCC “Parkitecture” Walking Tour: 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Join author and historian Peter Osbourne on 2-mile casual walking tour of the structures built by the Bass River Civilian Conservation Corp. (CCC) companies 225 and 2201. From 1933 through 1942, the CCC built bridges, cabins, roads, Lake Absegami and planted trees in Bass River State Forest. Meet at the forest office; pre-registration is required.

Loblolly pine plantation 14 yrs old

JUNE 5: National Trails Day: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Help improve the trails in New Jersey’s first state forest. Pre-registration is required. Bring work gloves and lunch; snacks and beverages provided.

JUNE 21 and 22: Paint the Pines Art Adventure: Call for times – The picturesque Pinelands provide the perfect setting for local artists. Spend a relaxing day observing the artists at work. Sponsored by the Pine Shores Art Association and the Burlington County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

JULY 9: Working the Cycle – Tools and Trades of South Jersey’s Baymen: 8 p.m. – The Tuckerton Seaport Maritime Village highlights the region’s rich maritime heritage of the Barnegat Bay. Explore the local trades associated with working the seasonal cycles of the bay, such as clamming, pine cone and sphagnum moss gathering, and hunting. Meet at the Lake Absegami Beach complex; bring lawn chairs; pre-registration required.

JULY 23: Full Moon Hike: 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Experience the sounds and sights of New Jersey’s Pinelands by moonlight. Meet at the Lake Absegami Beach complex; bring a flashlight; insect repellent is recommended. Pre-registration required.
Bass River salvaging cedar after fire of 1930

AUGUST 6: The CCC and New Jersey’s Oldest State Forest: 8 p.m. – Bass River State Forest’s historian John Hotz, presents an informative talk about the contributions of the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) to the building of the forest. Meet at the Lake Absegami Beach complex; bring lawn chairs. Pre-registration required.

SEPTEMBER 24: National Public Lands Day: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Join Bass River State Forest staff with various work projects in the forest. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands American’s enjoy. Come ready to get dirty; bring a lunch. Pre-registration is required.

OCTOBER 23: Forestry Centennial Festival – The culmination of a yearlong celebration of the centennial of the creation of New Jersey’s state forests. A family festival filled with food, music, hikes, forestry demonstrations and more.

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Last Updated: August 15, 2005

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