South Jersey Parks and Recreation
If you are into hiking, camping, fishing, boating or anything outdoors for that matter, you are in for a real treat in the South Jersey area. With state and local parks just about everywhere you turn, your next outdoor adventure is right around the corner.
Below is a list of area state parks, typically each town has its own local park and recreational areas. Check out my Neighborhood Information page for links to the individual towns for further information regarding parks by town.
Rancocas State Park
The Rancocas Creek is the idyllic setting for hiking and nature observation in this rustic park. The Audubon Society operates a nature center within the park and sponsors wildlife programs. A portion of the park is leased to the Powhatan Indians. A replica of the Indian village of the 1600s has been constructed on this site. The annual Powhatan Indian event is a festival of music, performances and crafts.
Wharton State Forest
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.
Penn State Forest
Penn State Forest's undeveloped wilderness attracts picnickers and hikers. Lake Oswego, a result of an upstream dam that was constructed to create a reservoir for a downstream cranberry operation, is suitable for canoeing and fishing.
Bass River State Forest
Bass River State Forest was the first forest acquired by the state of New Jersey in 1905 for public recreation, water conservation, and wildlife and timber management. Lake Absegami, a 67-acre lake created in the 1930's, is the center of the forest's recreational activities and provides an area for swimming and a serene setting for boating and canoeing. A trail through the Absegami Natural Area wanders through a pine/oak woods and a small Atlantic white cedar bog.
Parvin State Park
Hidden in the southwestern part of the state is Parvin State Park, a park whose history is as varied as its wildlife. Situated on the edge of the Pine Barrens, the park not only has pine forests typical to the area but also a swamp hardwood forest. Spring bursts out in bright colors and rich fragrances with blossoming dogwood, laurel, holly, magnolia, wild azalea and over 200 kinds of flowering plants. Thundergust Lake, Parvin Lake and Muddy Run are popular for fishing and boating. Swimming is allowed in Parvin Lake only.
Fort Mott State Park
Fort Mott was part of a coastal defense system designed for the Delaware River in the late 1800s. The fortifications seen today at Fort Mott were erected in 1896 in anticipation of the Spanish-American War. Today, visitors can wander through the old batteries following interpretive signs with detailed descriptions of the fort. Just beyond the fortifications is the Delaware River. The shoreline offers good spots for walking and picnicking. The NJ Coastal Heritage Trail Welcome Center accommodates displays defining Fort Mott’s place in history and the environment.
Craving some fun in the fresh air and sunshine? Don't worry. City limits are just lines on a map. Grab your bike, your kayak and a water bottle, because Philadelphia and The Countryside has more outdoor activities than you can shake a walking stick at. From horse trails to wine trails and even Appalachian trails, the possibilities are Boundless.
Looking for winter activities like skiing, snowboarding or tubing? Take a trip to the Poconos. Here is a great resource for planning your trip and seeing what is in the Pocono area.