Wharton State Forest Hammonton, New Jersey


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.

The 50-mile Batona trail connects Brendan T. Byrne, Wharton and Bass River State Forests. About 20% of the trail is soft sand and can make for slower progress despite the mostly level treadway. The trail is maintained by the NJ State Park Service, the Batona Hiking Club and the Outdoor Club of South Jersey.

Situated right on the shoreline of Atsion Lake are 9 furnished cabins with variable accommodations and all are designed for people with disabilities. In addition there are 50 tent and trailer sites at the lakeside campground with fire rings and picnic tables. Potable water, flush toilets and showers are within walking distance. In addition there are primitive sites available nearby.