Hi guys! We love it when a topic gets some responses from our fans in facebook land. Last week, we had a request from Deborah M. about the best place to take kids camping, and we received some great responses, so we thought we’d do a round up with some additional details!
NJ State Parks
Worthington State Park is located in the Delaware Water Gap (also considered a National Parks area) was commented by Janet C as having “nice open sites, bathrooms and showers are available, playgrounds for the kids, river access for fishing. Lots of fun!” Here is the link from NJ State Parks to this beautiful area.
NJ State Parks has a great section on camping that you should check out here. Worthington is classified as a “group campsite location” (7 or more, you can rent) as well as a regular campsite location for under 6 people as well. Check out the previous link for all 17 group campsite locations. You can also check out the cabin possibilities too.
Elise recommends, Stephens State park in Hackettstown: “We often go to Stephens State Park in Hackettstown–it’s a smallish campground, and there’s good fishing and great hiking. We also had a great time a while back renting a cabin at Parvin State Park in Pittsgrove. Check out http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/camping.html.”
My friend, Claire K. opened my eyes to a very cool option in some of the NJ state parks, yurts!! “Yurts A circular tent built on a wood frame, featuring wood floors, a deck and plexiglass skylight. Each yurt has a lockable wood door, window screens and flaps, and two double-deck bunks, which sleep up to four people. Cooking facilities, water and restroom facilities within walking distance. Varying levels of accessibility for persons with disabilities.” (from the NJ State Website Camping Link). Yurts are offered at the following locations: Allaire, Belleplain, Byrne (formerly Lebanon), Swartswood. Click here for more information on these options including pet friendly campsites in NJ State Parks.
NJ National Parks
Did you know that you can camp at Sandy hook? Sandy Hook is a part of the Gateway National Recreation area. Reported to be opened May 1, 2013, “Up to 20 tent campsites will be available to visitors across the street from the Horseshoe Cove section of Sandy Hook in Highlands, New Jersey.” Check out the National parks link for more information on planning a visit.
County Parks in NJKristen, Matt and a few others recommend Turkey Swamp in Freehold (Monmouth County). Matt J. says “Turkey Swamp is probably the best I have been to. The bathrooms are large and well kept, as is the play ground. The park has hiking trails, fishing, archery range, and other amenities.”
Last year we were reviewing their playground and maybe one day we’ll explore a little more of the hiking areas. From their brochure: “The 64 pull-through campsites at Turkey Swamp Park can accommodate both tent campers and travel trailers: 52 can be reserved, while the other 12 are available on a first-come/first-served basis. All campsites have water and electrical hook-ups, and can accommodate a maximum of 6 people. There is a free dump station available to registered campers, and the restroom has hot showers and
If you are in North-Eastern NJ and don’t want to travel too far, there are options in Bergen County with “Campgaw Mountain Reservation”.
More NJ Campgrounds
Up North: Mira and Linda both recommend this campground in Newton NJ. Formerly known as Green Valley Beach Campground, the Great Divide Campground is in scenic Sussex County and has many options including cabins with cable tv hookup! You can always choose to unplug and go with tents as well. From Mira: “Pros: close to North Jersey, very clean bathrooms, nice, woodsy lots, swimming pool. Cons: some of us (me!) were bit by mosquitos. I like campgrounds a little more north because I think you get less bugs. However, you do get daddy long legs spiders!” If you want to know rates, here are their 2013 ones!
UPDATE: Great Divide Campground is a fantastic day trip, check out our post here!
Down South: I LOVE family owned establishments, and Hospitality Creek in Williamstown NJ, can be vouched for by Ewka, an avid camper who says: “They have everything: swimming lake, pool, activity pool, clean bathrooms with hot showers. We are avid campers and tried pretty much all in NJ and PA and this one is our favorite. We have been going with our kids every year with a tent and popup and always have the best time. Try to get spots right on the lake they are huge!” From their site: “Hospitality is part of our name at Hospitality Creek. And for good reason. Supervised by the same family since 1961, and now in its third generation, we offer you a level of personal care which can only accompany on-premise management. What this means for you is the best assurance of a quality, family-oriented camping experience that will provide great vacation memories for years to come. Hospitality Creek offers you a choice of 240 shaded sites, including pull-thrus and 3-way hookups. Regardless of which site you choose, you will find that our sites are more spacious than those which you will find nearly anywhere else.”
Adventure Bound Camping Resorts: When I asked the question about camping, the name Jellystone popped up a few times, and here is the lowdown of what is in NJ…
Jellystone, Elmer NJ– The pictures are impressive, with an amazing water park and huge water slide along with all the other cool stuff. You can do tent camping all the way up to cabins with cable. From their site: “Situated on 113 beautiful woodland acres in rural southwestern New Jersey, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Parkâ„¢ Campground at Tall Pines is a family-oriented camping and RV resort that offers all the fun and adventure of the outdoors without sacrificing the most important comforts of home.” Thanks Karilee for the suggestion, it looks a lot of fun..
Adventure Bound Camping Resorts, Cape May NJ– Not on the scale of a “Jellystone”, definitely smaller and less crowded with inflatable slide and water fun as well! They even have rustic cabins with air conditioning. (MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY: Family of 4 per cabin) My family and I would definitely consider this as a vacation spot, just cause of our love for Cape May boardwalk and shore (site says 15 minutes away from the north point and closest campground to North Wildwood). Check out their fun zone here. You can also check out their overview video that gives a better summary as well.
Stacy wrote to us about Camp Taylor by the Wolf Preserve: “This campground looks very interesting – it’s located right next to the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, NJ. I went a few years ago to one of their wolf watch experience and it was really neat. http://www.camptaylor.com”
And here’s a pretty cool groupon about Lake Laurie RV and Camping Resort in Cape May!
So thought we’d include a little price comparison from the above suggestions, make sure you check with each place by phone or email before you make a reservation for any extras/taxes.
|Tent/Yurt Sites||Cost of Stay (2 nights)|
|Worthington State Forest- NJ (availabilty scarce!)||$40.00|
|Stephens State Park- NJ||$40.00|
|Camp Gateway- Sandy Hook- tent-non-electric (max: 6people)||$40.00|
|Jellystone-Elmer- Tent site||$60.00|
|Belleplain State Park – NJÂ – yurt option (June 21-22)||$70.00|
|Great Divide Campground (Newton) tent w/ water and electric||$74.00|
|Turkey Swamp- Freehold NJ- non resident tent||$78.00|
|ABC Resorts- Cape May- premium prim. Tent site||$90.00|
|Cabin/Rental Trailer Sites||Cost of Stay (2 nights)|
|Turkey Swamp- Freehold NJ- non resident cabin||$140.00|
|Hospitality Creek (campsite)||$150.00|
|ABC Resorts- Cape May- cabin w/ A.C.||$190.46|
|Great Divide Campground (Newton) trailer rental||small- $230 large $320|
|Jellystone- Elmer- Efficiency for 4||$243.96|
|Hospitality Creek (rental trailer w/ AC 3 TVs for family of 6)||$350.00|
Outside NJ Campgrounds
If you are looking to go a little further out, Sue Moraghan and her family love to travel and she says: “we love to camp, but we will include camping into a further location. ie, camp in Quarryville PA and then enjoy Amish country, or camp in upstate NY and go to the NY state fair or places in Buffalo and Syracuse, or camp at a place midway between Baltimore and Washington DC and hit those cities.”
NY State: Matt chimes in about American Family Campground in Cuddebackville, NY which have new owners and are now a KOA campground (Deerpark KOA) “” “Second place based on bathrooms (can’t get too rough when roughing it) would be American Family Campground off of 206 in Cuddebackville, NY: they have a pool and lots of structured activities, but I don’t recall much of a play area. I’ve been to AFC with my brothers but not yet with my children.” We confirmed with their website that there is a “giant jumping pillow” where your kids can bounce, an arcade and a recreation hall. You also have your bike rentals, fishing, paddleboats and swimming pool too. For more information on their amenities check this link.
Lancaster, PA: My friend Marina from college who is also a fan 🙂 talks about Jellystone here: “Last year we camped at Jellystone Park in Lancaster Cty., PA. This place is great for those who want to do more than just camping and would enjoy water activities (pools, etc) and other activities like miniature golf. They have tent sites as well as cabin rentals, plus it’s in lancaster, near Amish country, if you want to venture outside the campground and enjoy the local sites and activities. In a few words, it was loads of fun! here’s the website
Did we miss something? Â Want to contribute? Comment below! Also, we want your camping pictures to spruce up this post, share them with us via our facebook page!
Also for a great website on everything outdoor New Jersey, make sure you check out another cool NJ site, GetOutsideNJ.com. Â They are a great resource to look at when planning a camping trip.