Wharton State Forest
Tabernacle, Burlington County, NJ
Tabernacle, NJ 08088
Coordinates: 39°46’52.11″N, 74°37’55.10″W
Coming from Route 206, turn onto Carranza Road. Drive 7 1/2 or 8 miles down that road. Along the way, you’ll pass through Indian Mills, pass farms, and have the road turn from new pavement to old pavement. When you spot the Carranza Memorial on your right, then the campground entrance road will be on your left. If the road turns completely to dirt, you just missed the turn.
Short dirt road, very accessible.
Website for official info:
Website for campsite booking and pricing:
Pet friendly?: Yes, rules and regulations here.
Batona Campground is a relatively small campground located in Wharton State Forest in the New Jersey pine barrens in Burlington County. It’s a nice little campground, located relatively close to civilization
Water: Water pump available.
Bathrooms – two primitive, single seat outhouse pit toilet. No water, no flush, no lights (bring flashlight with you at night!), BYO toilet paper just in case.
Trash – carry in/carry out
Food protection – no bear boxes (low bear risk, but have been spotted in the area, most famously on the school playground in nearby Atco). Store food in car, especially if you don’t want to make friends with skunks or raccoon. When backpacking, take appropriate precautions.
Facilities (each site):
Group campsites – One site, up to 15 people
Regular campsites – Twelve sites, with maximum of two tents and/or six people. Each site has a small fire ring. Closely packed in.
Open year round! I’ve camped here Spring, Winter, and Fall without issue.
As with all sites in the New Jersey State Parks – no alcohol is allowed. They can and will write tickets.
This site is a good stopping point along the Batona Trail, as it’s roughly 31 miles from the start at Bass River State Forest or about 21 1/2 miles from the end of the trail at Ong’s Hat. It’s the most convenient trail on the Batona, as that trail runs right through the campsite.
More info on the Batona Trail.
Permit pick up is from the Batsto Visitors Center in the off season and the Atsion Ranger Station in season. It closes really early (4 PM) when it is open, so be aware. The park police are pretty good about if you don’t get there to get your permit in time, as most people work, but its a good idea to at least have a print out or screen shot of your online reservation (which is NOT the same as your permit). Entry to Batsto is $5 (weekdays) or $10 (weekends), but if you are just getting your permit, just let them know on the way in and they’ll let you go.
Nearby trails and things to see:
The 52.7 mile long Batona Trail goes right through the site, and this is a great spot to start a nice
This is also a great spot to start a nice day hike on the Batona from the campground to Apple Pie Hill. The fire tower is only able to be climbed when manned by a fire ranger, but if you are there when you can go up, the view from the top (Atlantic City AND Philadelphia, plus a bazillion acres of forest) are spectacular.
It’s also right across the street from the Carranza Memorial.
While worth a stop at any point, each July the Mt. Holly American Legion Post hosts a memorial ceremony for Captain Carranza, which is well worth attending at least once in your life.
Experiences at the campground? Helpful hints for folks? Please leave them in the comments for folks to see, or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll tack them onto the bottom here!