New Jersey camping really offers something for everyone.
If you an RV camper, you’ll find plenty of RV resorts and state parks that allow for RV camping.
If you’re a tent lover, then you’ll find state parks and all sorts of wonderful wooded and beachside places to pitch your tent.
Even if you’re looking for incredible backpacking (the Appalachian Trail!) or completely free camping, New Jersey has you covered!
Here’s our picks for the 40 Best Places To Go Camping In New Jersey.
The 8 Best New Jersey Beach Camping Destinations
Camping in New Jersey can occur along nearly 127 miles of seacoast. Therefore, it would be a shame to camp in New Jersey without visiting a campground near a beach.
Camping in New Jersey on the beach, however, is illegal, so you will have to be content camping near one.
This is especially true since there are many fantastic campgrounds in New Jersey that are just steps from the water. While there are beach campgrounds with many different ambiances, there are also wonderful beach campgrounds on some of the state’s major rivers.
Surprisingly, one of the best places to go New Jersey beach camping is not near the seacoast. Instead, it is at Bass River State Park where cabins are located almost directly on the beach, and there is plenty of spaces for tent camping and travel trailer or RV camping. Catfish, pickerel and sunfish are abundant in the 63-acre Lake Absegami. Six walking trails provide wonderful access to the wetland and pygmy forest ecosystems. Numerous picnic facilities with tables and charcoal grills make it easy to cook here.
Campers looking for New Jersey beach camping with a resort feel need to consider Beachcomber camping resort that is located just four miles away from Victorian Cape May beaches and an equal distance from Wildwood Boardwalk. People can spend lazy days playing on the three white sand beaches or in the six swimming pools. They can also play water games, participate in tug-boat games, make art projects and more under the direction of the full-time social directors. This campground cabins and teepees or campers can bring their tents or campers.
Crabbing, fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and swimming are all available at Sea Pirates Campground. Each weekend has its own special theme like wet and wild, magic science, superheroes and more. This Jersey Shore campground frequently hosts special events like classic car shows and beerfests. Campers can rent golf carts or bikes to help them get around the campground. Guests can stay in upscale cabins, basic cabins, in their RVs or in tents.
Built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in 1933, this campground offers 56 tent and trailer sites along with two bunkhouses. Fishing can be accessed from this campground on Thundergust Lake, Parvin Lake and Muddy Run, and a boat ramp makes it easy to launch boats near this campground. In the spring, campers can see over 200 species of flowers in bloom here in the spring. This facility has played a major role in World War II and for a few years after the war ended as a holding place for Japanese, German and Kalmyks immigrants.
A catch-and-release fishing pond, a swimming lake with a sandy beach, a swimming pool and a 4,000-square-foot activities building are just a few of the amenities found at Ocean View Resort near Ocean View, New Jersey. Magic shows, dances, and Candy Bingo are just a few of the activities that campers can participate in at this campground in New Jersey. Campers can choose to stay in their trailers or rent a cabin at this campground that is just minutes from popular beaches.
For more than 50 years, campers have been coming to Baker’s Acres. This campground at Little Egg Harbor offers many activities including horseshoes, a bocce ball and volleyball. Young guests can play on the playground. If you are looking for a natural beach, then one is located very nearby as is the Great Bay Boulevard Wildlife Management Area. Guests can choose to stay in their RVs or in their tents or rent a cabin at this New Jersey beach camping facility.
New Jersey beach camping can occur in tents, RVs or cabins at Seashores RV Resort that is located just a short distance from Cape May beaches. This campground offers a miniature golf course, swimming pool, fitness center and direct access to a beach. Guests can also stroll through the woods at this 90-acre facility that is consistently rated one of the best in New Jersey.
This campground that is part of the Sun Resort operation is located in the heart of New Jersey’s Cape region. Campers can fish in the catch-and-release pond, play in the swimming pool or challenge their friends to a game of shuffleboard. Those who are brave enough can also try the ropes course and the zipline. This campground located very near the Cape May beaches even has its own cafe for those who do not want to cook.
8 Best Places For Cabin Camping in New Jersey
Camping in New Jersey takes on many different forms with many people deciding that cabin camping is the most fun for them.
Those traveling in a group often find that they can all stay in one cabin while spending less than on a hotel. These cabins are often located inside the best campgrounds in New Jersey with plenty of activities that everyone will enjoy.
Others prefer them because they are in secluded locations where families can spend time bonding. Here are the best campgrounds in New Jersey offering cabins.
In addition to space for tents and RVs, Turkey Swamp Park has three cabins containing bunk beds and electricity that campers can rent. Outside of each of the cabins is a fire pit for outside cooking. Located near Freehold, New Jersey, this campground offers nine miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The campground also offers fishing for bass, catfish, and bluegills with bait being sold in the camp store. Campers can also rent canoes, rowboats, kayaks, and paddle boats.
Located just minutes from Atlantic City and Cape May, Mays Landing RV Resort offers log cabins for rent. There is plenty for campers to do at this cabin camping campground, including a swimming pool, volleyball, horseshoes and a game room. Campers can also participate in special themed events and sports programming. Campers are also invited to participate in special cooking contests and decorating their campsites to match a theme. This campground in New Jersey is part of the Encore RV Resorts family.
Camp Taylor Campground near Columbia, New Jersey, offers two different types of cabins. The deluxe cabin comes with an indoor kitchen while the basic cabin that comes with outdoor cooking facilities. Campers can also stay in tents or RVs at this facility. At this campground that directly accesses the Appalachian Trail and the Delaware Water Gap, campers can swim in a two-acre lake or rent boats from this facility that was first established in 1964.
Campers wanting to stay at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park-Tall Pines campground find several choices in accommodations even if they do not bring their own RV or tent. Campers can choose to stay in two-bedroom deluxe cabins, one-room lodge cabins, large efficiency cabins or rustic cabins. They can also rent a travel trailer belonging to the campground. There is plenty to do at this campground located near Elmer, New Jersey, including playing at the splash pad, swimming at the pool and participating in special children’s activities.
The main campground at this state forest was laid out in 1933, but the campground has been upgraded many times including the building of five yurts, a group cabin accommodating up to 30 people and 14 lean-tos with propane heaters. Each of the yurts has a plexiglass skylight, screen windows
Shellbay Family Camping Resort offers a trailer for rent along with several cabins. Guests have access to a swimming pool with a tube slide and a whirlpool tub while younger children can play in the kiddie pool. This cabin camping in New Jersey also offers a miniature golf course, ping pong and numerous other sports fields. Campers can ride along a designated bike path to the nearby Cape May Zoo or choose to participate in planned activities at the campground.
Cabins on the Wadding River at Chips Folly Family Campground are waiting for campers to rent them. While some of the cabins are quite basic, others are more luxurious. There is fresh water fishing on the campground and saltwater fishing very nearby. Staff at this cabin camping in New Jersey campground lead a weekly Bingo game along with other activities. Shop for snacks in the camp store or pick up the supplies you forgot at home.
There are one and two bedroom cottages and cabins at Driftwood Campgrounds along with plenty of space for RVs. This campground in the Cape May area features a swimming pool and water access. Campers can join in special activities that are held at this Sun Resorts campground. Children often love the playground while everyone can play basketball, shuffleboard, volleyball and horseshoes. This campground also has tennis courts. Each cabin comes with a fire pit and a picnic table.
The Best Tent Camping in New Jersey
Many campers find that there is no better way to enjoy New Jersey’s natural beauty than staying in a tent. It is the most rugged way to enjoy everything that makes the Garden State unique. Campers can opt for a popup tent just big enough for them and their sleeping bag or they can opt for a tent that is big enough for a whole family. Camping in New Jersey can occur at many different places, but check these out as they come highly recommended.
The 3,000 acre Allaire State Park Campground offers many tent camping spots along with places for RVs and some cabins. Campers to this campground can visit the Allaire Village where people dressed in period-clothing give demonstrations on how people in this region lived in the 1800s. Campers can also opt to take a ride on the Pine Creek narrow-gauge railroad. Fishing, hiking and many other outdoor activities are also available at this campground in New Jersey.
Located just 30 minutes from Atlantic City’s boardwalk and 18 minutes from Long Beach Island, this campground offers a swimming pool, water activities, recreational facilities and miniature golf. An on-site activity director creates special activities almost every day. Hayrides, special meals, craft activities and live bands are just a few of the activities that take place during the camping season. Campers can bring their pets to this campground giving them the opportunity to play in the dog park.
It may be hard to imagine that the area where Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is located was once a barren wasteland. In fact, the Lebanon Glassworks shut down because there were no more trees to be cut down to power their furnace. In an attempt to correct the problem, they planted trees in this area where tent camping is a popular activity. The area was renamed after the governor who signed the Pinelands Preservation Act into law in 1979.
Located in the Ramapo Mountains near Mahwah, New Jersey, this campground provides a rustic setting for campers with a special emphasis on scouts and other youth campers. Campers can fish in Lake Vreeland that is particularly known for its large and smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish. They can also hike miles of scenic trails. Rowboats are available for rent and the campground can assist in setting up orienteering classes. This camp offers special activities, and patches for Scouts are available in the camp store.
Miles of hiking trails including one leading to the top of Headley Overlook rising 1,280 feet above sea level await campers at this tent camping in New Jersey location. Saffron Pond that was constructed in the 1930s is located within this reservation. Model boat racing, archery and racing on a remote control car track are all popular here. In addition to shaded spots for tent campers, this campground also offers Adirondack shelters and RV spots.
After renting a canoe or kayak from Cedar Creek Campground, they will transport campers upstream allowing them to paddle their way back to the campground nestled along Cedar Creek’s shores. Campers can also rent a paddleboard from this campground for a fun-filled day on Barnegat Bay. When campers arrive at this location that is consistently ranked as one of the best campgrounds in New Jersey, they are greeted by birds including parrots and McCaws.
This state park is one of the most popular locations in New Jersey because of its urban location. Yet, campers find many opportunities to interact with nature. They can swim in Hooks Creek Lake throughout the summer along with boating, kayaking and canoeing. Anglers frequently catch largemouth bass, catfish, trout and sunfish in the six-acre lake. The campground is also located near the crabbing bridge allowing campers to catch crab. The ecosystem here is a unique blending of swamp and forest.
Located in the Kittatinny Mountains, Harmony Ridge Campgrounds that is open all year long is a great place to take a nature hike. This campsite first opened in 1963 with 10 sites, but it has now grown to more than 200 sites for all types of campers and tents. Over 50 years later, this campground still belongs to the same family. Campers find many fun activities including swimming, fishing, hiking and telling stories around the campfire.
The Best RV Camping in New Jersey
With a state as diverse as New Jersey, many believe that the best way to see it is in an RV.
Whether you want a luxury resort or a rustic location, there are many fantastic RV camping locations in New Jersey.
The choice of RV is up to you with many offering outdoor kitchens, satellite televisions and other upgrades while others are very basic. Camping in New Jersey can even occur in a rented trailer.
Located just 10 minutes from Atlantic City, this campground features a large swimming pool and a hot tub with jacuzzi. The campground also has a large camp store complete with a coffee shop. A large playground often serves as a place for children to interact while community campfires at night encourage everyone to get together. There are many planned indoor and outdoor activities to get everyone engaged with being part of this active camping community.
The Great Divide Campground offers a private lake with fishing and boating activities along with a heated in-ground swimming pool. Campers can bring their own golf carts to this campground that offers both long and short-term camping. From its first camping weekend each year in April to the last one annually in early October, campers find special themes every weekend with fun-filled activities planned around the theme. The campground has a big event hall perfect for holding family reunions, programs and other activities.
While this campground is one of the closest to Six Flags Great Adventure, there are many campground activities offered to campers. This campground has a five-acre lake, and they rent boats. Campers can also swim in the Olympic-size swimming pool, go on a hayride or dance at the weekly dance hosted by DJs. This wooded campground has a volleyball court, basketball court and a horseshoe pit. Hourly activities happen during themed weekends usually revolving around national events or holidays.
There are plenty of ways for campers to beat the summer heat at Lake and Shore RV Resort. They can play in the water park, take a dip in the pool or go fishing in the private lake. Campers also enjoy relaxing on the man-made beach. Campers can join many special activities at this campground that is part of the Thousand Trails operation. RV sites are located under tall trees with most having a picnic table and fire pit making them some of the best camping in New Jersey for those who are just looking to relax.
An Olympic-size swimming pool, an activity pool for children, a 30-acre lake and a beach make this one of the best campgrounds in New Jersey for water lovers. Hospitality Creek also features a picnic area with manicured lawns. This campground is owned by the same family that created it in 1961, and they live on the premises. In addition to RV sites where campers can often fish straight from their campsites, campers can also rent one of their glamping trailers.
This campground in New Jersey is located very near Avalon Beaches, and it offers a 1600-square-foot saltwater swimming pool. Young campers can enjoy playing on the two playgrounds. A pirate ship is the highlight of the playground located by the swimming pool. This campground has been operated by the same family since 1979, and many have come to rely on their knowledge of the local area. While they will rent you a cabin, there is no tent camping at this campground.
Campers find The Depot Travel Park very close to Cape May area attractions. This location offers a fruit and vegetable stand right at its entrance. Two children playgrounds offer children imaginative play opportunities. A covered pavilion can be used for many types of activities. WiFi hotspots are located throughout this campground that has been operated by the same family since 1979. If you do not have your own RV, then they offer two travel trailers for rent.
From early April to mid-October, campers at the Country Oaks Campground can participate in many activities including pet parades, bike parades, crafts, special occasion breakfasts, horseshoe tournaments and many others. A large swimming complex, event space and basketball court are just a few of the amenities at this smaller campground. This Dorothy, New Jersey, campground features RV spaces for seasonal and overnight campers. Wheaton Village and Storybook Land are located near this campground.
The Best Free Camping in New Jersey
While many people prefer to pay a premium to stay in campgrounds offering plenty of things to do, others choose to hunt for free camping in New Jersey and save a few bucks.
Whether you are looking for an RV parking place or prefer to stay in a tent, there are many free places to camp in the state. In most cases, you will not find any planned activities, but with a little ingenuity, you can create your own fun. Consider these free camping in New Jersey locations.
Want to learn more about free camping in the US? Check out our in-depth Guide to Free Camping here!
This campground located on the Appalachian Trail within the Delaware Water Gap offers a wilderness campground just 0.25 miles south of the pond. This campground is usually monitored by a person who will teach campers about No Trace Left Behind and camping in bear country. Campers can enjoy seeing the 44-acre glacier lake and exploring the 258-acre hardwood forest. Several shorter trails run near this campground.
Campers can stay for one night at the backpackers’ campground within Worthington State Forest. The campground that has room for two tents is located where the trail turns right to start its ascent to Sunfish Pond. This campground offers no restroom facilities and campers cannot use any type of open fire. Watch for signs that campers have stayed on the uneven ground before because there are no signs to indicate that you have reached the right spot.
Campers can find several free places to camp within the High Point State Park, which is located near Wantage, New Jersey. There are three free shelters within the park for tent campers. The Mashipacong shelter, Rutherford shelter and High Point shelter are all available, but only the High Point shelter is located close to water. There is also free RV parking on Route 23. This site is located just a short distance south of the park’s office.
There are two free designated shelters within Stokes State Forest. The Brink Road shelter will sleep five, and there is a privy located close to this shelter. The forest is also home to the Gren Anderson Shelter that sleeps eight. Both shelters are near water sources, but the water needs to be treated. Campers looking to park an RV overnight can park in the Culver’s Gap parking lot, but they need to get a permit from the park’s office.
The Wawayanda State Park has two free shelters. The Pochuck shelter offers water from a hand pump, and the shelter will sleep six. The Wawayanda Shelter sleeps six and it is located about 0.5 miles from a water source. Those looking for overnight RV accommodations can boondock at this state park’s main office. This 35,000 state forest offers amazing views of New Jersey’s Highlands along with a beach with swimming.
Though it is hardly a secret, about 600 campers stay at the Jim Murray Secret Shelter annually. Campers find a floor with linoleum tile and a privy to the side. The inspiration for the shelter that sits almost on the New Jersey and New York state lines from Jim Murray who owns the property and hiked the Appalachian Trail several years ago. Volunteers who mostly live in Warwick, New Jersey, help with keeping the camping shelter clean.
If you are looking for free RV parking along the Garden State Parkway, then be sure to consider HMSHost Absecon Truck Stop in Absecon, New Jersey. While you may be surrounded by semi trucks, there are about 10 free parking spaces that are conveniently located at this truck stop. Campers can eat at the Kentucky Fried Chicken within the truck stop that also offers an ATM machine. The truck stop also sells gas making it easy to get on the road again the next day.
While it is reserved to one or two night every summer, you can camp in a tent right on Seaside Heights Beach. Campers choosing to participate in this free family event are invited to set up their tent after 7 PM in the evening and must leave by 10 AM the next morning. While campers are encouraged to bring food and beverages, all alcohol is strictly prohibited. Campers must pre-register for this event because space is limited.
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