Bass River State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Bass River State Forest, located in southern New Jersey, offers acre after acre of secluded pine forest for you to explore. You’ll find over 10 miles of hiking trails leading throughout the forests, with a wide range of wildlife that calls the park home. You can also connect to the 50-mile long Batona trail if you are up for a real challenge.

Centered around Lake Absegami, Bass River State Forest has plenty more to do than just hiking. Take a boat out onto the water and try your hand at fishing. Or rent a kayak and explore the scenic shoreline that is surrounded by some of the most beautiful pine trees in the state. Once there, you’ll find a large sandy beach where you can relax with your family and enjoy the sun.

If you plan on RV camping, you can choose from two campgrounds conveniently located on-site, one north of the lake and one south of it. Both give you easy access to the lake, as well as all of the hiking trails.

RV Rentals in Bass River State Park

Transportation in Bass River State Park

Driving

Located in southern New Jersey, Bass River State Forest can easily be accessed from multiple major cities in the region, making in an excellent destination if you are looking to travel by RV. Bass River State Forest is just a half-hour north of Atlantic City, so it's easy to hit the casinos after a day in the park.

If you are coming from New York, take Garden State Parkway out of the city and you will arrive in less than two hours. Bass River State Forest is also a quick drive from Philadelphia. Take the Atlantic City Expressway and you will reach the park in a little over an hour.

Once you reach Bass River State Forest, there are roads that will take you directly to both campgrounds, so you don’t have to worry about any annoying RV restrictions.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Bass River State Park

Campsites in Bass River State Park

Reservations camping

South Shore Campground

This campground has more RV sites available than its counterpart on the North Shore. You’ll be able to choose from 32 campsites. None of the sites have hookups but have easy access to showers, restrooms, drinking water, and laundry. Each site also has a fire pit and picnic table. And you’ll be able to bring your pets to all of the sites.

The sites at this campground are a bit closer to Lake Absegami than those on the North Shore, so the beach is easy to access. And there are picnic shelters located on the edge of the campground.

Two of the park’s hiking trails start directly in the camp as well, so you’ll be able to connect to the network of trails.

The sites at both campgrounds can be reserved online, up to 11 months in advance. They are both open year round.

North Shore Campground

Most of the sites located at this campground are for tent camping. However, you will find 13 sites for RVs. None of these sites have hookups, although you do have access to showers, restrooms, drinking water, and laundry within the campground. All of the sites are also pet-friendly and have a fire pit and picnic table.

All of the sites are within walking distance of Lake Absegami. You’ll also be able to quickly reach the Absegami nature trail, as well as access the park’s network of hiking trails. And there is a playground located in the middle of the campground.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Bass River State Park

In-Season

Fishing

There’s plenty more for you to do than hike when you come to Bass River State Forest in your campervan. There is excellent fishing in Absegami lake.

You can fish year round, but the fishing is best from April through October. If you do plan on fishing in the winter, use a slower moving tackle, as the fish tend to be much less active.

If you plan on fishing, you’ll need a New Jersey state fishing license. These can easily be purchased at multiple sites near the park.

Swimming

If you want, ditch the boat and jump into the lake for a refreshing swim. The waters stay warm even as the temperature drops in fall. The 67-acre lake provides enough space for swimmer and boaters, even during peak summer times.

There is a large beach area, so you’ll have plenty of room to stretch out and relax even during peak season. There are showers at the beach, as well as a picnic area and playground.

Boating

Lake Absegami offers 67 acres of scenic waters in the middle of the Bass River State Forest. Bring a kayak when you visit and explore the beautiful shoreline of the lake. Or take a canoe out with your family. Boating is excellent year round, but truly special as the leaves begin to turn in early fall.

There is a boat ramp for easy access if you are planning on using a larger boat (although motorized boats are not allowed). If you don’t have a boat, no need to worry. You can rent a kayak at the lake.

Off-Season

Cross-Country Skiing

Want to come to Bass River State Forest in your motorhome during the winter? You’ll find the forests are excellent to explore as the trees turn and snow begins to fall.

The extensive, even trails turn into an excellent cross-country skiing routes during the winter. Wind your way through the pines as they crust over with ice and snow, and keep an eye out for the wildlife that lives in the forest during the winter.

If you are planning a trip, it can be hard to prepare for snow. Bring a pair of skis, just in case. Or head out for a last minute trip to enjoy a winter storm. The campgrounds are often open during the winter, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding a site.

Hunting

The secluded forests also make for excellent hunting grounds. You’ll find deer, rabbit, and grouse in the park.

As the forests are quite popular with hikers, make sure you take extra precautions whenever you hunt. And as the forests are closely monitored by state park officials, always be sure to follow all hunting laws.

The hunting seasons vary widely by species, so make sure you check before you visit the park.

Hiking

Bass River State Forest has an excellent network of hiking trails that will give even the most adventurous camper plenty to explore. And the trails are well-maintained, making them accessible for all hikers. You can also access the 50-mile Batona Trail from the park to explore the surrounding area.

The hiking is excellent no matter when you decide to visit the park. You’ll find it really shines, however, in fall. Come in September and October for truly spectacular autumn colors.

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