With 169 campsites to choose from in the Belleplain State Forest, you should be able to find the perfect spot to unplug and unwind in peace. Located in Woodbine, New Jersey, this state forest is a sight to behold just minutes from Atlantic City, Ocean City, and Philadelphia. Whether you are planning to camp for a week or just want to stay for one night, you will not be disappointed no matter what your favorite activities are. The roads are easily accessible no matter whether you are driving a vehicle or a large RV, so you don’t have to worry about that. The large parking lot at the lake is spacious enough to park your rig or boat trailer after launching your boat into the lake.
Lake Nummy was converted from what used to be Meisle Cranberry Bog and now it is a popular place for fishing, boating, and swimming. The concession stand at the beach can provide you with food, drinks, water sport needs, souvenirs, and beach supplies as well as information about the best places to swim, fish, or hike. With over 20 thousand acres of space, besides the campground and lake, you can also find a boat launch, bathhouse, refreshment vendors, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and a nature center. And don’t forget your pooch when loading up the RV because they are welcome at the park and at 85 of the campsites as well.
Getting to Belleplain State Forest is easy from just about anywhere you are since it is right off highway 550. From the highway, there are only a few streets to take to get into the area, and the roads are all perfect for even the largest rigs. Most of the roads are paved, but following heavy rains, some roads may be dangerous. Have your camera ready as you head into the forest area because there are a plethora of wild critters to be seen and you want to be ready when you spot something camera-worthy. The deer, foxes, and raccoons sometimes pop up when you least expect them, and they don’t know the rules of the road so use caution when traveling on the roads into the forest.
It is a short trip from Corbin City, Ocean City, and Atlantic City to the east and a few hours from Philadelphia to the north, you are sure to be within reach of Belleplain State Forest wherever you are. And when you are camping at one of the Belleplain State Forest campgrounds you are just minutes from the Lighthouse at Cape May Point or the County Park and Zoo. In fact, you will even find the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center if you want to get cultural and the City Aquarium if you want to see some of the fish you can catch in the lake.
North Shore Campground is right off Champion Road and has 83 campsites. Many of the sites are pet friendly as long as your pup is on a leash. Some of the sites are lean-to sites and there are dump sites and water access spots scattered around the campground. In the middle of the campground, you will find a shower house and a playground for the kids. In addition, there are two restrooms with flush toilets and running water.
Meisle Campground off Meisle Road has 50 campsites with drinking water access and many of the sites are RV, trailer, and camper accessible. There are also five sheltered sites with partial shade and in the center of the campground you will find a shower house and laundry facilities for guest usage. Many of these sites are pet friendly as long as your pooch is on a leash.
The CCC Campground has 36 campsites, and all are camper, RV, and trailer accessible. There is a shower house, laundry facilities, and a sanitary dump station as well as a restroom with flush toilets and running water, a playground for the kids, and all the sites allow pets as long as they are leashed.
At each of the campgrounds, there are some sites available without a reservation. However, it is highly recommended that you make a reservation if you are planning to come during the summer.
There are two large group campgrounds for big families or get-togethers. They each have water, chemical toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. Each site is open year round and can accommodate up to 50 people. However, no pets are allowed at these sites.
Make sure you bring your suit so you can enjoy the sandy beach on the north side of Lake Nummy. From Memorial Day until Labor Day there are lifeguards on duty, so you are free to swim, sunbathe, or just hang out and do some people watching. There is a complex with a first aid station, restrooms, and a changing area as well. And if you get hungry or thirsty, hit the concession stand for some snacks and beverages. No pets are allowed on the beach and only coast guard approved life jackets are permitted. There are also picnic tables with charcoal grills by the lake with horseshoe pits.
Are you into fishing? Be sure to pack your rod and a big net along with plenty of tackle in your rig so you can try your luck at Lake Nummy. According to the New Jersey State Conservation Department, you can find many kinds of fish such as bass, catfish, and bream as well as crawfish and other marine life. Whether you are fishing from the shoreline or a boat, chances are pretty good that you will catch something worth cooking for dinner. If you need a boat, you can rent a canoe by the concession stand.
There are several equestrian trails in the Belleplain State Forest where you and your family can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the woods full of Atlantic white cedar, oaks, and young pine trees. There are a variety of wild critters that also enjoy the forest so make sure your horse is not skittish. You will pass through some hardwood swamps, grassy meadows, and tidal wetlands with many exciting things to see including white-tailed deer, muskrats, foxes, raccoons, and dozens of different species of birds.
There are over 50 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails in the Belleplain State Forest from easy hikes under a mile long to the nine-mile mountain bike trail. Out of the 24 different trails, 10 of them are under one mile long, 12 are designated for vehicle use as well as hiking and horseback riding, and pets are allowed on all of them as long as they are on a leash. Be sure to bring a camera so you can get some pics of the wild critters as well as the amazing landscape, water features, and many varieties of vibrantly colored wildflowers.
Belleplain Nature Center, which is just south of the swimming area, is open from Memorial Day until Labor Day. They have many displays of animals that are located in the area as well as a naturalist who can show you some critters you may see in the forest. On the weekends, the naturalist has nature crafts and activities for both children and adults. You can also find maps of the area, information about Lake Nummy, tips on the best fishing and hunting spots, and supplies for your rig or RV.
If you enjoy camping without the crowds, winter camping may be the perfect choice for you. With an RV, campervan, or trailer, you can stay warm and toasty while still enjoying the peace and quiet of the Belleplain State Forest. Hiking or horseback riding are fun if you are dressed warm enough and hunting is allowed during certain seasons. Owls, eagles, and other feathered creatures are abundant in the winter and you can even try some skiing. So, pack up your rig and be sure to bring the coats and boots so you can be comfortable because it can get below freezing in this part of the country at this time of year.