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Officially incorporated in 1864, Andover Township is a historic settlement on the shores of Lake Aeroflex. It is believed to have been named after Andover in Hampshire, England and was home to Camp Nordland (an American Nazi retreat) in the lead up to World War II. After being shut down by the United States government when war was declared, the former camp has now been transformed into the recreational setting of Hillside Park.
Andover Township’s laid-back lifestyle and picturesque setting make it the perfect place to rent an RV while exploring the sights of Sussex County. It’s within easy access of wildlife reserves and family-friendly theme parks while being just an hour’s drive from the bright lights of Newark.
Pick up your RV rental in Andover Township and head to the Kittatinny Valley State Park, which extends across more than 5,000 acres of glacial lakes and limestone outcroppings. It encompasses a beautifully restored 19th-century village and the Sussex Branch Trail, a 20-mile route that follows a former railroad through fields and swamps. There are also eight miles of rugged mountain biking trails if you want to explore on two wheels and fishing is permitted at Gardner’s Pond and Lake Aeroflex.
Continue driving west, and you’ll arrive at the Swartswood State Park, a 3,460-acre protected area that centers around a large freshwater lake. Follow one of the hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding trails that lead through the park, with cross-country skiing and sledding available during the winter months. Bird blinds are built along some of the trails for birdwatching enthusiasts while swimming and boating are permitted on the waters of Lake Swartswood.
Another popular birding area is the Bear Swamp Wildlife Management Area, which lies just to the north of the Swartswood State Park. It encompasses a mix of conifer wetlands and deciduous upland forests that support several endangered bird and plant species while forming part of the Delaware Valley Water Gap Macrosite Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. Keep your eyes peeled for state-endangered bald eagles, red-shouldered hawks, and northern goshawks, as well as red-headed woodpeckers and cerulean warblers.
Pick up your RV rental near Andover Township and pull into one of the RV sites at the Panther Lake Camping Resort, which nestles on the edge of a lakeside beach. There are a pool and hot tub that guests can enjoy, as well as a range of sporting courts and fields, with Wi-Fi and cable TV both provided complimentarily.
Also nearby is the Great Divide Campground where you’ll find 270 RV sites in a mix of open and wooded settings. There’s are cable TV hookups, on-site laundromat, and a large swimming pool, as well as picnic tables and communal fire pits where you can mingle with other guests.
Book a motorhome rental in Andover Township and make the short drive south to Wild West City, a theme park based on late-19th-century Dodge City, Kansas. It centers around an authentically recreated main street that’s lined with replica buildings, such as C.S. Fly's Photography Gallery where a gunfight is re-enacted each afternoon. Aside from the live-action shows and daily entertainment, it’s a great place to learn about trades of the day, such as blacksmithing, and frontier cuisine.
A visit to Wild West City can be combined with a trip to Waterloo Village, a restored 19th-century canal town in Byram Township. It was situated at around the half-way point of the Morris Canal, which extended from Jersey City to Phillipsburg and featured an inn, general store, and blacksmith shop that serviced the needs of those passing through. Today it functions as an open-air museum within the Allamuchy Mountain State Park and has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
If you're a train enthusiast, pick up your travel trailer rental in Andover Township and head north to the Friar Mountain Model Railroad Museum in Sparta Township. It features a mountainous model railway that’s been meticulously designed, as well as historical exhibits detailing the life and legacy of George Washington and General Lafayette. Aside from miniature houses, stores, and landmarks such as the Opera House and Verdi Olive Oil Company, the exhibit features a rotating array of model trains that will delight young and old.
Andover Township is home to a couple of supermarkets where you can pick up grocery supplies, as well as a handful of restaurants if you want to dine out. There are also gas stations if you need to fill up your camper rental in Andover Township.
Whether you’re visiting Sussex County for its western theme park or wildlife reserves, book an RV in Andover Township and start exploring!