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Stratford is a small borough in South New Jersey, half an hour's drive from Camden. Its history stretches back to 1740 when a tavern was built along a Lenape Indian footpath that connects the Delaware River to the Atlantic Ocean. The village grew around the White Horse Tavern that existed for more than 200 years before it was dismantled to give way to development.
Today Stratford is a small suburb of Philadelphia, which sits directly opposite Camden across the Delaware River. This proximity to one of the county’s most historic cities is an advantage all its own as Philadelphia teems with visitor attractions that satisfy all ages and a wide range of interests. Not far away from the bustle of civilization beckons the peace and quiet of The Garden State’s outdoors. Find the best RV rentals in Stratford today and discover it for yourself.
History and wildlife come together at Parvin State Park, less than an hour's drive by motorhome rental from Stratford. Spanning a little more than 2,000 acres, the park, which contains a few remains of ancient American Indian encampments, is tucked in southwestern New Jersey on the edge of the Pine Barrens, a stretch of coastal plain heavily forested with pines. Fishing and boating are popular in all three lakes - Parvin, Muddy Run, and Thundergust. In the spring, the park bursts in colors and fragrances as wild azaleas, magnolias and laurels, and 200 kinds of flowering plants bloom. Walk the clearly marked trails and listen to the hooting of the rare barred owls native to the park's cedar forests.
Explore the 50-mile Batona Trail that weaves through the heart of the Pinelands. Though mildly trafficked and well-marked, it's a "back to nature" trail as it gets you up close to plant and animal species that are either rare or endemic to the Pinelands National Reserve. The trail is mostly flat and crossed by roads at several junctions so you can drive your RV rental from Stratford, NJ to several starting points and hike it in varying lengths.
Experienced paddlers would want to set their sights on Mullica River where an eight-mile canoe and kayak trail takes them through the center of the Wharton State Forest. The trail starts off as a narrow passage with overhanging bushes then emerges into the "ponds," an area where the river opens and lilies and grasses welcome your arrival. Soaring stands of cedars and pines signal you're more than halfway through your journey, which takes you to the edges of the Batsto Village, an iron-making industrial center in 1766 that supplied camp kettles and ammunition during the American Revolution.
Stratford has no campgrounds within its boundaries, but there are about a dozen options within a 12-25 mile radius. Fill your tank in one of the few gas stations in town before venturing out to Clarksboro where you’ll find a KOA campground with full hookup sites, showers/restrooms, and pool access. The ones in Williamstown, Monroeville, and Pilesgrove mostly offer similar amenities. Parvin State Park also offers campsites for the travel trailer rental from Stratford although there are no hookup sites available. On the plus side, there are showers, flush toilets, and a dump station.
You don’t have to travel far, however, to get a parking space for your RV rental near Stratford. Somerdale, some two miles away, has a Walmart store where you may find a spot for the night. Other Walmart stores close by (within five miles) are in Deptford and Berlin. Talk to the store manager to see if you’re allowed to take up space in their parking lot for a night or two.
Stratford's tangible history can be seen in the borough's two buildings: the Quaker Store, built in the 1860s, and the older, and grander, Tomlinson Mansion built in the 1840s. The former is made of timber and a meeting place of the Stratford Historical Preservation Commission while the latter is a brick structure in the Italianate-Greek Revival style. The mansion is the sole surviving landmark (of the three) depicted on Stratford's seal.
Classic American eats, Mexican staples, and Japanese dishes are on Stratford’s menu. Fast food is modestly represented by a few chain brands. If nothing satisfies your discerning tastes, browse the aisles of several convenience stores to cook your favorites from scratch, or look across the river for the culinary bounty of Philadelphia.
For some splashy fun, take your camper rental from Stratford around Camden County for a visit to a few water-themed amusement parks. Follow it up with a look around the Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum where local and regional maritime history is exhibited, and recreational boating programs for children are offered. The extraordinary life of trailblazing African-American explorer Matthew Henson is memorialized in the Arctic Explorer Room.
The NJ Transit buses connect Camden County with Philadelphia's SEPTA light rail (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority). Take advantage of this transport connection to explore Philadelphia and embark on a brew tour or a hunt for the tastiest Philly cheesesteak. If you’re a basketball fan, watch the 76ers play at the Wells Fargo Center. See the Liberty Bell up close and read the inscription that inspired the colonies’ fight for freedom. Join a guided tour of the Independence Hall where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in the Assembly Room in 1776. Then round out your sightseeing with a run up the "Rocky Steps" leading to the Rocky Statue in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It may be cliché, but it will get you energized for more adventures ahead.
In The Garden State, you can be sure there are plenty more to see. Book a campervan rental in Stratford and take off from here. Where to go next - whether across the river or over to the Atlantic coast – is all up to you.