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Swartswood State Park is a wonderland of shimmering lakes and lush maidenhair fern forests. It was founded in 1914 and is not only New Jersey's first state park, but also one of the most rewarding. Discover almost 3,500 acres of pristine wilderness, with year-round opportunities to swim, sail, and fish in the glacier-carved lakes.
Planning a road trip to northwest New Jersey? Book an RV in Sussex County and you'll enjoy the freedom to explore the Garden State at your own pace. Spend a few nights at Swartswood State Park, then move on to nearby gems like Stokes State Forest and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. You're also an hour and a half from the Big Apple, which makes Swartswood State Park a haven for New Yorkers in search of R&R.
In summer, the beach at Swartswood Lake is a fantastic place to soak up the Atlantic Coast sunshine. It's patrolled by lifeguards from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day and treats sunseekers to changing areas, restrooms, showers, and a concession stand. The lake is dotted with scenic picnic areas that are perfect for enjoying lunch or afternoon tea. In peak season, boats are available to rent from a lakeside stand. Enjoy a leisurely paddle in a rowboat or canoe, or explore deeper water with a kayak or aqua cat. You'll also see colorful sailboats dotting the lake.
Both lakes are well-stocked with a variety of fish, so why not pick up a New Jersey fishing license and cast a line for rainbow trout, bass, sunfish, perch, and walleye? Perfect for a fish fry back at your RV rental. Well-marked trails wind through the park and are a great way to spot local wildlife, from bald eagles soaring overhead to salamanders basking on the rocks.
A stone's throw from the beach, volleyball and basketball courts provide an excellent way to burn off energy. The day-use area also features a kids' playground and open spaces for golf, softball, and frisbee. If you want to explore more of the park, hit the Duck Pond Multi-Use Trail, a family-friendly favorite that takes you through sun-dappled hardwood forest. Along the way, you can learn about the local ecosystem via informative plaques. For a more challenging hike, the Grist Mill Trail climbs up steep rocky terrain and rewards you with sweeping views over Swartswood Lake.
Open from April to October, the Swartswood State Park Campground offers a unique chance to camp in an RV near New York City. Choose from 65 tent and trailer sites, all featuring fire rings, picnic tables, and lantern posts. There are no electrical or water hookups, which makes Swartswood State Park a favorite with campers craving an off-the-grid getaway. Each campsite can accommodate a maximum of six people and rigs up to 55 feet in length. A handful of sites are pet-friendly, so check in advance if you're planning to bring along Fido.
Like most state park RV campgrounds in New Jersey, Swartswood offers modern bathroom blocks with hot showers and flush toilets. Long-distance RV campers can also take advantage of laundry facilities. For rental RVs with services onboard, water and dump stations make it easy to enjoy creature comforts. If you're traveling with a larger party, consider booking one of the group sites. Alternatively, enjoy a glamping getaway at one of the park's wood frame yurts featuring lockable doors, window screens, and double-deck bunks.
Swartswood State Park puts you in the heart of New Jersey's scenic Skylands Region. Visit High Point State Park and you'll climb more than 1,800 feet to the highest point in the Garden State. You can also explore sections of the iconic Appalachian Trail or get up close with endangered British Columbian, Timber, and Arctic wolves at the Lakota Wolf Preserve. Things don't slow down in the winter, when the Skylands Region transforms into a snow-dusted playground for snowboarding, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing.
Five miles east, the town of Newton is a great place to purchase groceries and other motorhome camping supplies. You can also head to the summer farmers' market in Augusta to stock up on local produce. In Morristown, you'll find a tempting selection of farm-to-table restaurants and cozy cafes. The town also served as headquarters for General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, which makes it a top destination for history buffs. Always wanted to visit the Big Apple? Swartswood State Park falls within the New York Metropolitan Area, which means you can combine an RV camping getaway with big-ticket attractions like the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and Times Square.