New Jersey

New Jersey OKs Camping at State Parks, Forests

Starting Monday, people will be allowed to camp at 12 state parks, forests and recreation areas

Canoeists camp with tent and canoe by the lake
David Cayless via Getty Images

After a prolonged ban due to the coronavirus outbreak, nature lovers in New Jersey got a boost Saturday as the environmental protection department announced that camping at state parks and forests will soon resume.

Starting Monday, people will be allowed to camp at 12 state parks, forests and recreation areas. However, campers will still need to observe social distancing rules, and only “tent-style” camping will be allowed, meaning cabins are staying shut.

“We are taking every precaution to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all of our guests and strongly remind the public of the importance of maintaining proper six-foot social distancing and wearing masks when visiting this summer,” New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe said.

The 12 camping areas open Monday are as follows:

Northern region

  • High Point State Park
  • Jenny Jump State Forest
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Worthington State Forest

Central region

  • Allaire State Park
  • Cheesequake State Park
  • Spruce Run Recreation Area

Southern region

  • Bass River State Forest
  • Belleplain State Forest
  • Brendan Byrne State Forest
  • Parvin State Park
  • Wharton State Forest

Campers are encouraged to wear a mask in public and in indoor spaces like gatehouses and restrooms. They should also maintain at least six feet of space between themselves and anyone who is not an immediate family member, caretaker, household member or partners.

Workers will conduct “rigorous” cleaning of restrooms, showers and other facilities and common areas, officials said.

The state plans to open Swartswood State Park and Stephens State Forest on June 29.

Camping still won’t be allowed, however, at the Round Valley Recreation Area, Washington Crossing State Park, Kittatinny Valley State Park, Waywayanda State Park and Voorhees State Park.

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