Best Tent Camping: New Jersey: Your Car-Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization

Best Tent Camping: New Jersey: Your Car-Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization

by Matt Willen
Best Tent Camping: New Jersey: Your Car-Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization

Best Tent Camping: New Jersey: Your Car-Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization

by Matt Willen


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The essential guide to camping in the Garden State. From the northern reaches of Stokes State Forest to the Atlantic coastal islands, camping in New Jersey has never been better. Best Tent Camping: New Jersey by Matt Willen and Marie Javins will guide you to the quietest, most beautiful, most secure, and best managed campgrounds in the Garden State.

Unlike other guides that merely list all campgrounds, Best Tent Camping: New Jersey is full color and profiles in detail only the 50 best sites in the state for campers who seek the serene and secluded.

You'll find essential information about each campground (including season, facilities, rates, directions, GPS coordinates, and websites), as well as a description of the campground; the best sites within the campground; and nearby activities such as hiking, canoeing, fishing, and mountain biking.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634041942
Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press
Publication date: 07/01/2018
Series: Best Tent Camping
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author


Originally from Northern Virginia, Marie Javins was dragged as a child all over the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains. Back then she hated camping, fishing, and looking at wildlife, and after college she immediately moved to New York City. She did not learn to love camping again until, as an adult, she camped around Africa as a matter of financial necessity. Since then, she has tent-camped her way across the United States and New Zealand.

Marie was an editor and colorist for Marvel Comics for 13 years before taking up travel writing. She currently lives in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey, where she is authoring Slow Boat to Everywhere, a book about her trip around the world by surface transport (for more details, go to

Matt Willen is a writer, explorer, and photographer. He spends much of his time exploring little-known and remote places around the globe, most recently in areas above 50 degrees north latitude and below 50 degrees south. Matt is also the author of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Harrisburg and Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail: Mid-Atlantic. He lives seasonally in Pennsylvania and Nova Scotia.

Read an Excerpt

Camp Glen Gray

Key Information

address: Camp Glen Gray 200 Midvale Mountain Road Mahwah, NJ 07430

operated by: Friends of Glen Gray Camp Operating Committee

information: (201) 327-7234


open: Year-round week-ends by permit; weekdays by special reservation

sites: 150, plus unlimited wilderness sites

each site has: No amenities in wilderness sites; picnic table, fire ring, some platforms

assignment: In advance

registration: In advance, by phone or website

facilities: Latrines, showers, water (limited in winter)

parking: Central lot, hike-in

fee: $3 per person for weekend; $40 for entire clearing per weekend

elevation: 635 feet

restrictions: Pets: Prohibited

Fires: By permit only

Alcohol: Prohibited

Vehicles: At parking area

Other: Use dumpster near office; licensed fishing only; no hunting; swimming only with certified lifeguard; no bikes

Rustic and conveniently located, Bergen County’s newest campground is also its oldest. Camp Glen Gray was established in 1917 and developed over the next decade. For the next 85 years, it operated as a Boy Scouts of America camp. Genera- tions of boys learned to boat, fish, respect nature, and cooperate on its 750 wooded acres.

Bergen County acquired the camp from the Boy Scouts in 2002, with help from the Trust for Public Land and a group of volunteers. The county provides mosquito control and snow removal, but for the most part, Camp Glen Gray is self-funded and managed by the Friends of Glen Gray Camp Operating Committee.

Ramapo Valley County Reservation is only 4.5 miles from Camp Glen Gray, and while both are wooded, primitive environments with great hiking trails, they serve different needs and different clienteles. Ramapo Valley is the top dog-walking and dog-camping destination in the region, and hundreds of people take their dogs through the park every day. Camp Glen Gray, however, does not allow visitors to bring dogs. Also, campsites at Ramapo are located near the entrance to the park, so every hiker passes by them. Wilderness camping at Camp Glen Gray is usually done in the North Quad, where campers who leave the trail are unlikely to see another human for the entire weekend. Ramapo Valley sites are well manicured, whereas Camp Glen Gray sites are more rugged.

All camping at Camp Glen Gray is hike-in, and the North Quad wilderness sites are ideal for solo campers or those hiking with a partner. Campers must leave their cars at the headquarters and hike to the backcountry along Old Guard Trail. It is also possible to hike in from other public lands via Cannonball Trail. All campers must check in and buy a permit at the headquarters. Wilderness camping at Glen Gray offers no amenities, so campers must familiarize them- selves with the basics of backcountry etiquette and bear behavior. Food should be carefully stored away from tents and campsites, preferably in bear-proof containers. Inquire at the office about the current bear population. All gear and garbage must be packed in and out.

Backcountry camping is possible at Camp Glen Gray, but the camp really shines in its offerings for families. The “Family Camp” weekends offer a taste of scouting without the Scouts. Children ages 6 through 12 and their families attend, staying in cabins, Glen Gray tents with cots, or their own tents. Meals are provided in the dining hall, and activities are offered throughout the weekend. Kids can swim, row boats on the small lake, fish, hike, or learn to make handicrafts. No-frills family weekends are also available, where families entertain themselves and cook over campfires.

Regular family camping is available on nonorganized (no workshops or classes) weekends. Campers stay in shady clearings that hold several tents. The entire clearing can be rented for $40 for a weekend, although most people rent cabins, so it’s possible you’ll have the clearing to yourself anyway. North Brook Campsite is one of the most popular clearings. It sits near the lake, close to amenities, and under hemlock trees on a bubbling stream. Swimming is prohibited unless a certified swim instructor is present. Rowboats are available for rent, but personal boats cannot be transported to the lake. Special arrangements with advance notification can be made for transportation for disabled campers.

Seven marked hiking trails wind through camp, in addition to many unmarked paths and trails that lead to other parts of the region. The white-blazed, 2-mile Millstone Trail is the most central. Easily accessed from the lake or office, it loops around camp, providing nice views from the top of Millstone Hill. The 4-mile Teepee Trail is popular for its view of New York City, some 45 miles away. Yellow Trail, Hoeferlin Memorial Trail, Schuber Trail, and Cannonball Trail cross the camp and are part of larger trail systems.

Camp Glen Gray rents out its facilities to groups year-round. It has almost unlimited space for medium- sized groups but limited parking and is at the end of a private road. Campers are encouraged to stay at camp all weekend rather than constantly drive in and out. Bear in mind that the facilities are not new. Campers seeking a rustic outdoors experience will be pleased here, but those who require modern plumbing and drive-in sites will be better served setting up tents at nearby Campgaw Mountain Reservation.

Table of Contents




Campgaw Mountain 

Camp Glen Gray 

Camp Taylor 

Camp Wyanokie 

Delaware National Water Gap Recreation Area (Canoe-in) 

Delaware National Water Gap Recreation Area (Hike-in) 

Harmony Ridge Campground 

High Point State Park: Sawmill Lake Camping Area 

Mahlon Dickerson Reservation 

Ramapo Valley County Reservation 

Stokes State Forest: Lake Ocquittunk Camping Area 

Stokes State Forest: Shotwell Camping Area 

Stokes State Forest: Steam Mill Camping Area 

Swartswood State Park 

Worthington State Forest 



Delaware River Family Campground 

Jenny Jump State Forest 

Round Valley Recreation Area 

Spruce Run Recreation Area 

Stephens State Park 

Teetertown Ravine Nature Preserve 

Triple Brook Camping Resort 

Voorhees State Park 



Allaire State Park 

Bass River State Forest 

Brendan Byrne State Forest 

Camp Gateway, Sandy Hook 

Cheesequake State Park 

River Wood Park 

Timberline Lake Camping Resort 

Turkey Swamp State Park 



Adventure Bound Camping Resort 

Cedar Creek Campground 

Frontier Campground 

Ocean View Resort Campground 

Surf and Stream Campground 



Atlantic County Park—Estell Manor and Weymouth Furnace 

Atlantic County Park—Lake Lenape 

Belleplain State Forest—Meisle Field and CCC Camp 

Belleplain State Forest—North Shore Campground 

Parvin State Park 

Philadelphia South KOA Campground 

Wharton State Forest: Atsion Family Campground 

Wharton State Forest: Batona Campground 

Wharton State Forest: Bodine Field Campground 

Wharton State Forest: Buttonwood Hill Campground 

Wharton State Forest: Godfrey Bridge Campground 

Wharton State Forest: Goshen Pond Campground 

Wharton State Forest: Hawkin Bridge Campground 

Wharton State Forest: Lower Forge and Mullica River Campgrounds 

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