Regulations and Practices of the Pinelands


Wharton State Forest is operated by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry. Their mission is the conservation of forest lands. We ask everyone to follow these rules to preserve the Pinelands and it's beauty.

Carry In / Carry Out

Under the Carry In / Carry Out Program, day-use visitors are asked to participate in stewardship by taking their trash home for proper disposal using the bags distributed at the entrance to the park, forest or recreation area. Campers are asked to use the bags in the camping areas for their trash and to dispose of the bags in centralized dumpster's and recycling receptacles. You can also return your trash to any of our drivers.


Designated swimming areas in lakes are officially open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend throughout the state. Diving and swimming from the bridges is prohibited in the Wharton State Forest.

Hiking and Trails

Over 600 miles of trails beckon the outdoor enthusiast. Some trails are designated for foot traffic only, while others accommodate bikers, horseback riders and hikers. Unlicensed ATV's and motorized bikes are not allowed.


Alcohol is prohibited. Additional rules and regulations are printed on the back of the camping permit and are posted in the area.

Fishing and Hunting

Anglers and hunters will find some of New Jersey's best fishing and hunting in many of the state parks and forests. Hunting and fishing are subject to the laws of the Division of Fish & Wildlife. For information about fishing and hunting, please refer to the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife web site or call the main information number in Trenton at 609.292.2965.


Campfires are allowed by permit only in campfire rings provided at approved campsites. Fires may be prohibited due to forest fire threat when prevailing conditions warrant this precaution. Click this link for current Wildfire Danger Levels and Restrictions.


Pets are allowed on the trails and must be maintained by using a leash. Pets are allowed at camping areas and overnight facilities designated as pet friendly. Campers must provide proof of current Rabies vaccination.


A person shall not possess or discharge any firearm, pellet gun, bow and arrow, slingshot or other weapon capable of injuring people or wildlife. Hunters in compliance with the Division of Fish & Wildlife hunting laws are permitted. Target practice is prohibited.

Fast Facts About the Pinelands

1.1 million acres
Percentage of New Jersey Land:
22 percent
First Known Human Inhabitants:
10,000 BC
Pinelands Population:
700,000 people
Population Density of Interior Regions:
as few as 10 people per square mile
Population Density of Exterior Regions:
as many as 4,000 people per square mile
Aquifer Name:
Kirkwood-Cohansey Project
Size of Aquifer:
17.7 trillion gallons
Water Volume Comparison:
equal to half of water consumed in U.S.
Annual Blueberry and Cranberry Crop Yield:
79.2 million pounds
Pygmy Forest Size:
12,000 acres
Average Height of Mature Pygmy Tree:
less than 11 feet
Endangered Animals:
43 species

Sources: New Jersey Pinelands Commission, National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior.

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