The brisk blue waters of Round Valley Reservoir attract swimmers, boaters, fishermen, picnickers and campers to its scenic shore. The Round Valley Reservoir swimming area was created by the construction of an earth dam across a narrow waterway on the west side of the reservoir, separating it from the main part of the reservoir. The deepest lake in New Jersey at 180 feet, the reservoir covers over 2,000 acres and has a water capacity of 55 billion gallons. It is well stocked with lake trout.
Round Valley is one of the few parks that offers wilderness camping. The campsites on the eastern side of the reservoir are accessible only by hiking or boating as the campers' parking lot is three miles away from the nearest site, accessible by a steep and rugged trail. Cross-country skiers and sledding enthusiasts congregate at Round Valley in the winter months.
Camping in the Recreation Area
The Recreation Area offers 85 wilderness family campsites with fire rings, drinking water and pit toilets within walking distance. Although there is no trailer or vehicle access, campsites are a three to six mile hike from the parking lot, include a swimming area and may be reached by boat, canoe, or backpacking. Each family site accommodates up to 6 people. Open from April 1 through October 31, each site rents for $17 per night. Campers must check-in at the park office by 4:00 p.m.
There are also group wilderness campsites. These eight sites each have a fire ring with running water and pit toilets within walking distance. Each group site accommodates up to 25 people and is open from April 1 through October 31 at a rate of $25 per night.
Alcohol and pets are prohibited in overnight facilities.
Highlights of Round Valley Recreation Area
Trails at Round Valley consist of three that are marked: The Cushetunk Trail, which accesses the campsites and the Pine Tree Trail and the Family Hiking and Biking Trail. All trails are accessed from the South Parking Lot within the Day-use Area. These trails are open throughout the year. Visitors should plan their trail activities so that they will be out of the park by closing and are reminded to stay on the path as wandering off dedicated paths causes erosion, damage to vegetation and may, in some areas, result in trespassing onto private property. Fires are not permitted along the trails and pets must be leashed at all times. The pet owners are responsible for picking up after their pets. Drinking water is available along the lower service road located in the campground.
The nine-mile Cushetunk Trail and the three-mile lower service road are multi-use trails that pass through open and heavily wooded areas. The Cushetunk trail surface is rugged, rocky and steep in places that makes it more suitable for experienced hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Users must follow the same trail back as it ends at the Water Supply Authority's Restricted Area and therefore, has no outlet.
The Pine Tree Trail is approximately a one mile loop and the Family Hiking and Biking Trail is 1/2 mile loop. Both pass through pinewoods and are ideal for young children, birdwatchers, and seniors. The Pine Tree Trail connects the day-use area with Division of Fish and Wildlife property. There is a fourth unmarked water trail that is approximately 1 1/2 miles. You can access it from the camper’s boat launch area. There are no trails that completely circle the reservoir. Be aware of the park hours, so that you plan your hiking or biking trip accordingly. Please be sure to be out of the park before it closes.
Fishing is permitted in the Round Valley Reservoir. There are 19 species of fish inhabiting the Reservoir, including largemouth and smallmouth bass. Rainbow and brown trout are stocked annually and lake trout are abundant. The Division of Fish and Wildlife manages the reservoir as a trophy lake. Anglers must follow the posted special fishing regulations that apply and Fishing is subject to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations. Fishing is prohibited in the swimming area and a valid NJ fishing license is required.
Hunting for waterfowl is permitted at Round Valley Recreation Area on a seasonal basis. Waterfowl hunting is permitted by boat only and hunting is subject to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.
Picnicking is available at three picnic areas within the recreation area. Two are located on tree-shaded grassy spots at each end of the beach, and the third is on a hill overlooking the reservoir and park. At each picnic area the visitor will find tables and grills, restrooms, and playgrounds. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Boating is assessable at the public boat launch which is located north of the day use area, and is regulated by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. Sailboats, canoes, kayaks, motor boats (up to 10 horsepower) and three chambered inflatable vessels are permitted on the reservoir and must be registered through Motor Vehicle if over 12 feet in length. NJ Boating Rules & Regulations pertain to Round Valley Reservoir at all times. Each person must have on a wearable Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
A parking permit must be obtained through the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to access the reservoir at the public boat launch, or a copy of your fishing, hunting or trapping license must be placed on the dash board of your vehicle.
Swimming is permitted at Round Valley in the Day-use Area only from Memorial Day through Labor Day while lifeguards are on duty and swimming is not allowed in the main reservoir. Visitors will find a beach complex containing changing areas, restrooms, showers, a first-aid station, and a concession building where food and beach supplies are available for purchase. Grilling is prohibited along the beachfront. There are two playgrounds and volleyball nets on the beachfront. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach.
Scuba and Skin Diving is available at Round Valley. Water clarity and rich aquatic life make the Reservoir one of the best freshwater lakes in New Jersey for scuba and skin diving. Diving is permitted from April 1st through October 31st depending on water conditions. Scuba divers must be certified and all divers are required to register at the area office, have a dive buddy, inflatable vest and a dive flag. Divers must check-in prior to, and checkout after, each dive.
1220 Lebanon-Stanton Road Lebanon, NJ 08833-3115
(908) 236-6355 (908) 236-6355
DMS 40° 37’ 21.93” N 74° 51' 18.13" W
Size: 3,684 acres
Fees: Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
Take I-78 west to exit 20 A to Route 22 west, follows signs to the park.
Take I-78 east to exit 18 (Route 22 east), follow signs to the park
Tags: camping in nj, nj campgrounds
January 25th, 2010 | in NJ Camping
| 1 comment
When you decide to camp in New Jersey you will find, with a bit of research, that there are a wide variety of public and private campgrounds from which to choose. All of these campgrounds will vary as to the amenities they offer and accordingly the price they charge for a nights stay. Rather than try to delve into all of the camping opportunities New Jersey has to offer at one time, this article will focus on some of the National Park units located in New Jersey and touch slightly on the private sector.
Public campgrounds are those managed by some level of a government agency. Whether the agency is federal, state or local, the grounds are open to the public and generally present a low cost vacation with limited amenities. Advanced reservations may or may not be made depending on the campground. When planning a camping trip, many campers look to our National Parks as their first choice. Research will show that some of the most treasured and scenic areas of our country are preserved and managed by the National Park Service and sprinkled throughout the nation.
The National Park Service was first established in 1916 under the United States Department of Interior with Franklin Lane as its first Director. The primary goal, as stated by Lane, was to “faithfully preserve the National Parks in absolutely unimpaired form for the use of future generations as well as those of our own time.” Today the mission of the Park Service is basically the same. You will find however, the Park Service now manages “other types of land units” as well as our National Parks. In New Jersey the land managed by the Park Service falls under some of those “other types of land unites” with names such as National Recreation Areas, National Scenic and Recreational Rivers, National Reserves and National Monuments.
Some of these areas found in New Jersey are the:
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area which contains the Delaware National Scenic River. This National Recreation Area covers parts of New Jersey as well as Pennsylvania. Camping in this National Recreation Area is under the control of the New Jersey State Forest and is available at Worthington State Forest as it is located in the middle of the National Recreation Area. This State Forest has a campground with 69 tent and trailer sites and is open from April1 to December 31. For further information call (908)841-9575
Gateway National Recreation Area which covers parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, New York and Monmouth County in New Jersey. The section of this National Recreation Area found in New Jersey is the Sandy Hook Unit. Although there are no campgrounds within this unit there are many opportunities for boating, canoeing and site seeing with private camping nearby. For further information call (732)872-5900.
Great Egg Harbor River National Scenic and Recreational River which starts near Berlin, New Jersey and gradually widens as it picks up the waters of 17 tributaries on its way to Great Egg Harbor at the Atlantic Ocean. Established by Congress in 1992, nearly all of this 129-mile river system rests within the Pinelands National Preserve. This National Park Service unit is unusual in that local jurisdictions continue to administer the lands so camping opportunities are found in the local jurisdictions with quite a few campgrounds along the river. For further information call (215)597-5823
The New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve was created by Congress under the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978. The Pinelands National Reserve is the first National Reserve in the nation. The Reserve encompasses approximately 1.1 million acres and covers portions of seven counties and all or parts of 56 municipalities. The Reserve is a wonderful place to visit and exhibits a unique ecosystem. Camping is available in the local jurisdictions at four New Jersey State Forest located inside the Reserve. For further information call (609)894-7300.
There are other units of the National Park Service in New Jersey which bear mentioning for their historic and scenic value. Although they are small and do not offer camping, they are worth visiting. You might want to take a look at the Edison National Historic Site, Ellis Island National Monument and Morristown National Historic Park and then plan to stay at one of the private campgrounds nearby.
Similar to public campgrounds, in that everyone is welcome, private campgrounds, such as the well known KOA’s (Kampgrounds of American), are privately owned, franchised businesses. Although they usually cost more for a nights stay, they generally offer superior amenities that include, but are not limited to, swimming pools, game rooms, movie nights, laundry facilities and camp stores with fast food and microwaves. Many of these privately franchised campgrounds offer catalogs (at a price) which allow you to not only book your trip in advance, but often pick your site and book side trips prior to your arrival.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that New Jersey is home to the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail and also proud to encompass parts of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Both of these trails offer outstanding opportunities for camping and outdoor recreation, a must for the avid outdoor user.
Whatever you decide, public or private campground for a day, a night or a weeks stay, be safe and enjoy the natural beauty of the outdoors.
Till Next Time
Tags: camping in nj, camping new jersey, new jersey camping, nj campgrounds, nj camping
January 21st, 2010 | in NJ Camping
| 1 comment
When picking a place to camp in New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which is a division of Parks and Recreation, provides a wide range of camping experiences in their state parks and forests. From tent and trailer sites to well established group campgrounds and primitive campsites to shelters and yurts the state of New Jersey offers some, if not all, of these facilities. Therefore, when planning your camping experience you need to be aware of the rules and regulations that are common to all the camping areas and then individually check each site as to the specific regulations that might affect your experience. Following are regulations taken directly from the department’s website: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/camping.html .
General Camping Rules for New Jersey State Parks
Minimum age of a permittee – A campsite, lean-to, camp shelter, cabin or yurt must be reserved and occupied by at least one responsible person, 18 years of age or older. A group campsite or cabin must be occupied by a minimum of one adult supervisor, age 18 years of age or older, for each nine campers who are under 18 years of age in the group.
Re-registration – If camping facilities are available, campers may re-register before 10 am on the expiration day of their permit, provided they have not exceeded their maximum limit of stay, and facilities are available.
Limit of stay per area – Total initial length of stay allowed is fourteen consecutive nights. Additional stays may be granted in intervals of not more than seven nights provided the applicant has vacated the camping facility for at least seven nights between each occupancy.
Alcohol – Alcohol is prohibited. Additional rules and regulations are printed on the back of the camping permit and are posted in the area.
Fires – Fires are permitted only in stoves, fireplaces or ground fireplaces or in approved camp stoves provided by the camper. Fires may be prohibited due to forest fire threat when prevailing conditions warrant this precaution.
Firewood – Firewood is not provided at campsites, lean-tos or shelters, but it can be purchased at some areas. Firewood is provided at cabins.
Pets – Pets are not permitted in camping facilities.
Firearms – 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 Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife hunting laws are exempted. Target practice is prohibited.
Vehicle Limit – No more than two vehicles (including trailers) may be parked at a camping facility. Additional vehicles may be parked in a location designated by the superintendent. More than two vehicles may be parked at group campsites and group cabins subject to approval of the superintendent.
Visitors – Visitors are allowed at camping facilities between 8 am and 8 pm. All visitors must pay day-use parking fees, if applicable. The number of visitors may be restricted due to limited facility capacities.
Trailer hook-ups – Water, electric and sewer hook-ups are not provided at campsites.
Check-out time – Check-out time is noon at all campsites. Check-out time is indicated on permits issued for lean-tos, shelters, and cabins.
Reservations for campsites can be made up to 11 months in advance and fees generally run $20.00 per campsite per night. For further information call 1-800-843-6420 or 609-984-0370.
Be safe, follow the rules and enjoy your camping experience!
Till Next Time
Tags: camping in nj, camping new jersey, new jersey camping, new jersey events, nj campgrounds, nj camping
It is probably true that more people have a fear of snakes than any other creature found in nature, yet we still love to camp knowing there is a good chance that we will come face to face with a member of the serpent family at some time in our camping life. Therefore, the more one knows about snakes, their habitats and their ability to cause harm to humans, the less threatening this encounter becomes and the safer the outcome for the camper as well as the snake.
Also known as constrictors, there are twenty-two different species of non poisonous/non venomous snakes found in New Jersey and these constrictors far out number their poisonous counterparts. The most common of these non poisonous snakes include the Black Rat Snake, Eastern King Snake, Hognose Snake, Eastern Garter Snake and the Northern Water Snake. All of these snakes kill their prey by trapping and squeezing them prior to ingestion.
The non poisonous snakes mentioned above are found in a wide range of habitats, although they usually seek areas that have a readily available food source. Hence, many of these snakes will venture around houses that have a high mouse or bird population, a favorite and easily accessible food for snakes. Additionally, a campsite that is not well kept and has trash and unwrapped or poorly wrapped food or human and/or pet waste strewn about will attract snakes.
The Northern Water Snake, which is the only one of the above mentioned non poisonous snakes found in New Jersey, is also the only one found in the water. It is most often confused with the Water Moccasin, which is the aggressive and highly venomous snake found in waterways throughout the southern states but not in New Jersey. While the Northern Water Snake may startle you, it will not harm you and wants to be left alone.
For the most part, constrictors exhibit shy and non aggressive behavior but will bite if cornered or handled. Although their bite may hurt, it is not poisonous and the wound should be washed, disinfected and covered with a band-aid to prevent infection.
The poisonous snakes, also known as pit vipers, that can be found in New Jersey are the Northern Copperhead and the Timber Rattlesnake (which is the only rattlesnake found in New Jersey). Both of these snakes bite their prey and inject them with venom thus poisoning and in many cases, but not all, killing the prey. These snakes should be avoided if at all possible.
The Northern Copperhead, commonly known as “copperhead”, is the first of the venomous snakes mentioned above. The adult measures approximately 24”-36”, is a reddish-brown color with darker hourglass bands and is easily camouflaged in the leaf litter of a forest floor. Small, dark spots are frequently present between the cross bands and dark, rounded spots can be seen at the sides of the belly. Northern Copperheads are often spotted by campers as they favor rotting woodpiles in rocky, wooded areas that are usually mountainous. Although their habitats are scattered throughout the northern regions of New Jersey, they are primarily located in Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon and Passaic Counties.
The Timber Rattlesnake, common in the northeast states can be anywhere from 36" – 60" when full grown with two color variations found in New Jersey: (1) yellow variation exhibits black or dark brown cross bands on a background color of yellow or brown. The cross bands may be v-shaped and break up into spots down the back of the snake; (2) black variation exhibits a heavy stippling of black or very dark brown that hides much of the lighter pigment. It is not unusual to find a completely black snake. Unrelated to their color variation, the Timber Rattlesnake found in New Jersey has two distinct populations and habitat requirements. In northern New Jersey, Timber Rattlesnakes are found in rocky, wooded ledges where they den in south-facing slopes while in the Pine Barrens, Timber Rattlesnakes have scattered populations found in swamps and pine-oak forests, where they den along riverbeds.
Poisonous or Non Poisonous? If you are close enough to the snake, you can often answer this question by taking a good look. Constrictors or non poisonous snakes have a round shaped eye, whereas poisonous snakes have an eye that is more oval in shape and somewhat resembles the shape of a cats eye. However, if you are unsure of which type of snake you are dealing with, or elect not to venture to close, it is best to continue to keep your distance and leave it alone. The best way to avoid being bitten by any snake is to stay alert while camping or hiking and never put your hands or feet anywhere you can not see. The snake is as afraid of you as you are of it, so in most cases, if you leave it alone it will move out of the area. Remember, when you are camping, you have entered the snake’s habitat so do your best to let it be.
Till Next Time
Tags: camping basics, camping in nj, camping needs
December 9th, 2009 | in Camping
| 2 comments
Is it possible to be addicted to camping?
When I get back from a trip I think about all the fun we had, the solitude and quietness I enjoyed while there and write up several trip reports about what we experienced.
I begin getting ready for the next trip weeks before we go, I plan the menu, I plan the activities, I research the campground, I spend time cleaning and preparing my gear and in general just begin "anxiously awaiting" the time when we can leave.
Read More of Camping Addiction?
Tags: Camping, camping in nj, camping new jersey
November 17th, 2009 | in NJ Camping
| 5 comments
Are there really NJ campgrounds? Like nice ones that people would actually want to stay at and maybe even return to?
That was the opening sentence in an email I received recently…and it wasn't unique! I have received a bunch of emails along those lines over the last couple of years. It has gotten to the point where I just chuckle when I see that sentence or somthing similar.
Let me see if I can answer the question here in this post properly:
NJ Campgrounds? YES, YES and YES.
But only if you like camping in the mountains, at the beach and/or somewhere in between. There are actually a little over 100 different public and private campgrounds in the state of New Jersey. You can camp from as low as $15 per night up to around $80 a night depending on whether it's a public or private campground and the type and size of site you need.
You can setup your tent, trailer, camper or RV in the mountains near the Appalachian Trail, right beside the jersey shore, within a couple of miles of the Atlantic City Casinos or in the middle of the Pine Barrens.
I guess that most people who haven't visited New Jersey in a while think of us as more of a heavily populated suburb of either New York City or Philadelphia and don't know or think much about all the beautiful open areas in between. There are thousands and thousands of ares of campgrounds in this beautiful state.
Modern, clean and well kept facilities with lots of activities right in the campgrounds are the norm not the exception. as i've mentioned in another post I camped in 11 or 12 different states in the United States and I haven't personally experienced the diversity of camping situations anywhere else as I have experienced in NJ campgrounds.
We have setup six different regions to help you choose the right type of camping and area of the state to visit:
Skyland- This region is in the northwestern part of the state near the Appalachian trail, the mountains and the Delaware Water Gap. Beautiful anytime of year with plenty to do and see.
Gateway - This region is the gateway to all the fun, activity and excitement of New York City and the surrounding areas.
Shore - This region is exactly what is says, the shore area. Lots of easy beach access and activities.
Delaware - This region is on the southwestern side of the state along the delaware river. It has lots of quiet and secluded campgrounds that specialize in solitude and in campground activities that are still close to lots of arts and cultural areas.
Atlantic - This is the region that is closest to Atlantic City and all the wonderful fun you can have there and the beaches around it. Lots of private campgrounds within just a few miles of AC and several other beach areas.
Southern Shore – This region is in the most southern part of the state with beach and Pine Barren access and lots to see and do.
There are really many different kinds of camping with a ton of activities and amenities. So hopefully you have a better idea of what NJ campgrounds have to offer after reading this post.
Till Next Time…
Tags: camping in nj, nj campgrounds