Bass River State Forest
Bass River State Forest is New Jersey’s first state forest, established in 1905 for public recreation, water conservation, wildlife and timber management. In June 1933, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp No. 7 (later changed to Camp S-55) was established here and the CCC “boys” planted trees and built camping structures, picnic pavilions and roads that are still in use today. The forest is within the Pinelands National Reserve, a one million acre ecologically sensitive area that is home to many rare plants and animals as well as the rare dwarf pine plains, a globally rare plant community with pitch pine trees that reach a height of only 5-6 feet. You can hike over 12 miles of marked trails, including the short, self-guided Absegami Trail through a cedar swamp in the Lake Absegami Natural Area and a self-guided trail through the remains of the Civilian Conservation Corp camp and memorial. Bass River State Forest is the southern end of the 53-mile-long BATONA Trail that winds north through Wharton and Brendan Byrne State Forests.