Explore the serenity, unique ecology and history of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
With just over 38,000 acres, Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is the second largest state forest and is located in the pine barrens. The forest offers many outdoor recreational activities such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, birding, fishing and hunting. History enthusiasts will enjoy returning to the early 20th-century by visiting the historic village of Whitesbog where the very first cultivated blueberry was developed. Hikers may pass through natural white cedar swamps, and areas where remains of stone and brick structures indicate the location of a once bustling town.
In addition, Brendan T. Byrne State Forest also administers the Dr. James Still Office Historic Site, the State Park Service's first African American historic site which celebrates the life of New Jersey's "Black Doctor of the Pines."
Whitesbog was originally an active 19th and 20th-century cranberry and blueberry producing farming community. This company town was founded in the 1870s by Joseph J. White. The commercial high-bush blueberry was developed here by Elizabeth White in 1916. Once a thriving town, and one of the largest cranberry farms in the state, the village is an example of the changes in agriculture in New Jersey. The cranberry & blueberry industry remain intact at Whitesbog Village and are represented by descendants of the same family who originally began farming the site in 1857 creating the landscape that exists today! The site is leased to the Whitesbog Preservation Trust (link is external), a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration & interpretation of the village. For more information on the village and events sponsored by the trust, call 609-893-4646 or visit them online at www.whitesbog.org.
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest has more than 25 miles of marked trails. The various trails and loops provide challenges ranging from long single track hiking trails to a trail accessible for people with disabilities. The Batona Trail is designed for hiking, cross country skiing and snow shoeing (weather permitting). The Mount Misery Trail allows visitors the additional option of mountain biking, and the Cranberry Trail allows for access by wheelchairs in addition to all the other uses listed above.
The Batona Trail is just over 50 miles in length and links Brendan T. Byrne, Wharton and Bass River State Forests. This portion of the Batona Trail is maintained by the NJ State Park Service and the Batona Hiking Club and the Outdoor Club of South Jersey.
Other trails intersect with the Batona Trail to provide loops of about 6 miles and 14 miles for day hikes. Loops of about 2 miles at the forest office and one mile at Pakim Pond provide short easy hikes with wide pathways which avoid contact with vegetation that may harbor ticks or other insect pests.
All of the trails allow the visitor to enjoy the scenery and biological diversity of the Pine Barrens. Whether you want to spend an hour or an afternoon hiking, the trails at Brendan Byrne provide unlimited opportunities for fitness and relaxation.
Eighty two tent and trailer sites each with fire rings, picnic tables and lantern hooks. Flush toilets, showers are within walking distance. Campsites open year round unless otherwise posted.
Three group sites; total capacity: 100. Fire rings, picnic tables, lantern hooks, water pumps and access to the bathhouses. Campsites open year round. Separate parking lot specific to group sites. Parking is not permitted at the groupsites.
Three cabins with furnished living room with fireplace; outdoor campfire rings; two double-deck bunks; kitchen with running water, electric stove, refrigerator; half-baths with toilet and basin and electricity. Each cabin accommodates a maximum of six but has beds for four. Cabins are on the shore of Pakim Pond. Showers are available at camping area. During the months of November - January, the cabins do not have indoor plumbing or a source of heat other than a fireplace.
Pet Friendly Camping:
Family campsites 14 through 82 are designated pet friendly. There is an additional charge of $5 per night to utilize the pet friendly campsites. Pet friendly camping is limited to domestic dogs and cats, with a maximum of two pets per camping permit. A Pet Registration and Certification form is required during the check-in process which will be retained in the area files. Dogs and cats must have current rabies vaccinations. Written proof of the pet's current rabies/distemper vaccine and license (if a license is required by the resident's State) must be provided during the check-in process.
Three shelters each with a lockable wood door, window screens and flaps and two double-deck bunks, table with bench seating and a wood burning stove, available year round.
The Nature Center is open seasonally and has monthly programs posted at the office, on the Brendan T Byrne State Forest Facebook page and on kiosks in the campground and at Pakim Pond. Programs are creative, fun and suitable for all ages!
Hunting is permitted in specific sections of the park and is subject to the regulations of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations. Wildlife regularly hunted include deer, squirrel, rabbit and grouse. Areas off limits to hunting are posted throughout the forest.
Several picnic areas with table and grills are located throughout the park. For larger groups, we also offer two picnic areas with an open-air pavilion and a gazebo that can be reserved. Area A holds a capacity of 50 people and Area B can accommodate 100 people. They may be reserved for a fee. Contact the office for reservations. Holidays cannot be reserved.
Reservations can be made over the telephone using a credit card, or by mail using the Group Picnic Reservation form downloadable here. Payment in full of the appropriate group picnicking fee must accompany this application.
Many of the forest communities represented in the New Jersey Pine Barrens may be observed along the trails through the natural area. These include upland pine-oak and oak-pine forest, pitch pine lowland forest and Atlantic white cedar swamp. The natural area supports the federally threatened swamp pink and other endangered plant species.
Facilities for People with Disabilities
We encourage people with disabilities who require special considerations to contact the park at the phone number listed in the general information on the home page of the park. The staff will assist with arrangements. Text telephone (TTY) users, call the NJ Relay & CapTel Service at 711 or 1-800-852-7897 for English or 1-866-658-7714 for Spanish.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Recreational use of ATVs is not permitted on NJ State Park Service property. This includes state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. Thank you for your help in protecting New Jersey’s natural and historic resources. [N.J.A.C. 7:2-3.4(d)]
State law prohibits the smoking of tobacco and use of electronic smoking (vaping) devices in all state parks, forests, historic sites, recreation areas, golf courses and marinas. [N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)]
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6 ]
Keep Your Forest Clean and Green
Protect plants and animals and care for your parks by taking your trash with you. Whatever you carry into the park, plan on carrying it out too. It’s like crowdsourcing trash management! Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles in this park. Thank you!
Pets must always be on a leash no longer than six feet in length and under the control of the owner. Please clean up after your pets.
Use insect repellent, wear light-colored clothing, tuck pants into socks, stay on trails, check yourself when you get home, shower and wash clothes immediately.
Be Bear Aware
Black bears are found throughout New Jersey. Do not approach or attract bears by making food available. Feeding bears is dangerous and illegal. Never run from a bear! To report an aggressive bear, call 1-877-WARN-DEP (1-877-927-6337) immediately. Please report any damage or nuisance behavior to the park office. Visit the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife at www.njfishandwildlife.com for additional information on bear safety.
Mile Marker 1
Highway Route 72 East
Woodland Township, 08088
P.O. Box 215
New Lisbon, NJ 08064
Gate Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Park Office Sunday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Entrance Fee None