NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe announced that camping has begun in 12 state parks, forests and recreation areas. The re-opening will be consistent with Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 public health protection goals that stress social distancing and wearing of masks.
“We are pleased to resume camping at New Jersey state parks and forests, knowing how important these activities are to so many people,” McCabe said. “We are taking every precaution to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all of our guests and strongly remind the public of the importance of maintaining proper six-foot social distancing and wearing masks when visiting this summer.”
Under Governor’s Executive Order 148, the DEP will implement a plan for reopening of camping at 14 state-run areas.
Twelve of those areas will be opened on Monday, June 22. They are High Point State Park, Jenny Jump State Forest, Stokes State Forest and Worthington State Forest in the northern region; Allaire State Park, Cheesequake State Park and Spruce Run Recreation Area in the central region; and Bass River State Forest, Belleplain State Forest, Brendan Byrne State Forest, Parvin State Park and Wharton State Forest in the southern region.
Camping will reopen on Monday, June 29 at Swartswood State Park and Stephens State Forest in the northern part of the state.
The DEP has taken into account the physical layouts of each park in determining the percentage of campsites to reopen. At most areas, at least 50 percent of sites will be open. All sites will be open at High Point and Jenny Jump.
Camping remains closed at the Round Valley Recreation Area, Washington Crossing State Park, Kittatinny Valley State Park, Waywayanda State Park and Voorhees State Park.
To account for social distancing requirements and staffing necessary to clean and maintain indoor facilities, camping will be limited to tent-style camping while all other forms of overnight use including cabins, shelters, group cabins, wilderness campsites, primitive campsites, and group campsites will remain closed.
Rigorous cleaning protocols for restrooms, shower facilities and other facilities and common areas will be implemented, following guidelines set by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health. In addition, barriers are being installed to limit contact between staff and visitors.
Campground guests will be encouraged by signage to wear a mask when in public and in indoor spaces such as gatehouses and restrooms. They must maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals that are not immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or partners.
Visitors are encouraged to make reservations, cancellations and payments via electronic or telephone reservation systems to limit physical interactions by visiting njportal.com/DEP/NJOutdoors. The option to pay by cash remains available.