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Managed to get out the last weekend of February to south Jersey and escape the snow!
Wow, no snow on the ground and open water! Are you sure you were in NJ? I've been looking for a place to backpack in the southern part of the state, thought it might be a nice change from the hills & forests I usually retreat to. So, how was it? Obviously not crowded in this season, you think it would feel remote enough to camp in the spring?
This is new territory for me, so i don't really know how it gets in the spring and summer. Although Lower Forge is technically a "wilderness site" (ie Mullica, Lower Forge and Round Valley are the only official primitive sites in NJ meaning hike in or boat in), you can park within a quarter of a mile of the campground. There were 2 other parties at Lower Forge on my night out - 2 fellow backpackers at one, and a group of fathers/sons who drove in at another. There's sand/dirt roads all over Wharton that the locals use to "offroad" monster trucks, ride quads/dirtbikes and reach their secret moonshine stills/meth labs (just sayin!). I wouldn't return to Lower Forge again to camp, I wasn't that impressed with it. The river view there is not good (more swamp than river), and the sites are on top of each other with no privacy. Mullica River has a nicer set up and is more spread out, although I've heard it gets packed with large boy scout groups in the summer months as they canoe in on the Mullica River. If you're going to actually pay the $3 (+$5 reservation fee) to camp at either pick either the first or last site (I think there's 10-12 sites at each, so 1 and 12 for example). They're the best as they're the most "remote". Stealth camping is probably a great option too - TJK
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