I had previously hiked Wharton State Forest from Batsto so I hiked from Atsion this time. I found the main differences to be that the trails from Batsto follow sand roads too much for my liking but there are a lot of water views. The Atsion trails are virtually all packed sand and pine needle trails through pine forests with minimal sand road but also minimal water views. The 10 mile Atsion hike was very easy, quiet and pleasant. I went on a week day and ran into one other hiker and a biker. There are historical buildings at the parking lot but they are closed for the winter.
To get to the Atsion section of Wharton State Forest, take exit 7 from the New Jersey Turnpike and head south on Route 206 for 26 miles. Turn left into the Atsion parking lot at this sign:
If you pass Atsion Lake on the right, you missed the parking lot.
There is a kiosk in the parking lot but there were no maps, only an ample supply of 2010 census forms. I took a picture of the map and indicated with arrows the trail I hiked (the colored lines, not the black dotted line). It is not complicated and even though I did have a map with me I never needed to refer to it.
The trail head for the yellow trail is probably on the far side of the office building but I did not go that way. If you stand in the parking lot with your back to Route 206 and look straight ahead, you will see a restroom in the horse trailer area.
The restroom was open even though the park office was closed for the winter. Coming out of the restroom walk straight ahead and you will run into the yellow trail. Turn left on the yellow trail passing a church and graveyard on the left
and then abandoned railroad tracks.
Stay on the yellow trail for a total of 2.7 miles then turn left on the purple trail at this sign:
Stay on the purple trail for 1.7 miles then turn right on the green trail. There is no huge sign at the intersection of the green trail and you will most likely miss it if you aren't paying very close attention as the markings blend into the background. (Yes, I missed it.) If you start seeing both purple and yellow markers together, you will know missed the turn.
Follow the green trail for 1 mile until it dead ends at the yellow trail. Turn right on the yellow trail and continue 4.5 miles back to the parking lot.
There are some mile markers along the way.