Bass River State Forest was the first forest acquired by the state of New Jersey in 1905 for public recreation, water conservation, and wildlife and timber management. Lake Absegami, a 67-acre lake created in the 1930′s, is the center of the forest’s recreational activities and provides an area for swimming and a serene setting for boating and canoeing. A trail through the Absegami Natural Area wanders through a pine/oak woods and a small Atlantic white cedar bog.
Both George and Alejandra Reagan spent endless summers biking, running, and swimming in and around this park. The clear water, quiet yet very accessible area, and friendly community were all that they needed when deciding on what would become the Bassman Triathlon & Duathlon. Although the forest is run by the NJ State Department of Environmental Protection Department of Parks and Recreation, donations help with some of the smaller initiatives required to make things even more special. CityTri Racing is committed to helping out in this area by contributing after every race.
The event is truly a gem to experience. Bring family, friends, barbecue supplies, and camping equipment if you’re up to staying the night before. If you’re interested in staying a night at Bass River you can do so with your tent or if you move quickly reserve a space in one of their Lean-To’s, Shelters, or Cabins. Camping at Bass River is just another reason this area is so great! We look forward to seeing you at the race!
Where to Stay
Camping at Bass River State Forest:
Group Campsites: Six group campsites with water and pit toilets are within walking distance. Each site accommodates a maximum of 25 campers. Parking is directly on the site. Open all year. $25 per night
Lean-tos: Nine handicap accessible lean-tos each with a hardwood floor and a woodburning stove. Outdoor picnic table, fire ring and grill. Flush toilets, showers, and laundry facilities are within walking distance. Located on the south shore. Accommodates a maximum of six people. Open all year. $30 per night.
Shelters: Six lakeside shelters with two bunk rooms, one double-deck bunk in each room, a living room with a picnic table and bench, woodburning stove, fire ring and screened double door. Outdoor grill for cooking, table and benches. Flush toilets and shower facilities are nearby. Shelters are located along the north shore of Lake Absegami. Accommodates a maximum of four people. Open April 1 through October 31. $40 per night
The Colonial Inn
615 East Moss Mill Road
Ph. Nr. (609)-748-8999
M & M Hotel
37 South New York Rd. Route 9
Absecon, NJ 08205
Ph. Nr. (609)-652-9095
What to Do at Bass River State Forest
Bass River State Forest has eight easy walking (non-ADA accessible) trails from 1 to 3.2 miles. The 1/2 mile self-guided Absegami Trail includes a wooden foot bridge with benches. All trails start at the second parking lot at the beach. Animals, birds and plant life of the Pine Barrens may be found. A trail brochure is available at the office, or on the portion of the Pink Trail that passes through the old Civilian Conservation Corps camp near East Greenbush Road. This guide describes the camp foundations.
This easy walking trail, well marked with pink blazes, runs for 50 miles through Bass River State Forest, Wharton State Forest and Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, crossing streams and passing through forested areas that were once bustling towns with names such as Four Mile, Butler, Martha and Washington. This portion of the Batona Trail is maintained by the NJ State Park Service, Outdoor Club of South Jersey and the Batona Hiking Club.
Located near the beach are 74 picnic tables with charcoal grills, a picnic shelter, restrooms, athletic field for games and playground. Pets are permitted at the picnic area on a six foot leash. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
A public boat launch is located north of the recreational area parking lot. Powered boats are limited to electric motors only. A rowboat concession is operated during the summer months. Coast guard approved life preservers are required.
Swimming is permitted in Lake Absegami from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day while lifeguards are on duty. Visitors will find a beach complex containing changing area, restrooms, showers, a first-aid station and a concession building offering refreshments, novelties and beach supplies. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach.
Fishing is subject to New Jersey’s Fish and Wildlife Laws. Freshwater species are mainly pickerel, sunfish, and catfish. Fishing License are available nearby.
Hunting is allowed in large parts of the forest and is subject to New Jersey’s Fish and Wildlife Laws. Game found in the forest include deer, rabbit, and grouse. Contact the forest office for further details.