Penn State Forest


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Park Overview:

New Jersey contains the world's largest acreage of globally rare pygmy forests. One of the best places to see them is within portions of Penn State Forest.

Trail Uses:Hiking, X-C skiing
Trail Miles:
Park Acreage:3366 acres
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Park Description:

A prime attraction of Penn State Forest is Oswego Lake, whose water, because of the iron and cedar in the Pinelands, is the color of tea. In the center of the forest is Bear Swamp Hill, where there is parking and the foundation of a fire tower that was knocked down in an airplane crash in 1971.

About four miles east of the lake is the U.S. Navy Target Area at Warren Grove, and it is common in the Pinelands to see fighters and bombers practice here. The area around the target installation, just west of County 539, is one of the best places to see the Pine Barren Plains, the unusual pygmy forests in which full-grown trees are no more than six-to-eight feet tall.

The park is administered by the Bass River State Forest.

Share your favorite hike(s) with Trail Conference web site visitors. We are especially interested in hikes from The Pinelands Region where this park is located. Click for further information and a submission form.


Trails Overview:

Stretching out northeast from Oswego Lake, the forest is interlaced with sand roads that can be hiked in many combinations.  Visitors can obtain the Oswego and Woodmansie USGS topographic quadrangle maps; free scanned copies are available at the USGS web site.

Hunting is permitted in this state forest, so hikers should exercise caution during the hunting season.



Take Route 563 to Lake Oswego Road in Jenkins Neck, and follow for three miles. The road name changes to Jenkins Road before it reaches Oswego Lake. The parking area is on the right, just over the bridge.

GPS Coordinates: DMS 39° 44’ 04.90” N 74° 29' 28.82" W

Contact Information:NJ DEP, Division of Parks and Forestry