Worthington State Forest, Columbia

#31 of 55 in Nature in New Jersey
Forest · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Worthington State Forest is a state forest located within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, just above the water gap, in Warren County, New Jersey. It covers an area of 6,660 acres (27.0 km2) and stretches for more than 7 miles (11 km) along the Kittatinny Ridge near Columbia. The park offers hiking, camping (including a hike-in, primitive area) and canoeing and kayaking on the Delaware. There are some twenty miles of hiking trails within the park, including seven miles of the Appalachian Trail, which passes through the park. The park is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.

The forest is named after Charles Campbell Worthington, who purchased 8,000 acres (32 km2) of land of both sides of the Delaware River in 1903 as a hunting reserve.

He built Buckwood Lodge, a small mansion, on the side of Kittatinny Ridge, between the river and Sunfish Pond, a small lake higher up the ridge covering 258 acres (1.04 km2).

Worthington gave Sunfish Pond the name of Buckwood Lake, and used it as a water supply for his lodge. Worthington hunted deer in what is now the State Forest.
The forest includes the 1,085 acres (4.39 km2) Dunnfield Creek Natural Area; the creek is designated a Wild Trout Stream. The 258 acres (1.04 km2) Sunfish Pond Natural Area consists of a glacial lake and the surrounding chestnut oak forest, and can be reached by a steep and rocky climb along the AT. Mount Tammany, at 1,527 feet (465 m), offers view of the Delaware Water Gap.

The Old Mine Road, one of the earliest roads in the area, runs along the Delaware; it was used for transporting copper and slate from nearby mines and quarries, and is believed to have originally been a Native American trail that saw use by fur traders and Dutch settlers.
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Worthington State Forest reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
32 reviews
  • We love this State Forest. We saw two death Coyotes, Racoons, a skunk, squerrels! The river is beautifull, even in The winter..  more »
  • We did the Garvey Springs trail. It crosses the Appliachan trail and u can follow it around the pond to saw u walked a small portion of the Appliachan Trail. The Spring is a short distance early in...  more »
  • The campsites are nice and so are the grounds. Staff at the front desk needs to work on being more friendly and helpful (it was a pattern with several folks). Will give them a shot again next year and update if things improve.
  • We reserved #19. It was nice a private. We did have live music coming from across the river because there appears to be an event hall right across. Not a problem for us we enjoyed the live entertainment and it stopped by 10 pm. The bathrooms were decent in comparison to other places but we had trouble getting hot water for the showers it was tepid at best. Would return again.

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