Pinelands Adventures > Explore the Pine Barrens > Discover Atsion in Wharton State Forest

Discover Atsion in Wharton State Forest

Atsion Village and Atsion Lake are the centerpieces of one of the main gatetways to Wharton State Forest. It is also the home of Pinelands Adventures.


There are a number of attractions at Atsion Village and Recreation area, which provides access to not only paddlers but also to campers, hikers, horseback riders, hunters and more. Atsion Mansion is one the the great restored historic sites in Wharton State Forest, while the Atsion Recreation Area is one of the region’s most popular swimming beaches.

map of Atsion lake are surroundings.
Map of the attractions and features at Atsion.

Atsion Village and Mansion

The Atsion Mansion was built in 1826 as a summer home for Samuel Richards. Richards, who a prominent ironmaster from Philadelphia, was the operator of the Atsion furnace along the Mullica River. After Richards died in 1842, the property was passed down through his heirs, and finally sold to another Philadelphia merchant, Maurice Raleigh. The Raleigh family was the last to use the mansion as a residence. When Joseph Wharton purchased the property in 1892, he used the mansion for packing and storage for his cranberry production. The state acquired the property in 1955.

Today the mansion appears as it was back in 1826. As such, it does not contain plumbing, electricity, or heat other than fireplaces. The home, unfurnished, is offered as an architectural tour, reflecting on the Greek Revival style of the building.

Tours of the Atsion Mansion are available seasonally. Please call the Atsion Office at (609) 268-0444 for more information.

Atsion Mansion in the Wharton State Forest
Atsion Mansion located on Rt. 206 at the Atsion Recreation Area.

Atsion Recreation Area

The 100-acre lake features an array of amenities, including three comfort stations with showers and rest room facilities. The lake officially opens on Memorial Day with swimming hours from 10 am to 6 pm. (Call the park for specific hours.) Lifeguards are on duty during designated summer swimming times and visitor service professionals are available to assist guests.

Atsion Lake beach wharton state forest
Atsion Lake beach

Also take advantage of Atsion Lake’s picnic areas, barbecue grills, playgrounds, ball fields, nature crafts (for kids) and concession stands. In addition, two nature trails are now open for hiking. They are well marked and wheelchair accessible.

The entrance fee to Atsion Lake is $5/$10 per car during the week and $10/$20 per car on weekends for New Jersey residents/ non-residents. On most summer weekends, it’s important to arrive early. Often the park fills to capacity and is closed by 10 a.m. Atsion Lake is a carry-in, carry-out facility with no trash receptacles, which means that visitors are responsible for cleaning up their own areas.

Atsion Recreation Area, Wharton State Park, Route 206, Shamong, N.J., 609-268-0444

Source: Marla Cimimi

Camping at Atsion Lake and Goshen Pond

Atsion Campground

Atsion Campground is one of few with full amenities. There are 50 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables that are adjacent to Atsion Lake. Campers can rent canoes and kayak from Pinelands Adventures, which is just a half mile down the road. Potable water, flush toilets and showers are within walking distance. Call ahead for campfire regulations. Trailer sanitary station open April 1 through October 31. Campsites open year-round. Visit the State of New Jersey’s website for more information.

Goshen Pond Campground

There are 16 campsites and three group campsites at Goshen Pond, which is about 2 miles east of Pinelands Adventures off of Atsion Road. The campground sits on a pond that has been formed largely as a result of the activities of beavers. The pond is simply a dammed section of the upper Mullica River. View a map of the Goshen Pond campground layout. The campground has potable water and pit toilets but no other amenities. Visit the State of New Jersey’s website for more information.

Cabins at Atsion Lake

Cabin at Atsion Lake, Wharton State Forest
A cabin at Atsion Lake © Christorb/ Flickr

There are nine furnished cabins located on Atsion Lake with screened porch, fireplace, outdoor campfire rings, refrigerator, hot and cold running water, bathroom with toilet and shower; single beds. Cabin #6 contains 2 bunks. All cabins are designed for people with disabilities. Five cabins accommodate four people; three cabins accommodate six people; one cabin accommodates eight people. Cabins book up quickly.

Guest staying in the cabins have easy access to Pinelands Adventures and can rent canoes or kayaks during their stays.

Visit the State of New Jersey’s website for more information.


*Please contact the Wharton State Forest office for up to date pricing information.

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