Formerly known as Lebanon State Forest, visitors are greeted by the fresh scent of pines. Today’s forested acres are a strong contrast to the barren, cleared land that existed in the 1800s. The Lebanon Glass Works was established in 1851 and was successful until 1867, when it shut down after depleting the supply of wood necessary for the furnace to operate.
A section of Bearfort Ridge reaches into Hewitt State Forest, offering hikers a challenging climb with a rewarding view. The forest is isolated and untouched, accessible only on foot. Marshes and wetlands are scattered throughout the forest with several brooks and streams crisscrossing the lower areas. Hemlock and oak are the dominant species of this relatively undisturbed forest.
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