The Barnegat Preserve is surrounded by Stafford Forage Wildlife Management Area. The property was donated to the Trust by Naomi and Fred Gerken and the General Board of Proprietors of the Eastern Division of New Jersey, believed to be the oldest corporation in America. The history of the corporation dates back to the 1664 grant of New Jersey by King Charles II of England to his brother the Duke of York, who proceeded to divide the land in half, giving the western portion to Lord John Berkeley and the eastern portion to Sir George Carteret. In 1682, Carteret's widow sold the land to a dozen land speculators, including William Penn. The 12 men incorporated themselves as the General Board of Proprietors of the Eastern Division of New Jersey and had their first official meeting two years later when 12 more investors joined them. More than half of the site is upland forest while the remaining portions are pitch pine lowlands associated with the headwaters of the East Branch of the Oswego River.
Since the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has a strong enforcement presence at the neighboring Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area, the Trust allows deer hunting at this preserve without the need for registration. Access to this site is best available from the wildlife management area.