Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey State Park Service

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Worthington State Forest Overview

Experience some of the most rugged terrain and splendid views in northern New Jersey.

Take a hike through 22 miles of trails where you will find various natural wonders, including Sunfish Pond – one of New Jersey’s Seven Natural Wonders. Climb to the top of Mount Tammany to discover the spectacular 360-degree view. Relax and finish your day off by the campfire in one of our many campsites along the Delaware River and Kittatinny Mountains.

Trail Map

Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail crosses the Delaware River from Pennsylvania just above the Delaware Water Gap and ascends through 6.6 miles of the mountain ridge in Worthington State Forest to the forest's upper boundary. From this point the trail continues on National Park Service land to and through Stokes State Forest and High Point State Park. This trail is restricted to hiking only for its entire length from Maine to Georgia. White blazes mark this narrow and sometimes very rocky trail.

There is 1 Backpacker campsite within Worthington. This is the only location were camping is permitted on the trails. This site is first-come/first-served and limited to 1 night’s stay.

  • No ground fires are permitted. Enclosed camp stoves are allowed.
  • Carry out all trash.
  • Pets must be leashed at all times.
  • Groups are limited to 10 people.
  • There is a bear box onsite.
  • Limited water sources can be found via Sunfish Pond or the drainage stream by the campsite. (If weather has been dry, the stream may not be running.) You should plan to carry sufficient water for your hike as water along the trail may not be suitable for consumption. All water obtained along the trail should be chemically treated, filtered, or boiled for 5 minutes.
  • Overnight parking is allowed at the Dunnfield Creek Parking Lot off of Route 80 West, the Park Office, and the Douglas Parking Lot.
  • Information regarding the Appalachian Trail in NJ can be found by clicking here.

Biking is permitted on Old Mine Road. One of the earliest roads in the region, it skirts the forest along the Delaware River. The road was used for transporting copper and slate from the mines and quarries in the area and is believed to have originally been a trail utilized by the area’s indigenous people. The trail was also used by fur traders and Dutch settlers.

Cross-country Skiing
There are several miles of trails and old roads available for cross-country skiing.

There are ten official blazed trails, covering 26 miles including the Appalachian Trail.  All trails within the park are hiking only. A demanding climb to the top of Mt. Tammany at 1527 ft. above sea level rewards the park visitor with a panoramic view of the Delaware Water Gap.

The upper campground field is open to registered and insured snowmobiles.

General Guide to the trails at Worthington State Forest

Interpretive Trail Guide: Worthington Water Trails

There is a boat ramp available at Worthington State Forest. Boating is open seven days a week year round. Worthington is an excellent place to launch canoes, kayaks and SUPs for a trip on the river. If you do not have your own boat there are many local outfitters that rent canoes and kayaks for river trips. There are 5 miles of canoe/kayak trails on the Delaware River. As conditions permit, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent for self-guided interpretive tours of the Delaware River Water Trail at Worthington. Stop at the forest office for more information about the river.

Fishing and hunting follows NJ Fish & Wildlife regulations.

Dunnfield Creek has been designated a "Wild Trout Stream" because of its natural brook trout fishery. The Delaware River is noted for spring shad run as well as for the panfish and bass fishing. Fishing the Delaware River may be accomplished from the shore, by wading, or from a boat. Campsites 1-4 are available for fisherman parking during the spring shad season.

The forest provides favorable habitat for deer, turkey and small game. Hunting is not permitted in the campground.

A small family picnic area has been added to the area and offers a peaceful, picturesque setting under a hemlock grove near the Delaware River. Limited space is available. Starting in 2021, the Douglas Picnic Area will be available for reservations on weekends only. Please contact the forest office for more information and to make reservations.

Worthington State Forest is a popular spot to see many birds including goldfinches, indigo buntings, and bald eagles. White-tailed deer, black bears, and wild turkeys also call the area home. Please keep a respectful distance from all wild animals.

Parking on Old Mine Road is limited to official parking areas and pull-offs. Do not park in the road.

Dunnfield Creek Natural Area: (1,085 acres)
Dunnfield Creek Natural Area surrounds the clear, rock-strewn creek that falls more than 1,000 feet from Mt. Tammany to the Delaware River. Lined with hemlock, maple and birch, Dunnfield Creek Natural Area is also the habitat of native brook trout. Dunnfield Creek Trail departs from the Appalachian Trail above the river, follows the creek for two-thirds of its length, then climbs a ravine to again join the Appalachian Trail, making a fascinating route for the nature enthusiast. Mountain laurel, rhododendron and dogwood grow abundantly in the forest and when in bloom, present a spectacle of beauty.

Sunfish Pond Natural Area: (258 acres)
Entered into the National Registry of Historic Landmarks in 1970, Sunfish Pond has become one of the most popular spots in Worthington State Forest. This 41-acre lake, located at the crest of the Kittatinny Ridge, was named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of New Jersey in 1978. Millions of years in the making, the pond was carved out by glacial forces during the last Ice Age and is one of fourteen such rock basin lakes between the Delaware Water Gap and the end of the Kittatinny Ridge. Because of the chemical and geological composition of the pond, it is highly acidic in content and is able to host only a few hardy species of fish.  A 1.5-mile-long trail circles the pond and provides many beautiful scenic overlooks.

A NJ State Park Service Special Use Permit is required for various types of short-duration, organized activities and/or events within a state park, forest and/or historic site. Examples of organized activities and/or special events include, but are not limited to press events, commercial photography and/or filming, corporate events, fundraisers, festivals, demonstrations, walkathons and races, concerts, Televised events and/or commercial use of or on State Park Service lands and/or waters. 

To learn more about Special use Permits click here.

Access for Persons with Disabilities
The Worthington State Forest recreational facilities are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office at 908-841-9575 for further information regarding disability access needs. Text telephone (TTY) users, call the NJ Relay & CapTel Service at 711 or 1-800-852-7897 for English or 1-866-658-7714 for Spanish.

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Recreational use of ATVs is not permitted on NJ State Park Service property. This includes state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. Thank you for your help in protecting New Jersey’s natural and historic resources. [N.J.A.C. 7:2-3.4(d)]

State law prohibits the smoking of tobacco and use of electronic smoking (vaping) devices in all state parks, forests, historic sites, recreation areas, golf courses and marinas. [N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)]

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6 ]

Keep Your Park Clean and Green
Protect plants and animals and care for your parks by taking your trash with you. Whatever you carry into the park, plan on carrying it out too. It’s like crowdsourcing trash management! Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles in this park. Thank you!

No swimming.

Pets must always be on a leash no longer than six feet in length and under the control of the owner. Please clean up after your pets. Pets are not permitted in the campground. ADA certified service animals are welcome.

Tick Protection
Use insect repellent, wear light-colored clothing, tuck pants into socks, stay on trails, check yourself when you get home, shower and wash clothes immediately.

Be Bear Aware
Black bears are found throughout New Jersey. Do not approach or attract bears by making food available. Feeding bears is dangerous and illegal. Never run from a bear! To report an aggressive bear, call 1-877-WARN-DEP (1-877-927-6337) immediately. Please report any damage or nuisance behavior to the park office. Visit the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife at for additional information on bear safety.

Photo Gallery


Related Links

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Jenny Jump State Forest

Park Map

Area Map


Phone Number

Physical Address
2 Old Mine Road
Columbia, NJ 07832

Mailing Address
HC 62, Box 2
Columbia, NJ 07832

Email Address

Park Hours

Park Open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Trails Open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Park Office Open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Park Fees

Entrance Fee None

Other Related Fees
Map / Directions

GPS Coordinates
40.976669, -75.134633