Not too long ago we drove down the Garden State Parkway and came across exit 50, Historic Batsto Village. I’ve lived in New Jersey some 28 years and had only occasionally paid attention to the brown signs along the Parkway designating certain points of interest. Now, a mom of three, and the creator of Jersey Family Fun, these signs are clues to potential treasures in the Garden State.
Spring break, with one son headed back to school and another two still home, we set out on adventure for Historic Batsto Village. My sons had all sorts of questions. They couldn’t believe that we were going somewhere even ‘mommy’ hadn’t been. Somewhere I wasn’t exactly sure how to get to. A few “Are we there yets?” and we were there. The mystery was over but what a treasure we were beginning to explore.
About Historic Batsto Village
Historic Batsto Village is a New Jersey historic site in Wharton State Forest nestled among Atlantic County and Burlington County. Like most New Jersey Parks, there are trails for hiking, cabins for camping, grills for barbecuing. There are about 40 different sites to look at Batsto and three trails to hike with kids or dogs.
Historic Batsto Village is unique, in that, it’s part of the Pinelands Reserve, the first reserve of its kind in the country to be protected by Congress in 1978. Batsto Village dates back to 1766 when it was a site for making glass and iron. Today, it reflects the agricultural and businesses it was known for in the late 19th century.
What is there to see at Historic Batsto Village?
Over several acres is this breathtaking site with over 40 buildings that tell of a simpler time.
- Visitor’s Center
- Mansion (tours are available on selected days.)
- Ice, Milk, Wood, and Carriage houses
- Stables and barns
- Ore Pile
- Ore Boat
- Iron Furnace
- General Store
- Post Office
- Cottages & Homes
- Batsto Church
Yes, the buildings may be old and dusty. There’s no electricity or Wi-Fi, but there’s a beauty about the rusticness. An aweness about it that had my boys slowing down to explore, climbing ladders, and asking questions. And while Batsto Village may reflect days gone by, it has done a great job integrating today’s technology. Using any cell phone, you can call the Batsto information line and find out more about any exhibit by entering the exhibit’s number on your phone.
Other areas to explore at Historic Batsto Village
- Nature Center
The open fields and paths were a delight. My boys ran till they could run no more. Among the peace, concerns for running into others or even the street were gone. This was the greatness of the outdoors and they were free to explore. They were loving it. From sitting on the mansion steps for a picnic lunch to peering into the river to figure out how fish swim upstairs (you’ll have to go to find out), my family took it all in. I hope your will to.
Words alone can’t do Historic Batsto Village justice, please visit our Facebook Photo Gallery to discover the treasure we found at Garden State Parkway Exit 50.
What hours is Historic Batsto Village open?
The following are the hours of operating for Historic Batsto Village
- Visitor’s Center: Daily 9am to 4pm
- Museum Shop & Museum (located in the Visitor’s Center): 9am to 4pm
- Post Office: Wednesday through Sunday: 9 am to 4 pm
- Saw Mill Demonstrations: Saturday, Sundays & Holidays: 1:30, 2:00, 2:30pm (starting May 25th)
- Nature Center: Wednesday through Sunday: 9:00am to 4:00pm (Open 7 days a week starting May 25th)
- Mansion Tours: Tours are available on Friday beginning at 11:30am and on Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 and 2pm. Please call 609-561-0024 to confirm.
How much does Batsto Village cost to visit?
Admission is always free at Historic Batsto Village. Mansion tours are an additional fee.
Historic Batsto Village Mansion Tour fees
- Ages 12 & up $3
- Ages 6 to 11 $1
- Under age 6 FREE
Historic Batsto Village Parking
- Free from after Labor Day till the day before Memorial Day.
- $5 per car or motorcycle from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
Where is Historic Batsto Village at?
Batsto Village is located at 4110 Nesco Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037.
For more information and a list of upcoming events visit www.batstovillage.org.