The forested acres of Belleplain include stands of young pine, oak and Atlantic white cedar, reflecting better soil conditions and less damage by fire than found in the Pine Barrens just north of the forest. Belleplain State Forest was established in 1928 by the State of New Jersey for recreation, wildlife management, timber production and water conservation.
In 1933, three camps were set up by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Reforestation Relief Act, supplying labor to the forest for more than an eight-year period. The CCC converted Meisle Cranberry Bog into Lake Nummy, a popular swimming, boating and fishing area.
They also constructed the original forest headquarters, maintenance building, a road system, bridges and dams. The park features 20,000 acres, nature center, picnic area, picnic shelter, playground, refreshments, swimming, bathhouse, canoeing/kayaking, boating boat launch, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, biking, mountain biking and nature trails.
Swimming is permitted on the north side of Lake Nummy from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day while lifeguards are on duty. The beach complex contains changing area, restrooms, first-aid station and concession with refreshments, novelties and beach supplies.
The park features 169 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities are within walking distance. Trailer dumping station is open March 1 through Nov. 30. Campsites open all year.
Fees: Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.