One of the best opportunities to camp, hike and fish is at the Worthington State Forest in Columbia, NJ, just over the Pennsylvania/New Jersey state line. The forest borders the Delaware River and is set back on Old Mine Road in Columbia, NJ off of I-80. Be sure to follow travel directions carefully, as it can be difficult to find your way to the campground.
The campground and all of the sites sit directly, or within a short walking distance, of the river, and most of the sites are wooded. I chose a site that sat in the nook of some large trees, right along the river. It had a bank path to the river for fishing, and was close to the entrance of some trails that will lead you to the Appalachian Trail.
Worthington State Forest is located in the Appalachian Mountains, as part of the Delaware Water Gap. Because the Delaware River borders Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you may use a fishing license from either state to fish both sides of the river. Staffing is limited, and cell phone reception is spotty, so come prepared.
The camping itself was nothing short of spectacular. I enjoy a more primitive setting, and that is what this park offers. Despite being primitive however, the lawns were well manicured, and there were hot shower bathhouses with compost toilets, as well as water available at the bathhouses. Each of the sites were well marked, and spaced out so that you would have plenty of room to set up your camping gear. The sites sit between two mountains, so when it gets windy, it will blow your tent. Pack some deep stakes, tie downs, and always pack away your food in your vehicle in case of bears.
Surrounding the park at nearby exits are a Walmart and gas stations where you may purchase firewood and ice. I would recommend arriving with these items so that you do not have to leave the park. The drive to the park is one lane in some areas, and several miles off of the highway, offering a quiet and secluded place to stay.
There are a variety of great hiking trails, some that are easy trail climbs, and others that are rockier. You can hike to a glacial lake, as well as to the famed Appalachian Trail and several spots that overlook the Delaware Water Gap valleys.
Having camped for most of my life, I found Worthington State Forest to be one of the most beautiful parks I have visited. It was simple, offering few amenities and no camp store, but the campsites themselves and the setting were breathtaking and convenient. You can contact the campground office at (908) 841-9575 to book your campsite for only $25 per night.