Weekend trip to High Point State Park, the campground to stay at is Saw Mill Campground. It is such a wonderful space and your own oasis. For the weekend for 6 people it was $45. Accounting for food, firewood, and snacks came to just under $20 per person.
How to Get Here:
One the campground website there is an address, that will not bring you to the campsite. In a normal situation, you would need to go to High Point State Park Visitor Center and check-in.
I visited here in July 2020, in-person meetings weren’t happening so no check-in was not required. If that is the case during your visit, put in Saw Mill Campground into Google Maps and it will take you to the campground. Just be sure to check the number of your site on your email confirmation.
The signage is not great for the campground so keep an eye out! It is .4 miles down the road from the Visitor Center on the left side of the road - if you’re coming from the visitor center.
Once you get on Saw Mill Road, there will be signs directing you to the campsite each time you get to a fork in the road. The campground loop is a one way, be mindful of all road signs.
Each site has its own parking spot for your site. My friends and I got to our site and there was a cute creek that feeds into the Saw Mill Pond we looked out on around our site. We loved having the creek and a small bridge we got to cross from our parking spot to our campsite.
It was almost like a little oasis for the weekend. There is a lot of space at the campsite. There were 5 of us staying at the campsite and we eat had our own tent. We had a one-person tent, 2 two-person tents, a three-person tent, and a four-person tent. We still had more than enough space for the fire pit and large space to gather, picnic table, and between our tents. (There is a tent missing from the above photo, FYI)
Being right on the water is ideal, being on the far side of the lake you’ll get to enjoy the sun setting with your dinner and a fire. In July it was very humid. I suggest starting your fire while making dinner with a decent amount of sunlight. As the sun went down and humidity linger we felt moisture on all of our chairs.
The first night we couldn’t get our fire started from all the moisture! The second night we learned and got the fire started during dinner and the moisture actually put the fire out for us.
Nearby you have so many hiking trails, there is actually a trail right from the campground. The Blue Dot Trail connects to so many trails in the park and will get you around easily! I suggest using the All Trails app to navigate your way around.
Activities to Do:
I added this to my blog post about spots to kayaking in Northern New Jersey. High Point State Park has two lakes you can go kayaking. Saw Mill Pond is at the campsite and Steenykill Lake is about .5 miles down the road on the right.
Steenykill Lake is a larger lake than Saw Mill Pond, if you want to spend the day out on the lake and have a picnic, I strongly suggest going to Steenykill. There is a boat launch and the parking area fills up with other kayakers, those planning to do the hiking trail, and people enjoying a day with friends.
You do not need to get permits for your kayaks to come here. It is a quiet lake so you don’t need to be crowded. There are no shady spots on the lake though. Be prepared with a hat, sunblock, and cover-ups! If I didn’t have these three things I would have for sure been burned.
The two lakes you can kayak at, you’re not able to swim at. To swim you will need to enter the High Point State Park area and swim at Lake Marcia. Staying at the campsite you’re able to enter the park for free.
If you’re planning to go here, I recommend getting there on the early side. The park fills up quickly with locals wanting to go swimming.
There are so many trails within Highpoint. I strongly recommend taking the Blue Dot Trail from the campground. It connects to three other trails that keep connecting to trails in the park. There are thirteen different trails in the park according to all trails.
Keep in mind the Appalachian Trail does go through the park so these trails range in length.
High Point Monument is said to have one of the top four spots for sunrises in all of New Jersey. This brought about the whole camping trip. From the campground take the Blue Dot Trail to the red trail. This is part of the Appalachian Trail which crosses the street. You can see a sign off in the distance.
We weren’t certain so entered up entering through the parking lot and walking the road up to the monument. If you are going to miss the sunrise, I highly recommend taking this route. The hike was amazing!
The reflection off of the water with the monument up on the hill is surreal! You get great views of the monument that you would miss on the trail. The trail is mainly through the woods so that is also why we were thankful to take the pathway. Spend time here for the sunrise, you won't be disappointed!
One thing I will note about meals when camping, you must be prepared but also flexible! Sometimes things don’t cook the way you like. Or what seemed like it would be easy to cook out turns out to not be so easy.
Eggs and pancakes are my biggest go-to. They are easy, especially with a camp stove. If you get apple sausages, oh the amazing scents you'll have going on in the morning. Depending on the group's preference muffins, scones, or croissants are always a nice addition.
Coffee is something to consider before leaving. Does the group include coffee drinkers? Will you bring instant coffee, those starbucks drinks, or have fancy coffee options? Be prepared for any caffine fixes.
Dinner: I suggest mixing up what you’re having each night. The first night we did burgers and hot dogs. Always a classic go-to meal. The second night we were planning to do quesadilla, we didn't make actual quesadillas.
I suggest doing this combo and you will be pleasantly surprised! Cut up chicken tenderloins into small bits. Grill that in a pan with thyme and garlic. Once that is all the way cooked through, add in Mexican mix of cheeses. Have the cheese cook just to the point of melting, you don’t want to clean up burnt cheese.
Have tortillas ready and add the chicken and melty cheese into the wrap. So good! If you have a second pan you can 100% cook this together for a legit quesadilla but since we only had the one, we saw this as our best option.
You might have noticed I did not have a section for lunch. This is because for a camping weekend it is generally filled with activities so the meal is offset by just having a bar or big breakfast and dinner.
Obviously, if you are lacking in gear, this weekend will cost you more than $20, but if you have all the gear, then this should be a $20 weekend away for you!
Tent set up: Kelty Tent two-person tent, Nemo sleeping bag, REI sleeping matt, Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, Big Agnes Pumphouse Ultra Multi-Use Sleeping Pad Pump, Rumple blanket, and Kelty pillow.
Clean up: don’t forget to bring dish soap, a sponge and towels! On a camping trip, we forgot soap and it was the worst. Thankfully the next day we had friends joining that could bring it to us. Depending on your situation you might not be so lucky. For High Point, there is a grocery store five minutes away if you really need to stop for anything.
Facts & Attractions of High Point State Park:
High Point State Park is located in Sussex, New Jersey
Trenton is the capital of New Jersey
American currency is in American dollars and cents
The area is known for its hiking, adventure seekers, the monument, and sunflower field
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my trip to Sawmill Campground in Sussex, New Jersey. If you have any questions about the area please email me at email@example.com
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