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(southern) New Jersey beaches good for overnight sleeping?

Old 02-14-11, 02:25 PM
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(southern) New Jersey beaches good for overnight sleeping?

Hey everybody. With the weather getting nice I'm starting to plans some weekend rides out of Philadelphia.

I really want to sleep on a beach sometime soon... On that note, anybody know good beaches for spending the night in southern NJ?

I'm considering Brigantine (I know I could get away with it there), but I'm a little bored of that town.

Assuming I will be hiding in the dune for this trip..
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Old 02-14-11, 07:35 PM
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i don't think you are really allowed to sleep on the beaches. you could try/stealth Higbee beach in cape may county or going into preserves past brigenteen- atlantic county.
it's not like the hiker/biker areas in California!
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Old 02-14-11, 11:14 PM
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(sorry, I have no clue to your question, I just had to say that)
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Old 02-14-11, 11:37 PM
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When I lived down in that area MANY years ago, the beaches were all patrolled at night. No camping allowed.
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Old 02-15-11, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by professorbob View Post
When I lived down in that area MANY years ago, the beaches were all patrolled at night. No camping allowed.
Haha. I know they're patrolled.. I've been questioned a few times by beach cops in Brigantine. But, I'm pretty sure they don't patrol the dunes. I'm sure the situation is similar elsewhere.... definitely thinking stealth camping
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Old 02-15-11, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tomg View Post
i don't think you are really allowed to sleep on the beaches. you could try/stealth Higbee beach in cape may county or going into preserves past brigenteen- atlantic county.
it's not like the hiker/biker areas in California!
Ah yes, the brigantine preserves... AKA New Jersey's biggest horsefly breeding ground. : (

I'll look into this Higbee place
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Old 02-15-11, 01:42 PM
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You could probably get away with it at East Point Lighthouse on the Delaware Bay. Lighthouse Rd. ends at the water. There is a small beach to the left. However, you might have trouble with tides. Also, horseshoe crabs breed there in late spring depending on water temperature. They are endagered due to overfishing for bait and for their blood, which is used for medical purposes.

Please keep in mind that the dunes are there for a reason. Disturbing them can have negeative consequences. Enjoy nature responsibly.
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Old 02-15-11, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Please keep in mind that the dunes are there for a reason. Disturbing them can have negeative consequences. Enjoy nature responsibly.
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Old 02-16-11, 12:12 PM
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I'm a jersey guy and will tell you that the further south you go along the shore the prickier the cops become. If you are caught on one of those beaches, don't expect things to go well.

I'll assume that you're going to practice no trace left behind camping.

Couple options:

Go north to Island Beach State Park. No camping but, if you are fishing, you can stay overnight. The park is undeveloped with the exception of a few buildings. South of the bathing pavillions are several access points that will get you well off road and into the dune system. That overnight fishing is allowed in the park means that you might not get automatically booted if a Ranger spots you. Riding in isn't problem as cyclist routinely ride in and out of the park.

Option 2, Ride to the end of Great bay Blvd in Tuckerton. This is a really good choice because it's on the mainland side of the bays. Easy to get to with a ride through the heart of the pine barrens. At the end of GB BLVD is a trail leading to a beach. The beach fronts to Little Egg Inlet and the Atlantic ocean just beyond. Others have tent camped here without a problem. Still, it's not legal.

Lastly, once we get to late April most beach camping options are out due to bugs. The greenheads, Mosquitos and noseeums drive fully clothed fisherman off these beaches. Just sayin', don't think you can tough it out. Trying will lead to a long night.

Last edited by tom cotter; 02-16-11 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
I'm a jersey guy and will tell you that the further south you go along the shore the prickier the cops become. If you are caught on one of those beaches, don't expect things to go well.

I'll assume that you're going to practice no trace left behind camping.

Couple options:

Go north to Island Beach State Park. No camping but, if you are fishing, you can stay overnight. The park is undeveloped with the exception of a few buildings. South of the bathing pavillions are several access points that will get you well off road and into the dune system. That overnight fishing is allowed in the park means that you might not get automatically booted if a Ranger spots you. Riding in isn't problem as cyclist routinely ride in and out of the park.

Option 2, Ride to the end of Great bay Blvd in Tuckerton. This is a really good choice because it's on the mainland side of the bays. Easy to get to with a ride through the heart of the pine barrens. At the end of GB BLVD is a trail leading to a beach. The beach fronts to Little Egg Inlet and the Atlantic ocean just beyond. Others have tent camped here without a problem. Still, it's not legal.

Lastly, once we get to late April most beach camping options are out due to bugs. The greenheads, Mosquitos and noseeums drive fully clothed fisherman off these beaches. Just sayin', don't think you can tough it out. Trying will lead to a long night.
Wow. Both of these locations look absolutely beautiful. I think I might have to try both. Thanks so much, especially for the bug tip and the cops tip. You've just given me two awesome adventures to have this summer

edit: yes, will definitely be practicing no-trace camping! Would not want to damage the few beautiful places left on the east coast

Last edited by Pukeskywalker; 02-17-11 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:37 PM
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Glad you like them. Another option for touring is the Pine Barrens itself. While there are plenty of places to stealth camp most of the state run campgrounds are really cheap. During the week there are no crowds. You could camp at Crowley's Landing and then ride down to Bel Haven, rent a kayak and do some river cruising. Lot's of nice roads to ride. Bike lanes on several of them.

Lastly, also a bug warning- deer ticks run this place. They are in high grass and bushes. They are not on sand or in the dirt and they do not fall from trees. Thus a reason not to stealth camp as most locations involve bushwhacking the tick's prime habitat. By the time you realize you have a hitchhiker usually too late as they've dug in. Most likely no disease will be passed. Unfortunately the week's worth of waiting to find out you dodged a bullet will put a damper on your mood. Permethrin soaked clothes effectively repells them.
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Old 02-17-11, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
Glad you like them. Another option for touring is the Pine Barrens itself. While there are plenty of places to stealth camp most of the state run campgrounds are really cheap. During the week there are no crowds. You could camp at Crowley's Landing and then ride down to Bel Haven, rent a kayak and do some river cruising. Lot's of nice roads to ride. Bike lanes on several of them.

Lastly, also a bug warning- deer ticks run this place. They are in high grass and bushes. They are not on sand or in the dirt and they do not fall from trees. Thus a reason not to stealth camp as most locations involve bushwhacking the tick's prime habitat. By the time you realize you have a hitchhiker usually too late as they've dug in. Most likely no disease will be passed. Unfortunately the week's worth of waiting to find out you dodged a bullet will put a damper on your mood. Permethrin soaked clothes effectively repells them.
Ah, love kayaking too... get a full-body workout that way. I will add this to my list of places to check out.

Do deer ticks also run Island Beach and Tuckerton? Totally willing to deal with those little bastards, but I was planning to find some bushes/grassy areas for sleeping
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Old 02-20-11, 08:22 PM
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Sleeping on beaches.

Lets keep it simple no. I live on the shore. You don't want to deal with local cops in the warm weather on the shore trust me. Sleep back on the dunes sure go head destroy the most fragile enviroment on the coast. Not only is it illegal to be on the dunes chances are the locals will kick you ass if they see you up there. So be my guest. Deer ticks lets just say the NJ has the highest incidence of lyme in the nation. Chance are you will be infected I would say your odds are about 50%. 3 weeks of doxycycline and no sun exposure of course it took me 12 weeks nothing like antibiotics to ruin your season but you can always ride at night.

We do have a wonderful park system many have very nice camp areas, showers, fire pits for a reasonable fee. So why cheap out?

Oh did I mention the dangers of shore traffic. Maybe another time.
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Old 02-21-11, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by gubaguba View Post
Lets keep it simple no. I live on the shore. You don't want to deal with local cops in the warm weather on the shore trust me. Sleep back on the dunes sure go head destroy the most fragile enviroment on the coast. Not only is it illegal to be on the dunes chances are the locals will kick you ass if they see you up there. So be my guest. Deer ticks lets just say the NJ has the highest incidence of lyme in the nation. Chance are you will be infected I would say your odds are about 50%. 3 weeks of doxycycline and no sun exposure of course it took me 12 weeks nothing like antibiotics to ruin your season but you can always ride at night.

We do have a wonderful park system many have very nice camp areas, showers, fire pits for a reasonable fee. So why cheap out?

Oh did I mention the dangers of shore traffic. Maybe another time.
Cool story dude
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Old 02-21-11, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
Cool story dude
I sense a lack of sincerity. But that fact remains that he is correct on all point, especially about the locals and the cops, some of whom are of the "rent-a-cop" variety who would love nothing more than to really mess with a troublemaker trying to get over.
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Old 02-21-11, 04:32 PM
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Besides, beach camping is one of those things that sounds better than it is. Sand and grit everywhere, especially where soft bits of flesh are being pressed against your saddle.
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Old 02-21-11, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by gubaguba View Post
Lets keep it simple no. I live on the shore. You don't want to deal with local cops in the warm weather on the shore trust me. Sleep back on the dunes sure go head destroy the most fragile enviroment on the coast.
I was working on a project recently that involved a 5km x 5km parcel of land including a beach. The environmental folks did a survey and the by a long margin the dunes were the most delicate ecosystem in the whole area. We couldn't take a step in the dunes without a biologist [literally] watching every move we made and keeping us from destroying something delicate. By comparison we could tromp through most of the forested areas by ourselves without supervision.
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Old 02-21-11, 06:35 PM
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The other posters bring up some good points. However, let's get real, someone spending a couple nights camping on a jersey dune isn't going to hurt anything. That's as long as off limits nesting sites aren't used as a campsite.

Most of jersey's dunes are constructed from sand replenished from the ocean floor just offshore of these beaches or from the bays just to the west. Let me tell you, pristine, they are not!!!!! How do i know. To stay in shape over the winter I metal detect these beaches. Yesterday I did a five mile walk on OC's beaches. I pulled so much trash from the dune line I couldn't carry it out, which is my pay back to the environment. I hit over 70 targets, more than half were trash. Move up to Ventnor, it's worse, and AC is nuts!!! Deep trash!!! Number one target on all these beaches? Rusty nails!!! Where the hell does a rusty nail come from on top of dune walkway at 59th St in OC?

As for the two beaches I mentioned. both are fishing beaches. Both are used by fisherman on a regular basis. Believe me i get it, about putting self interest above the law, but truthfully, this guy isn't going to hurt anything. And, by the way, no where have i pulled more nails off the beach than at IBSP.

About the ticks, yes, both places have them, but not to the extent that the pines have them. It's possible to get to both beaches without contacting their low vegetation hangouts. As far as getting lyme, it's a crap shoot. I get two or three bites a year, even being carefull. Last year one of the ticks finally transmitted the disease. 3 weeks of doxy but i rode thru it. Ironcially, the tick that got me, got me when i stepped off road for a pit stop while doing a 50 mile road bike loop. The week before, four hours in the woods mountain biking and nothing! Go figure!! Most of the ticks do not transmit the disease. Just be aware that they are there. Plenty of sand to camp on. No worries!!!

Lastly, not to throw more cold water, but the statement about beach camping not being all it's cracked up to be, true. But to each his own!!

Last edited by tom cotter; 02-21-11 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 02-22-11, 09:50 AM
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Trash and nails are not the issue when it comes to dunes. The primary concern is the structural damage from things like walking on then and the killing of dune grass, which helps the dunes keep their integrity.
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Old 02-28-11, 08:45 AM
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If I get a bucket of sand and dump it at the top of the highest dune before I leave, would that re-balance the delicate ecosystem?
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Old 03-07-11, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
If I get a bucket of sand and dump it at the top of the highest dune before I leave, would that re-balance the delicate ecosystem?
As long as you are buried six feet underneath it.
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Old 03-10-11, 12:14 PM
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I agree that everyone should respect the delicate nature of the dune system. That said, there are many places within that system that see a lot of foot traffic. Laying a ground cover for a tent in these areas would be no different than laying down a beach towel. And, that's done all the time. The fact is, hikers and bike tourers use and stealth camp the dunes every year. As do kids looking for a place to party, thrill seekers looking for some semi public sex, and druggies looking for a place to zone out. Because they are in trafficked areas no harm is done.

Stay away from the bird sites and out of the fenced off areas. Take all your trash and leave no sign you were there. If going to IBSP stay near the trails.

Last edited by tom cotter; 03-10-11 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 03-14-11, 10:10 AM
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Respect?

I am at a loss with this thread. So lets respect our delicate enviroment (or not) but not the law that says its illegal? When did we become so specail that it is OK to do what society has agreed we don't do. I now get to decide what is legal? Lets be quite clear stealth camping is illegal. By saying its OK I am encouraging someone to break the law.

If you walk into my store and stealth shop you are breaking the law. So explain to me the difference. Is it now OK for me ride my bike to your house and stealth help myself to your belongings? Its stealing.

By engaging in this activity you respect no one but yourself. It is the height of arrogance.









Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
I agree that everyone should respect the delicate nature of the dune system. That said, there are many places within that system that see a lot of foot traffic. Laying a ground cover for a tent in these areas would be no different than laying down a beach towel. And, that's done all the time. The fact is, hikers and bike tourers use and stealth camp the dunes every year. As do kids looking for a place to party, thrill seekers looking for some semi public sex, and druggies looking for a place to zone out. Because they are in trafficked areas no harm is done.

Stay away from the bird sites and out of the fenced off areas. Take all your trash and leave no sign you were there. If going to IBSP stay near the trails.
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Old 03-16-11, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by gubaguba View Post
If you walk into my store and stealth shop you are breaking the law. So explain to me the difference. Is it now OK for me ride my bike to your house and stealth help myself to your belongings? Its stealing.

By engaging in this activity you respect no one but yourself. It is the height of arrogance.
You lost me at the stealth shopping. The difference between being concerned for the environment and being concerned for a arbitrary property rights is that tromping through a delicate environment will damage it while camping on the corner of someone's property for one night can leave the property in the same state it was when you arrived. So stealth camping can have no impact if the environment isn't delicate. The owner is not harmed and the property is not harmed.

Since you brought up the stealth shopping it would be the difference between stealing a chocolate bar and eating it at the shop or sitting down in the camping section of Walmart and breaking out a sandwich you made at home. Walmart might not like it, but if you are quiet and tidy you can be gone before anyone notices and the store suffers no loss.
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Old 03-16-11, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gubaguba View Post
I am at a loss with this thread. So lets respect our delicate enviroment (or not) but not the law that says its illegal? When did we become so specail that it is OK to do what society has agreed we don't do. I now get to decide what is legal? Lets be quite clear stealth camping is illegal. By saying its OK I am encouraging someone to break the law.

If you walk into my store and stealth shop you are breaking the law. So explain to me the difference. Is it now OK for me ride my bike to your house and stealth help myself to your belongings? Its stealing.

By engaging in this activity you respect no one but yourself. It is the height of arrogance.
You've really twisted things here to try to make a point. Someone stealth camping and leaving no trace isn't hurting anything. It is the fact that most can't be trusted to leave no trace that causes the abitrary laws restricting access. That, and liability lawyers.

The second point is simpler, you act as if Jersey's dunes are a pristine environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most are man made replinishment dunes sucked from the ocean floor or bottom of the bays. They are filled with 200 years worth of man's trash. Which neatly explains why it is possible today to find 150 year old coins on the beaches of AC. Along with pieces of 150 year old pier.

Lastly, as for breaking the law, hmm? That's a good point. Big difference between camping on someone's doorstep and a barren piece of property in the middle of nowhere. There are degrees of breaking the law. And, unless you are the only person who drives the speed limit on NJ Turnpike i'm sure you recognise that fact.
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