Got Cabin Fever? Some Jersey Shore Wintry Cabin-Inspired Getaways
By Catherine Galioto
It’s bitterly cold and you’re suffering from cabin fever. You’re back from a winter vacation at a warmer spot and now have a long winter ahead. But it isn’t all gray, and you can turn these winter doldrums on its head by enjoying some seasonal fun right here.
In other words, if you’ve got cabin fever, might as well as embrace it, and climb into an actual cabin. Now, where to find one? Here’s some options nearby in Monmouth and Ocean counties, as well as a short trip to some scenic wintry spots in New Jersey.
Round up the entire family for a wintry getaway to a group cabin, open year round at Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine in South Jersey. This isn’t your average state campsite; rent the East Creek Cabin for its furnished living room with fireplace, full kitchen, two bunkrooms with double bunks, bathrooms, showers, outdoor campfire rings, with room for up to 30 people.
Located on a lake and accessible to East Creek Trail in the Lake Nummy area, it’s the only group cabin open year-round in the state parks system, according to the state website. Here’s some more info: NJ Resident $175 per night; Two-night minimum; Non Resident $185 per night; Two-night minimum, https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/belle.html
Looking to enjoy the wonder of a state park but don’t need such a large cabin? Through January 31, Brendan T. Byrne and Wharton State Forests sites each have cabins to rent, both near beautiful Pinelands scenery. They include fireplaces for wood-burning, furnished living rooms, bunks, kitchens and electricity this time of year. Wharton’s Atsion Lake cabins #3, 4, 5 and 6 are dry cabins, meaning no running water or interior bathrooms, though portable restroom stalls are on your site. Byrne is also dry cabins, with facilities a walk to the Pakim Pond restrooms.
Want to rough it a bit more? Allaire State Park has six shelters that are very much basic cabins, they include a wood stove for heat, two double-deck bunks, and a fire ring outside (and a picnic table) – Basically four walls, a bed and a stove. Winter reservations area available starting February 1 and cost $48 for state residents each night.
If you’ve been bitten by the winter hiking bug, might as well jump literally feet first into this amazing time of year, and check out the Appalachian Mountain Club’s facility in New Jersey. The AMC offers safe adventures as part of a community of sites to preserve and enjoy the Appalachian Trail, so expect some hard-core hikers and campers. The Mohican Outdoor Center is located on a glacial lake in the stunning Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, so you’ll get to hike the Appalachian Trail amid the water gap’s magnificent views. The center also has some options to stay-over in comfort this time of year. For a large group cabin, check out the Blueberry Hill and Black Oak Lodge, where a party of 12 or more can rent the site privately for themselves, or a smaller group will share space with other guests communally. For small group cabins, there’s the Sunset View cabin, which sleeps up to six, has two bedrooms, a kitchen, heat a restroom and shower – you need a party of five or more to rent privately.
If you want more pampering – glamping over camping, for example – turn to AirBnB.com for some interesting options. A quick search of New Jersey found several hosts who were offering a room or a whole house – in homes that were one-room lakeside cabins to historic barns turned into bed and breakfast retreats. Whether Lake Hopatcong or Cape May, there’s no shortage of private rentals of interesting sites through AirBnB hosts.
You can also take advantage of some amazing bed-and-breakfast sites or inns, made cozy for the coldest months. The Chateau Inn in Spring Lake and 600 Main in Toms River are two that come to mind that have gorgeous wood-burning fireplaces in a historic setting, and this time of year, winter rates and specials are often available before Valentine’s Day rushes in.
Whether you want a very rustic, semi-rustic or very pampered experience, there’s no shortage of ways to give yourself cabin fever for a brief getaway this winter at the Jersey Shore.