Harrisville Pond Lake Trail/Batona/Martha Rd Loop – Woodland Township, NJ

Harrisville Pond Lake Trail/Batona/Martha Rd Loop – Woodland Township, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: 4.15 miles
Type: Loop trail, sand paths
Difficulty: 4 of 10.
Total score: 6 of 10.Terrain – pinelands, lake.

Trailheads – Parking area at Harrisville Pond – 39°39’57.04″N, 74°31’27.97″W

Directions: Located off of Chatsworth Road, Rt 679

Standouts – Harrisville Pond, Martha Furnace, Oswego River, Harrisville ruins

Markings – Start on Lake Trail (Blue), then Batona Trail (pink), then down Martha Road (no markings)

Description: This is a nice, easy 4 mile hike through some lovely areas.  You’ll park at the parking area at Harrisville Pond.  The trailhead is in the back corner of the “lot” to the left of the left-most dam.  There is no map or marker at the beginning of this trail (the Lake Trail), just look for blue blazes.

Start at the Harrisville Pond, where they have lovely dams.

Start at the Harrisville Pond, where they have lovely dams.

Trailhead is at the back of the parking area.

Trailhead is at the back of the parking area.

You’ll start by following the edge of the pond.  You’ll likely see canoes and kayaks floating along.  The trail follows the lake for a short way, then hangs a left to follow an old channel for water for one of the nearby mills.  You’ll parallel this channel for a while, then cross a footbridge and “T” with the pink trail – the Batona.  Overall, the Lake Trail is only 3/4 of a mile long.

Lovely Harrisville Pond.

Lovely Harrisville Pond.

Intersection of the Lake Trail and the Batona Trail.

Intersection of the Lake Trail and the Batona Trail.

Upon reaching the Batona Trail, hang a right and follow along.  This section is well blazed, follow the pink markers and you can’t go wrong.  Keep an eye out, I’ve seen turtles, deer, turkeys, and other wildlife in this area.  You’ll walk for about a mile and a half before you hit your next target – Martha Bridge and the Oswego River.

The Batona.

The Batona.

Martha Bridge (heading the opposite way you'll be walking).  Looks scary, but hasn't collapsed yet.

Martha Bridge (heading the opposite way you’ll be walking). Looks scary, but hasn’t collapsed yet.

Oswego River at Martha Bridge.

Oswego River at Martha Bridge.

Just past Martha Bridge is the fenced in remains of Martha.  The state did an archeology study on them back in the 1960s or so, then covered them over in huge piles of dirt to keep them from being disturbed.  Martha Furnace was active from 1793 to 1845.  Check the ground under your feet and you’ll find cast of bits of iron slag, or leftovers from the iron making process.

Martha Furnace.

Martha Furnace.

Follow the Batona past Martha.  Just a few hundred yards from the ruins, a road will head off to the right in a straight line.  This is Martha Road and your path back to your starting point.  Just walk down it for a mile to a mile and half until it ends at the blacktop of Rt 679.  Along the way, notice the channels dug off to the right of the road to increase water power to the mills.

Martha Road, in a slightly different season than the rest of the shots.

Martha Road, in a slightly different season than the rest of the shots.

When you reach the highway, consider crossing to check out the ruins of the Harrisville Paper mill across the road.  If you aren’t interested, turn right and follow the road back to where your car is parked.

Harrisville Paper Mill.

Harrisville Paper Mill.

Overall recommendation:  Nice easy day hike.  Can combine this with a stop in Chatsworth to visit Buzby’s Chatsworth General Store, a visit to Apple Pie Hill and the firetower, a dog and a soda at Hot Diggity Dog, or a stop at nearby Lake Oswego.  Lots and lots to do around here!


Filed under Hiking

5 responses to “Harrisville Pond Lake Trail/Batona/Martha Rd Loop – Woodland Township, NJ

  1. Rosemarie Mason

    Glad to see you enjoy the Batona esp the relocation thru the Franklin Parker Preserve. I’m proud to say that Jack Dalton and I helped cut the trail and blazed it also assisted with building the footbridges. We also added signs, trail map framed pictures and a bench at Reeds bog. We are members of the Outdoor Club of South Jersey. We do trail maintenance on the Batona every week except in July and August. Maybe we’ll get to meet you one day. Rosemarie Mason

    • A huge thank you for all the work you and your compatriots did and continue to do on the trail! The newly cut sections are incredibly nice, I love the little foot bridges, and the new blazes that have been put in the last several years are a lifesaver.

  2. Jim F.

    Hello — excellent pix! Thanks (once again) to this blog, I was able to try something new (the Harrisville Lake Trail). I first/last hiked the Batona Trail from Evans Bridge to Martha Bridge almost 4 years ago (in May 2011), and I do not believe this trail existed. Or, maybe it did, but there was no connection to the Batona Trail, or I surely would have checked it out much sooner! Another interesting tidbit is the two lane…er, plank bridge. While that existed back in 2011, it wasn’t actually part of the [Batona] Trail…in my pix, I have it labelled as “Bridge to Nowhere”. I guess at some point, they did a slight re-route of the trail to include the bridge (like I sort of guessed they might.)

    Anyway, Harrisville Lake was absolutely gorgeous — I had passed by it many times driving up/down Route 679, and even noticed the parking area, but once again — never knew a trail existed in the area. The only part of the hike I didn’t do was the Martha Road section; I was able to catch some views of the Harrisvile Paper Mills ruins after reaching Harrisville Lake and just heading up the road a bit — once again, this knowledge was made possible by your blog!

    Liked your recent entries on Lumberton Nature Trail and Hartford Crossing Trails…I may try to catch them if I’m in the area; perhaps I’ll wait a bit on on the HCT though, since it’s still a work in progress, but it *does* sound like it will be a similar idea to the Cherry Hill Trail System (liked your reference to Kresson Trails, as HCT sounds like it could be another “Kresson” in the making!)

    Happy Hiking!


    • Glad you enjoyed it Jim! I suspect the Lake Trail was not there in 2011 (at the very least, the sign was not there yet), because I did that stretch about a month before you and hadn’t noticed anything. When I went by in 2013, I couldn’t miss it!

      I’m really impressed with the amount of work that went into all the new trails out in the pines (this one, redone sections of the Batona, the Parker Preserve), it’s so much different (and clearer) than any time when I was a kid back in the ’90s, where you a topo map, a compass, and a healthy amount of luck to complete any hikes out there without getting lost several times.

  3. family day hikers

    hicked trail halloween day, had a great time on trail. Just make sure you make a right turn and leave Batona trail after Martha’s bridge, or you wind up at Absigami lake

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