Tag Archives: Burlington County

Levin Nature Conservancy – Mt. Laurel, NJ


Melvin and Florence Levin Nature Conservancy – Mt. Laurel, Burlington County, NJ
Distance –  a little over 2 miles of trails (we did 2 1/4 miles with some backtrack and only missed one cut-through trail) total
Type – Loop with a cut-through and a spur
Difficulty:  1 of 10
Total score: 5  of 10

Website –  None
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – woods and swamp with a bit of grassland
Surface – some parts are boardwalk, some parts crushed stone dust, and some parts grass and dirt (or in our case, mud.  Thanks rain)

Trailheads –  39°56’51.50″N,  74°52’40.67″W – this is the main one off of the parking lot, although there are others along Hainsport-Mt Laurel Road, and along Hartford Road (this is the best spot to park)


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Filed under Hiking, Outdoors., South Jersey

Best Hikes in the Pine Barrens

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So today marks FOUR YEARS of this ridiculous blog.  I’ll type that again for dramatic effect- FOUR YEARS.

Four is an important number for this blog, because, when I started, I figured that was about top end estimate for how many people would ever look that this big, dumb prestigious project of mine (and that was counting on my mother being able to find it on the Internet to see cute pictures of her grandson). But my, oh, my, how we’ve grown up.  In the past four years, nearly EIGHT PEOPLE have read this blog.

Okay, it’s a few more than that, and sometimes I worry about you folks because of that.  But thanks just the same for coming along for the ride.

In celebration, I highlight an area I’ve been blessed enough to spend the last 24 years exploring – the Pine Barrens.  Sure, the pine barrens aren’t as sexy as some natural areas in North Jersey.  You won’t find many clear flowing rivers (just iced tea colored), mama bears followed by lines of cubs, or breathtaking vistas.

Instead, it’s hundreds of square miles of pine trees, the more subtle beauty of a pitch pine, the reclaimed cranberry bog, the carnivorous plant, the nearly forgotten ruins of a once prosperous town.  It’s the wild flowers at Friendship, the collapsing packing house at Whitesbog, the abandoned tracks of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, and the sweeping views from Apple Pie Hill.  It’s the cedar water of the Wading River, the iron slag along the trail at Martha, the cedar swamps at Wells Mills (oh, how I love cedar swamps), and the pine snakes by Bricksbrae.  It’s hearing coyotes howling while camping at Bodine, a dip in the river while backpacking through Lower Forge, watching the American Legion Post carry Emilio Carranza’s body from the woods yet another July day, the beautiful stars in winter above Goshen Pond, looking at the raccoon prints in the fireplace bricks at Buzbys General Store, or the peeping of the frogs in the Spring.

If you haven’t spent time here, or haven’t spent enough time here, or simply are looking for some places you haven’t explored, I’m offering a series of three posts on the pines, starting with ten fourteen trails to get you started (it was really hard to narrow them down)…

I have, of course, ranked them (for fighting with each other on the Internet’s sake), cutting down a list of 46 hikes I’ve done out in Jersey Devil country, but these are all winners!

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Filed under Backpacking, Hiking, History, Outdoors., pine barrens, South Jersey

2016 – Year in Review – 10 Favorite Trails


In 2016, I hiked 32 new trails in South Jersey!  Why not take a look back at the highlights of an awesome year?

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Filed under Canoeing, Hiking, History, Outdoors., pine barrens, South Jersey, Wildlife.

Friendship Creek Preserve – Tabernacle, NJ


Friendship Creek Preserve – Tabernacle, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – no marked trails here, I explored to the tune of almost three miles total
Type – No marked trails, roads and deer paths only.
Difficulty: 5  of 10
Total score: 6 of 10

Website – Rancocas Conservancy
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – woods and swamps
Surface – sand and muck

Trailheads – Entrance to the preserve is by walking down Irick’s Causeway.


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Stavola Beechwoods Preserve – Pemberton, NJ


Stavola Beechwoods Preserve – Pemberton, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – about 1.6 miles  (GPS crapped out on me)
Type – Lollipop trail.
Difficulty:  3 of 10 – a few blow downs that need stepping over.  Trail unclear in a few spots.
Total score: 5  of 10

Posted -December 31, 2016

Website – Rancocas Conservancy
Facebook – Rancocas Conservancy
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – woods and wetlands
Surface – crushed gravel, dirt.

Trailheads – 39°58’12.76″N, 74°41’8.55″W

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Filed under Hiking, History, Outdoors., pine barrens, South Jersey

Pemberton Rail Trail – Pemberton, NJ


Pemberton Rail Trail – Pemberton Township, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – 2.6 miles of trail (3.2 miles out and back, 3.8 miles total if closing the Y by walking through Pemberton)
Type – Y Trail
Difficulty:  1 of 10
Total score: 6 of 10
Posted – December 30, 2016

Website – Piney Power.com (outdated info, but will give you an idea)
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – travels through farmland, wetlands, and woods
Surface – crushed gravel

Trailheads –
Birmingham Road – 39°58’35.40″N, 74°42’36.99″W
Route 616 (Train Station) – 39°58’37.44″N, 74°40’51.25″W
Route 616 (Clark’s Canoes) – 39°58’12.76″N, 74°41’8.55″W

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Filed under Hiking, History, Outdoors., pine barrens, South Jersey

Two days to complete the Batona Trail = terrible idea. Also, fun!


So, I had the worst idea I’ve had in at least the last several months… why not do the Batona Trail in two days?

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Filed under Backpacking, Hiking, Outdoors., pine barrens, South Jersey, Wildlife.