Tag Archives: pine barrens

Penbryn WMA Paddle – Winslow, NJ

penbryncan05

Penbryn Wildlife Management Area Paddle – Winslow, Camden County, NJ
Distance: Aimless paddling on this good size lake racked up a mile of distance.
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: 1 of 10
Total score: 4 of 10

Note – You can also hike here, as previously covered

Website – Penbryn WMA
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – Lakeside

Boat ramp – 39°45’55.40″N,  74°56’10.49″W

Directions:  Penbryn Road, Winslow, NJ (Note – in my GPS, it comes up as Berlin.) It’s just before the railroad track.

Parking: Roadside parking.  If parking in the small pull off areas, be careful that you aren’t blocking the boat ramp.

Standouts – Nice views of the lake.  Nice marsh at the back.

Map – Large map can be found at Penbryn WMA

My track. Only did one side of the pond.

Description: A few weeks ago, my Scouts had their weekly meeting, this week on how to use a canoe.  Instead of practicing in a field, they decided to head to nearby Penbryn Lake to practice.

Well, sometimes you head out to teach the new Scouts how to paddle around a lake and stumble into a gorgeous sunset.

penbryncan01

But first, the proprieties must be observed.  There is a rough boat ramp (it drops off pretty quick) at the corner of the lake near to Penbryn Road.  From here, you can head out to explore the lake by canoe, kayak, or boat.  It’s not a huge lake, but its good for 45 minutes of exploring.  Bring your fishing rod, this is a popular local spot to fish.

Okay, now the sunset pictures.

penbryncan02
penbryncan03

penbryncan04

Thanks to NJ Monthly for including a version of this shot as their “Instagram Shot of the Week” in their weekly email newsletter!

penbryncan06

Best meeting of the year.

Overall – Not worth driving huge distance to get here, but its a pretty little lake to canoe around.  I’ve also hiked here (can do about a mile) and had a great time and The Pres’s very first time fishing was here too.  Pretty sunset not guaranteed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Canoeing, Fishing, Outdoors., pine barrens, South Jersey

Mill Pond Trail – Port Republic, NJ

millpond11

Mill Pond Trail – Port Republic Trail System  – Port Republic, Atlantic County, NJ
Distance – 1.9 miles total (does not include the cut through, nor the access trail to get to other parts of the wider trail system)
Type – Loop
Difficulty:  2 of 10
Total score: 7 of 10

Website – Port Republic Trail System (Facebook page, no website)
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – pine forest with a bit of swamp
Surface – dirt

Trailheads –  39°30’39.03″N,  74°30’15.30″W

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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

Best Hikes in the Pine Barrens

Featured Image -- 14769

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!

Continue reading

19 Comments

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