NJ Pine Barrens - Goshen Pond
Wharton State Forest NJ
Check in at Atsion Ranger Station across from lake.
For detailed site description, pics of sites and hanging options, check this thresd:
Group sites A,B,C all have trees for hanging several to many hammocks at once.
Group site A is close to the water pump. Lot's of sun and open space.
Group site B has a privy and is across the small parking lot from the water pump and has more shade than Group site A.
Group site C has a a privy and the most shade of all the group sites. Many hang friendly trees. A short walk to the water pump.
All of the group sites are on the other side of the dirt road from the pond/Mullica River.
Paddling downstream will get you into Atsion lake, a small portage over route 206 and you are off on a paddle towards the Mullica River Camp Site. (Hike in, paddle in site only)
Goshen Pond is loaded with wildlife, plenty of bird song morning and evening and the frog serenade later in the night.
4x4 owners will use the road through camp to access the Pines so it is not unusual to have headlights come through late at night. Generally they are respectful. Some increase is seen after the local high school is done class for the summer.
If you visit on the weekends, expect to hear the roar of the drag races at Atco Dragstrip on a Saturday night or during events. This should not be confused, but could be at times, with the artillery practice from the Joint Base ranges scattered throughout the Pines. During the week, generally things are pretty quiet, except for the frogs.
Nearby attractions are Batsto Historical Village and Atsion Mansion with regularly scheduled tours including a swamp flower tour.
Local South Jersey flavor may be found at "the Pic"' Pic A Lilli Inn in Shamong in rt 206 not far from Atsion. Nixon's General Store in downtown Tabernacle also has good take out eats.
There are lots of old ghost towns in the Pine Barrens, abandoned furnaces, remnants of the once thriving bog iron and glass industries. Some of the oldest roads from the seaport of Tuckerton to Philadelphia are still the dirt rosds they used to be exisiting as fire roads and hunter's highways today.
Last edited by Ratdog; 06-17-2013 at 09:24.
The Pine Barrens provides all sorts of opportunities for wildlife watching, flora identification and exploring of both historical and forgotten ghost towns.
It is a million acre wood criss-crossed by dirt roads dating back to colonial times many with names of forgotten origin.
The Pines are also just plain beautiful and well, plain. Literally, a plain of seemingly bland repetition that only reveals it's true beauty to the interested observer. A true four season wonder for those willing to take the time and make the effort to see that which escapes casual observation.
Plant life that is only found here and in the far north, transported by glacial transportation and deposited into an isolated ecosystem, provides a unique chance for those to see the unique mix of tundra based plants intermixed with various cultivated plantlife introduced by early settlers. This interesting mix of trees, sedges, shrubs, herbaceous, aquatic herbaceous, ferns, orchids, rushes, grasses, vines and others, will reward the well prepared visitor.
Researching, reading a few of the well known books on the area, will greatly add to the enjoyment of even the shortest visit.
Wildlife ranging from the well established coyote, to the smallest skink, share living space with wild turkeys and the nowadays, not so elusive black bear. A sole wandering black bear was recently relocated from the populated area of West Jersey back to Brendan Byrne (formerly Lebanon) State Forest, near the Wharton Forest from whence he originated.
Hiking and paddling, camping, both family oriented and primitive options exist along with a small number of cabins.
Our recent stay was limited to a 3 day weekend of car camping at Goshen pond where the hammock drew some interest from passerbys. A few visitors on horseback and even a few on Segways (that was a first for me) commented on hammocks for sleeping as well as lounging on a lazy day.
Last edited by Ratdog; 06-17-2013 at 09:19.
An online community dedicated to the Pine Barrens.
And if you like music, blue grass music can be found at Albert Hall in Waretown.
A group of musicians started gathering at "a house in the pines" and over a couple generations, we now have this...
Be sure to check the NJ State website for camping locations and reservations are now handled through ReserveAmerica.com with the exception of same day registration which is done at the Atsion or Batsto office.
There are large camps like Bodine field that will have over 250 campers in one location and much smaller camps available only through hike in or paddle in. A select few car camping spots offer some reasonable seclusion. We had fewer than 30 neighors, almost all out of sight and most out of earshot except for the occassional laughter. Now the races at Atco,that's a different story and afterall, it was the 53rd Annual Thrill Show so you've gotta have some Jet cars. https://www.atcoraceway.com/
Still, the roar of the engines didn't bother the frogs or the whippoorwills. All part of the Piney experience for visitors.
Last edited by Ratdog; 06-17-2013 at 09:38.