PADDLING THE NEW JERSEY PINE BARRENS

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Designated America’s first National Ecological Reserve, The New Jersey Pine Barrens, comprises over 1.1 million acres of pitch pine, cedar, and lowland bog forest and fields. The low gradient rivers are narrow, surprisingly swift, and filled with clear brown yellow water. The paddling is marked by ducking under curved cedars, open bog like areas with twisty channels, sandy banks and bars, and a variety of flowering trees and shrubs. Parts of the rivers cut across sand plains with pitch pine that are strikingly like the jack pine areas so familiar in Canada’s north. I propose two trips‐ both of which I have done many times since my youth.

The first is the Oswego from Oswego Lake down to the junction with the Wading River with a take out a Beaver Branch. There are two short portages around dams and lots of lovely cedar paddling. The Oswego is totally within Wharton State Forest. I estimate 6 hours of easy going. The second is Cedar Creek which flows east to Barnegat Bay of the Atlantic Ocean. I can inquire as to the possibility of a pick up on the Bay itself or we can use the normal stopping place in the Double Trouble State Park at the campground. I estimate 4 to 5 hours of easy paddling. Rental boats and shuttles are available at each place and there are motels nearby.

There is some camping but since I live in nearby Philadelphia I have never pitched a tent in the area. One thought would be to stay out on the barrier island with ocean beaches and back bay paddling– Long Beach Island‐ in a motel or B and B‐ and drive to the various put ins or stay in land at some place. References‐ Paddling the Jersey Pine Barrens by Robert Parnes ; Water, Earth, and Fire: Land Use and Environmental Planning in the New Jersey Pine Barrens; Berger and Sinton; Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

The Basics
Event Location: 
NEW JERSEY PINE BARRENS
Date(s) & Time: 
Friday, April 23, 2010 - 07:00
Registration Cut Off: 
April 22.
Event Duration: 
5 days
Difficulty Rating: 
Beginner
Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Jonathan Berge
Email: