A. Jerome Walnut Nature Trail – Barnegat Light, NJ

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A. Jerome Walnut Nature Trail – Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, Ocean County, NJ
Distance –  0.25 miles total (one way), but paths off this trail can greatly extend your hike (we did 1 1/2 miles and could have extended it more)
Type – U trail (ends do not connect, must backtrack or walk around the block)
Difficulty:  3 of 10 – sand can be such a pain to walk in.
Total score:  6 of 10

Website – None
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – dunes and beach
Surface – Boardwalk and loose sand

Trailheads –  39°45’12.95″N,  74° 6’20.78″W OR  39°45’10.43″N,  74° 6’23.32″W
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South Jersey Trails in New Jersey Monthly Magazine!

So the newest issue of New Jersey Monthly Magazine just hit the magazine racks, and the cover story is ALL about hiking and biking all over New Jersey.  The cover article is totally worth the read, and having done all 12 of the trails in South Jersey that are mentioned, I vouch that they are all great.  So totally get a copy.

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Wait, what’s this?  An article on backpacking on the Mullica River Trail?  Yes, writer Nick DiUlio and a buddy backpacked that lovely 9.5 mile trail, enjoying this backpacking gem out in the pine barrens, and then wrote a lovely little article about their adventure.  Loyal readers may remember that this was the first trail the Pres ever backpacked, completing it with Daddy and Uncle Skunk when he was three.

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Wait?  Who is that being quoted in the article (and sounding much more intelligent that I do in real life)?  It’s me!  Yay!  Nick was kind enough to reach out to me to talk about the Mullica River Trail, and I was happy to yammer at him for 40 minutes on the phone.   I have a quote or two in the article, and Nick was even nice enough to put our web address in the article.  Because he’s awesome.

You can read the article here, but you should totally put up the $5 for the paper copy, because I am old fashioned and paper copies are awesome.

In conclusion – buy magazine, Nick is awesome (thanks Nick!), and to be a professional writer I need to stop working in stupid puns, focus when writing, and not write statements like “Yay!” in articles.  And definitely do not use fragments in my writing.  Or repeat myself.  Or repeat myself.

Don’t know where to get a copy?  Just go to Barnes & Noble in Marlton, which is where my wife picked up a copy to surprise me with.  Or, you know, any of a variety of stores all over New Jersey that stock fine magazines.

 

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Two South Jersey Bloggers Explore The Area’s Secrets, From the Pine Barrens to the Rural Communities.

Eric is a student at Glassboro College Rowan University who runs a blog on Glassboro history. He recently interviewed me about South Jersey Trails. More importantly, he also interviewed Yummygal of the old South Jersey Adventures blog (I miss that blog).  Go ahead and take a read!

While you’re there, definitely check out at least Eric’s interview with some of the students who graduated Glassboro High School in 1986… the year President Reagan came to the ceremony. Fascinating little corner of history that I’d never heard about!

Thank you Eric for reaching out!

The Glassboro History Handbook

It’s March 26, 2017 and Rowan’s students are more than halfway through the Spring 2017 Semester. It’s been a blast sharing Glassboro’s hidden secrets with you all. I’ve learned a lot about the town, as I’m sure you have as well.

This week’s post won’t be about Train Stations or Glass Factories. This week, I reached out to two bloggers who blog about historic and interesting places in South Jersey. I’ve given you a profile about both, so enjoy!


Yummygal Photo Professional Photo taken of Giumetti. (Photo/Deirdre Giumetti)

Deirdre Giumetti, a.k.a. Yummygal, runs a blog via WordPress called “South Jersey History & Adventures.” The mother of two hasn’t posted new content to her blog for about two years, but she’s covered places in South Jersey since 2011, which gives readers a wide-selection of content to choose from.

Giumetti, 35, of Woodstown NJ started her blog when she left her position with Enclara…

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Six Pine Barrens Ghost Towns to explore!

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South Jersey Trails is four years old!   In celebration, I highlight an area I’ve been blessed enough to spend the last 24 years exploring – the Pine Barrens.  I started with a post on the Best Hikes in the Pine Barrens.  But hiking isn’t what hooked me on the pine barrens all those years ago (and boy, what great hiking there is there), it was the history.

So when you think of ghost towns, you probably think like me: cowboys, swinging doors, tumbleweeds…

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You know, this. (Note – Bodie State Park in California).

But the pine barrens have dozens of ghost towns of their own.  Sure, there weren’t many shootouts in the pine barrens (except Hampton Bogs that one time).  And they are definitely short on tumbleweeds.  But they all have their own, fascinating history.

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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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Red Trail – Parker Preserve – Chatsworth, NJ

One of the finest trails in South Jersey, we finally managed to hike this one a week and a half ago! We added our photos and descriptions onto this guest post by James, who had shared these with us back in 2014. If you’ve never been, go now. This second.

I love that The Pres is to the point where he can do longer hikes like this, very proud of him for doing this six miler!

South Jersey Trails

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Red Trail – Franklin Parker Preserve – Woodland Township (Chatsworth), Burlington County, NJ
Distance –  6 miles total (maybe a bit over since there is a short detour onto the Green Trail where beavers have flooded the trail that we missed and had to backtrack to)
Type – Loop
Difficulty:  4 of 10 – hills, flooding, wind, and cold.  Probably only a 3 if it was warmer.
Total score: 9 of 10
Updated: March 13, 2017

Note – This was initially a guest post by James.  Thanks James!  His beautiful shots are included together at the bottom of this post.

Website – Franklin Parker Preserve
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – hills, woods, swamps, bogs
Surface – Mostly sand.

Trailheads –  39°48’48.80″N,  39°48’48.80″N

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12th Annual Lines on the Pines – March 12, 2017

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So, we had our first table at an event today, and it was our favorite event of the year – Lines on the Pines.  We love this event and try to go every year, so when we were invited by Kayak Karl of Pine Barrens Adventures to share his table at this great event (that we were already going to already), we couldn’t say no.

Hence, a whole day spent talking about hiking and backpacking with folks coming through one of the top three pine barrens events of the year, with some time to sneak out and spend all of money on pine barrens books (my New Jersey books are coming dangerously close to taking up an entire tall bookshelf).

Overall, over 100 tables, tons of stuff to do with the kids this year, two live animal tables, music, more history than you can shake a stick at, and tons of great people.

Special thank yous to Linda and Jim Stanton for doing such a great job organizing this event every year and to Karl for putting up with us!  Also a thank you to the lovely people at Jenkinson’s Aquarium and Unexpected Wildlife Refuge, who were super awesome to The Pres all day, who created an estimated 6 frog crafts and about 9 snake crafts.

Also also a thank you to everyone who reads the blog or keeps up with the Facebook page who stopped by to say hello to us!

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