WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$10 for printed copy(paperback). $6 for interactive PDF. $2 for printable PDF.
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-08-2016
    Location
    Gloucester City, New Jersey
    Age
    25
    Posts
    14

    Default Batona Trail - new jersey

    Has anyone on here hiked the Batona trail in jersey? I'm looking to do it this summer to get back into over night hiking before hitting the AT in 2017. I'm just wondering where the best areas to park are, which direction is better to start, and what the water situation is like. Any other added tips/knowledge would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-25-2006
    Location
    Croswell, MI
    Age
    68
    Posts
    3,934
    Images
    68

    Default

    Welcome.

    I've hiked most portions of it many years ago, actually decades ago, so I have no specifics to give you that would be of much value today. What I can say, is that it is an easy, pleasant trail for the most part. I recall some sections were a pain to find legal campsites, required some higher mileage days than originally planned. Bugs can be a problem depending on time of year and weather. Try to learn some of the history of the area and the cedar swamps, will add to your enjoyment.

    My work transferred me to New Jersey in the early 90's, and I was dreading it. I found, however, that there is a lot of very beautiful outdoor opportunities in New Jersey, the gem of which are the Pine Barrens, whether for a day hike or a backpack trip.

    Enjoy your prep, but not much in the way of hills to hike.

  3. #3
    AT 2012
    Join Date
    09-11-2006
    Location
    Wallingford, CT
    Age
    70
    Posts
    1,747

    Default

    pm kayak karl. he is the batona trail guru.

    water is ugly dark stuff -- but is supposed to be good.

    i have never seen so many ticks in my life -- and the trail is fairly overgrown and poorly blazed in places.

    plenty of good parking in ong... i hiked from there south to bass river.

    having had some time to reflect on my batona experience, i would put the trail on my short list of hikes never to be repeated -- at least in the warmer months. I would definitely be interested in re-hiking it mid winter.
    Lazarus

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-09-2011
    Location
    Stanhope, NJ
    Posts
    210
    Journal Entries
    2

    Default

    You must camp in existing camping areas for which there is a charge. Check the NJ state website. They have a map which gives you water sources. Reservations are required. There is parking at the Bass River State Park end of the trail. If you start at Ong's Hat, you can hike back to your car. They may be willing to allow parking for the duration of your hike, which, at your age, probably would be about 3-4 days. Watch out for deer ticks.
    I had planned to do it last fall but couldn't get the transportation logistics straightened out. Good luck and have a great hike.

  5. #5

    Default

    You're likely driving east on Route 70 from the Camden/Trenton area on Route 70. Think Jarzee Shure - Seaside Heights, Toms River, Long Beach Island, etc
    I don't have any idea how you'd arrange an end to end one car thru-hike of the BT. Hitch hiking is illegal in NJ. Never would I attempt that in NJ!. Sure way to get in trouble from police. I think it ridiculous referring to thru-hiking the BT though for the below stated reasons. Funny how only after a hike gets a name than only interest is achieved. I'd leave one car at Bass River SP near the BT southern terminus and one car at one of the biz( WAWA, Pub, etc, might help to ask first though!!!) on Route 72 near the Route 70/Route 72 circle short walk from Ongs Hat, the BT northern terminus)

    Spent my childhood growing up fishing, hunting, bush crafting, motorcycle riding, 4 wheelin, exploring the flora and fauna, and hiking/wandering the Pine Barrens. I lived less than 15 miles from the Northern Terminus of the BT. Thru hiked it twice. Wandered, practically lived, on many different sections of the BT more times than I can ever recall before I ever knew it had a name.

    Not sure when Lazarus last thru hiked the BT but the trail is actually NOW well pink blazed! Trail is NOT really "overgrown" when I wandered it two yrs ago. With the BT maps you're fine following "the trail." Camping can be done in SO MANY places although the authorities are obviously trying to protect Pine Barrens resources and private property by getting one to camp in specific areas. There are PLENTY of places to LEGALLY camp and....LNT RESPECTFULLY...though! I'll leave it at that.

    Water is "tea" colored from the tannins in the trees. It is not "pollution!", although I'd still treat my water for parasites! Summer is tick haven! Make sure to protect yourself from ticks and probably skeeters in summer. I'd hammock for this reason alone. Plenty of trees.

    It's a pancake hike...flat. Some nice southern NJ/Pine Barrens Historical Sites, nice SPs w/ their exhibits(should be part of the BT experience!), fire towers, nice "backcountry" smaller water ways the trail meanders near/along, and really decent, astonishing to many not familiar with NJ's beauty, wildlife and flora, and rather a feeling of getting out of the "city" hike.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-25-2010
    Location
    Newark, DE
    Age
    60
    Posts
    88
    Images
    20

    Default

    I power-hiked the Batona Trail about 5 years ago with a friend. We did the entire trail from Ongs Hat to Bass River in about 20 hours. It is a fun little trail - about the easiest hiking you will find. The sandy surface makes the footing a little different than typical in some places but it wasn't bad. I can't provide much in the way of comments on the camping since we did not camp but it looked like the Batona Camp (near the Carranza Memorial) and the Lower Forge Camp were both good options. There was a good water pump at the Batona Camp which we used to refill our bladders. Another thing to watch out for in warm weather is the chiggers.

  7. #7
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
    Join Date
    05-02-2014
    Location
    Millstone Township, NJ
    Age
    48
    Posts
    325

    Default

    I've hiked a good portion of it but never thru-hiked it. Very flat but I've enjoyed the views from 2 fire towers the trail passes right by. This other whiteblaze thread has a lot of useful info for you. http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...ail-Map-Update

    Enjoy your trip and report back to us how it goes.
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

  8. #8

    Default

    Yup. Guard against chiggers and biting BZZ BZZ no-see-ums too in summer.

    BTW some nice places to drop a line casting for fish like small largemouth bass and plenty of chain pickerel eager to nab a small spinner.

  9. #9

    Default

    Who would've thought that in the most densely populated state in the country, you could be 9 miles from know where.

  10. #10
    Registered User NJdreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-28-2015
    Location
    NJ - New Jersey
    Age
    65
    Posts
    168
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    1

    Default

    The Batona was my first backpack experience. I did 40 plus miles with a small group over 2 nights 3 days. We made reservations both nights at the 2 campsites, but camped off trail the 2nd night (for the record, this is not allowed). For some reason, our 2nd campsite was very close to the first one. Maybe they were not all open in March. If possible, I would avoid a summer trip due to the bugs. There are a number of connecting trails, so it is possible to do a loop plus parts are near or in Brendan Bryne State Park. I agree with Dogwood. The trail is in good condition, and maintained in parts by the Outdoor Club of South Jersey. My favorite parts are the most northern and southern parts, and those near the Mullica River (Lower Forge to Batsto). Have fun.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    Who would've thought that in the most densely populated state in the country, you could be 9 miles from know where.
    There are some deeply held misconceptions about states. This is one of them becoming evident when considering demographics breaking down WHERE the mostly densely populated counties(areas) are in NJ. I've met more than a fair share of AT Thru-hikers that mistakenly thought when we got to NJ we would be hiking through people's backyards and through landfills and everything was polluted with refineries and International Airports to be viewed from the "trail. It's similar to east coasters assuming Washington state or Oregon is all like Seattle or Portland, Hawaii is all rain forest or beaches, Texas is all flat, Michigan is solely defined by large cities in the Lower Peninsula, blah blah blah.

    Heck, I spent my childhood and young adult life traipsing the Pine Barrens, being a tree hugger(yeah, there really are nice trees and orchids growing in NJ!), paddling on beautiful cedar swamp streams like the Mullica, Wading, Oswego, Maurice, Great Egg Harbor, etc Rivers, fishing on the Delaware River or Flatbrook-Roy or on lakes, reservoirs, etc, hiking in the Appalachian Mountains on the Kittantiny Ridge, and on the Atlantic Ocean beach, saltwater fishing, etc. Much about NJ that people don't experience or know about NOT UNSURPRISING because these areas are not where most people go in the state. That's the way some of us liked it. OK, the secret is now out.

    Where's Kayak Karl when I need him?

  12. #12
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-17-2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,473
    Images
    6

    Default

    This looks like a trail I need to add to my list of trails to wander. Given its proximity to people how populated is the trail in the fall around the time kids are back in school?

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-08-2016
    Location
    Gloucester City, New Jersey
    Age
    25
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Thanks so much for the tips guys! I'm a born and raised jersey girl and the trail is only 45 minutes away from me. It's been on my list for a while but I never really heard much talk about it (usually when I hear people talk trail in NJ they refer to the AT up north).

    Water Rat, I've gone to the pines in every season but fall is usually not too crowded. The only I'm run into people are in the spring or summer in more popular areas like lakes or campsites.

  14. #14
    Registered User NJdreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-28-2015
    Location
    NJ - New Jersey
    Age
    65
    Posts
    168
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    This looks like a trail I need to add to my list of trails to wander. Given its proximity to people how populated is the trail in the fall around the time kids are back in school?
    i have never seen many others except around Bastso or possibly Caranza Memorial. It isn't in highly populated areas. Sometimes there is a large group from AMC DV or the Outdoor Club of South Jersey, but those are mostly on the weekends.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    This looks like a trail I need to add to my list of trails to wander. Given its proximity to people how populated is the trail in the fall around the time kids are back in school?
    Ehh, in Oct or so you may start encountering hunters but you'll get SOME fall color and blueberries galore. Might consider some cranberries too as southern NJ is home to cranberry bogs which are interesting to learn how they are grown and harvested. IMHO, the BT is worth a look at if you're interested in more than just hiking like experiencing the flora, fauna, and natural history of the Pine Barrens(all of this is pretty cool! to consider adding to the experiences of a BT hike), live nearby in DE, eastern PA, NJ, maybe NY, etc., visiting Atlantic City or Philadelphia(You can see the faint nighttime lights of both cities from the top of the Apple Pie Fire Tower), combining the hike with a nearby Tom Brown Survival/Tracking Class(EXCELLENT b even if Tom is, umm "dedicated"), etc. IMO, I wouldn't make a special "trip", like take a flight from New England, to just hike it and do nothing else but hiker but to each their own. I'm not trying to down play the BT but also will not over hype it either. I'm jaded too since I spent so much time in the Pine Barrens and have since hiked in so many other worthy places.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_B...ersey)#History

    https://www.trackerschool.com/about/about

    The side of NJ few realize exist!

  16. #16
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-17-2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,473
    Images
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Ehh, in Oct or so you may start encountering hunters but you'll get SOME fall color and blueberries galore. Might consider some cranberries too as southern NJ is home to cranberry bogs which are interesting to learn how they are grown and harvested. IMHO, the BT is worth a look at if you're interested in more than just hiking like experiencing the flora, fauna, and natural history of the Pine Barrens(all of this is pretty cool! to consider adding to the experiences of a BT hike), live nearby in DE, eastern PA, NJ, maybe NY, etc., visiting Atlantic City or Philadelphia(You can see the faint nighttime lights of both cities from the top of the Apple Pie Fire Tower), combining the hike with a nearby Tom Brown Survival/Tracking Class(EXCELLENT b even if Tom is, umm "dedicated"), etc. IMO, I wouldn't make a special "trip", like take a flight from New England, to just hike it and do nothing else but hiker but to each their own. I'm not trying to down play the BT but also will not over hype it either. I'm jaded too since I spent so much time in the Pine Barrens and have since hiked in so many other worthy places.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_B...ersey)#History

    https://www.trackerschool.com/about/about

    The side of NJ few realize exist!
    Thanks for this info! I wouldn't be making a special flight. I would most likely combine this hike as a road trip and side trip during a trip to visit friends in the area. I had forgotten about this area until the thread came up. I first heard about the Pine Barrens (many years ago) in the John McPhee book of the same name. Seems like an interesting hike to add to visit. History, flora, fauna, geology...those are all things I love to research before I hike in an area. Makes the hikes that much interesting.

    I can forgo the cranberry bog and blueberry experience. Both grow wild on my property. Fascinating, but not what I usually travel to see.

    NJdreamer - Thanks for the info as well!

  17. #17
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-25-2006
    Location
    Croswell, MI
    Age
    68
    Posts
    3,934
    Images
    68

    Default

    Just a little aside. A couple of folks mentioned that the water is tea colored, but, as they said, "supposedly good to drink". We also have tea colored water here in the UP of MI. It's caused by tannins (tannic acid) from the conifer trees. Also causes foam to form in the rivers and streams that look like soapsuds. It is not generally harmful to drink, except in quite large amounts.

    The history I remember from the Pine Barrens is that back in the days of sailing ships crossing the oceans, the crews would seek out this water from the Pine Barrens to fill their fresh water holds for the journey home. Apparently the high acid content of the water allowed it to stay "sweet" for considerably longer time than other water. It would not become slimy and microbial growth would be all but eliminated - not that they understood the whys of it, but they considered it the most preferable "Sweetwater".

  18. #18
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-21-2007
    Location
    Swedesboro, NJ
    Age
    65
    Posts
    5,341
    Images
    25

    Default

    email me. I will send to MAP of trail. [email protected]. trail can be done in 2, 4 or 3 days. Search GPS Batona on Google you will find my tracks. The tannic ice tea is fine to drink

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
    Last edited by kayak karl; 04-09-2016 at 09:20. Reason: MAP
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-17-2012
    Location
    Beachwood, New Jersey
    Age
    49
    Posts
    52

    Default

    I live very close to the Batona Trail - my husband has thru-hiked it, and I've hiked the whole thing in sections. . . at this point, it's well-marked, you will find other people on it during the day, mostly on weekends. Don't be afraid of the water, as many people above have stated - it's perfectly fine, with filtering. One point that I'm going to reiterate - wear bug repellant at all times, treat your clothes, pack, and tent, and do very diligent tick checks, even in the dead of winter. We went out for a hike a couple of days after Christmas this year, and pulled off several ticks. I have gone out to my local park on a day that was about 20 degrees after several days of similar cold, and (you guessed it) tick city.

    There are also a whole bunch of other nice trails in the area, as well - you can hike from Batsto to Atsion, on the Mullica River Trail - it's 9.5 miles that parallels the Mullica River (surprisingly enough) the entire time, and links two historic preserved villages of the Pines. It's easy to make it into an overnight trip, as the Mullica River Primitive Campsite is about halfway through it, and it's a pretty little campsite right at the river, with a canoe pull-in and everything, and the Batsto trailhead is close to the Batona, which goes through Batsto, so you could make a loop, if you wanted to.

    Also- just to reiterate again - any camping done at the official campsites along the Batona, or any place in NJ needs to be signed up for and paid in advance. Rangers do periodically check the campgrounds, and will ticket you if you didn't get your paperwork in order beforehand - that being said, I've never actually seen any official presence out of sight of the campgrounds, so make of that what you will. I'm not advocating anything, but, you know. . .

  20. #20
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-17-2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,473
    Images
    6

    Default

    Wonderful information! I think it is time to start thinking about adding this hike to plans for this fall. I really like the idea of making this a loop. Are there any specific maps that stand out for these trails? Or, am I good to go with whatever maps I end up with?

    Yeah...ticks. Yuck! I treat my dogs year round and tick checking is just part of the normal routine. At least the winter of '14-'15 got dang cold and was a deterrent for some of the little buggers. This past winter was a lot warmer. The local vet said the tick issues never really stopped this past winter, so this year should be something else. Yippee

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •