Hiking the Batona Trail
The Batona Trail began in 1961 when the Batona Hiking Club charted and cleared a trail from Carpenter Spring in Brendan Byrne State Forest to Batsto on Wharton State Forest. Subsequent expansion culminated in 1987 with the Batona Trail now stretching from Brendan Byrne State Forest, through Batsto and Wharton State Forest, and on to Bass River State Forest, a total of approximately 50 miles. The trail is maintained jointly by the Batona Hiking Club and the State Park Service.
The Batona Trail traverses the Pine Barrens, a vast area of wilderness in South Jersey which is noted for its beautiful and unique flora and fauna, many species of which are found nowhere else. An observant eye may catch orchids, white-tailed deer, or a hawk around the next bend. Wild blueberries and huckleberries can be gathered by the handfuls in season. The route covers varied land features and forest types, meeting a number of streams and ponds along the way. Many areas rich in history also lie along the way, with names like Four Mile, Butler Place, Martha, and Washington to remind us of the forgotten towns which once thrived here. The trail is available for anyone to appreciate, but not abuse, the valuable and unique natural and cultural resources of the area.
The Batona Trail was planned as a wilderness trail, and it is exactly that. Yet there are no hardships, and few obstacles to be encountered. A few rolling hills, and an occasional sandy or wet area are the most severe tests this trail will offer. The trail can be walked from end to end by almost anyone, and it is prominently marked with pink blazes which can be readily followed.
The trail crosses a number of roads and can be reached by car at many points. This makes it possible for many different types and lengths of hikes to be planned. Camping along the Batona Trail is permitted only in designated campsites. Campsites are available in the Wharton State Forest at Batona Camp and Lower Forge, in the Brendan Byrne State Forest at the family sites or group camping area, and in the Bass River State Forest near Lake Absegami. A valid permit must be prominently displayed at the campsite. Permits can be obtained at the state offices at the Brendan Byrne Forest office, Batsto Visitors Center, Atsion office, or Bass River Forest office. Campfire regulations will be indicated and explained when the permit is issued.
Please note that all trail users are subject to the regulations of the Brendan Byrne, Wharton, and Bass River State Forests. Please enjoy the beauty of the Pine Barrens, taking only your experience and leaving only your footprints.
Note: Horseback riding and mountain bikes are not permitted on the Batona Trail.
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