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New Jersey

New Jersey State Parks

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New Jersey
Delaware River Region
Penn State Forest
Eastern Goldfinch ©
Eastern Goldfinch ©
Eastern Goldfinch
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762 Stage Road
Tuckerton , New Jersey   08087

Phone: 609-296-1114
Penn State Forest's undeveloped wilderness attracts picnickers and hikers. Lake Oswego, a result of an upstream dam that was constructed to create a reservoir for a downstream cranberry operation, is suitable for canoeing and fishing.
History of the Area
1. Native American Presence: The area that now makes up Penn State Forest was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Lenni Lenape, who had a presence in the region for thousands of years before European colonization.

2. European Settlement: In the 17th century, European settlers began to arrive in the area and establish communities. The land was primarily used for agriculture, including farming and timbering. The European settlers introduced industrial activities such as the manufacturing of glass, iron, and charcoal.

3. Iron Industry: During the 18th century, the iron industry played a significant role in the region's economy. Ironworks were established, leading to the clearing of vast forests for charcoal production and the creation of small towns to support the industry.

4. Industrial Decline: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the iron industry declined, resulting in the abandonment of many settlements and leaving behind a landscape of abandoned furnaces and waterways. The forest began to regenerate, reclaiming the land cleared for industrial purposes.

5. State Forest Establishment: In the mid-20th century, the State of New Jersey acquired large tracts of land in the region, including the area that is now Penn State Forest. Originally known as the Penn State Forest Acquisition Area, it was later renamed Penn State Forest.

6. Reforestation and Conservation: After the state acquired the land, an extensive reforestation program was undertaken to restore the forest. Conservation efforts were prioritized to protect the unique flora and fauna of the Pine Barrens, including rare plant species and the habitat of various animal species.
1. Lake Oswego Campground: This campground offers primitive tent sites with fire rings and picnic tables.

2. Bodine Field Campsite: Located near the Wading River, this campsite provides opportunities for fishing as well as canoeing or kayaking.

3. Hawkins Bridge Recreation Area: Another option within Penn State Forest that allows you to enjoy nature's beauty while providing basic amenities like pit toilets and hand pumps for water supply.

4. Mullica River Wilderness Camping Site: A wilderness site accessible by hiking or paddling only which requires reservations through Wharton state forest office.

5. Mullica river boat:in (accessible via kayak/canoe).

6. Goshen Pond: car:camping/lean-to's/walk-ins.

7. Lower Forge: hike/paddle:in backcountry camping area.
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1. Batona Trail: This is the longest single trail in Penn State Forest, stretching over 50 miles from Ong's Hat to Bass River State Forest. The terrain varies between sandy paths and pine forest floors with moderate difficulty level.

2. Mount Misery Trail: A challenging route of approximately four miles that takes hikers through dense forests up to the highest point within Burlington County known as "Mount Misery". It offers panoramic views across New Jersey Pine Barrens.

3. Pakim Pond Loop: An easy two-mile loop around a serene pond surrounded by cedar trees and wildflowers during springtime; perfect for bird watching or picnicking along its banks.

4. Cranberry Trail: Approximately three-miles long, this path winds past cranberry bogs where visitors can observe local wildlife such as deer, foxes and various species of birds including bald eagles if lucky enough.

5. Jenkins Neck Nature Trails: These are several short trails totaling about five miles which wind their way through wetlands offering opportunities for spotting turtles, frogs and waterfowl among other creatures native to these ecosystems.

6. Penn Swamp Walking Path: A half mile boardwalk-style walking path traversing swampy areas providing unique insights into marshland flora & fauna without getting your feet muddy!

7. Old Sawmill Road Hiking Route: Once an old sawmill road now converted into a hiking trail spanning roughly six kilometers showcasing remnants of historical logging operations alongside diverse vegetation types found within Penn state forest ecosystem.

8. Carranza Memorial Loop: Named after Emilio Carranza (a Mexican aviator), it's a moderately difficult hike covering nearly eight kilometres encompassing mixed hardwood-pine-oak woodlands interspersed with open meadows teeming with butterflies during summer months.

9. Apple Pie Hill Fire Tower Access Track: Although not technically classified as 'hike', many outdoor enthusiasts walk this access track leading towards Apple Pie Hill Fire Tower, the highest point in South Jersey offering panoramic views of surrounding Pine Barrens.

10. Beaver Pond Trail: A short one-mile trail that takes you around a beaver pond where visitors can observe signs of these industrious creatures' activities such as gnawed tree stumps and dam structures.

11. Penn State Forest Backpacking Route: This is an approximately 15 miles long multi-day backpacking route traversing various sections within Penn state forest providing immersive wilderness experience for seasoned hikers seeking solitude amidst nature's bounty.
Area Attractions
The Pine Plains

The central region of the Pine Barrens contains several areas of pine and oak forest that resemble the surrounding forests with one major exception: from a standing position, one can gaze over the top of the tree canopy. The Pine Barren Plains, known locally as the Pygmy Forest, contains trees that may attain a height of only about four feet at maturity. New Jersey contains the world's largest acreage of this globally rare forest community, which can be seen within portions of Penn State Forest. Many researchers believe that this unique stunted forest ecosystem is partly the result of the fire ecology of the Pinelands.

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Take Route 563 to Lake Oswego Road in Jenkins Neck, and follow for three miles.

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New Jersey

New Jersey State Parks