4x4 Accessible/Legal/Appropriate Excursions

Hey everyone,

I was wondering if I might get some guidance from the hive mind here. My wife and I recently purchased a new Jeep and have enjoyed putzing about in Byrne. We are avid hikers, and are pretty familiar with hiking and mountain biking trails, but really don't know much about what is and isn't kosher with regards to offroading in the Pine Barrens.

Long story short, we are looking for nice spots to drive out to (we have enjoyed heading out to Friendship and parking and having lunch) and do some birdwatching/other fauna-watching. We aren't interested in pushing the Jeep to its limits, so relatively straightforward roads are ideal, and we don't want to run over any endangered orchids or otherwise cause damage. So what roads/routes do people enjoy for scenic trips and picnics?

Thanks so much!
 

Boyd

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Here's a nice drive if you'd like to explore the Southern Pines. These roads are in good shape and a regular car should have no problems on them. There are many smaller roads in varying condition that you might explore in a Jeep though.

https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/detailed-map.11129/#post-135633

________________

Here's a nice drive from Delaware Bay to Estell Manor on little roads, mostly unpaved but usually in very good condition. (the last time I mentioned this, Al said I gave away his secret route, LOL)

Turn onto Hunters Mill road from Rt 616 in Dorchester and drive East: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.275996006654346&lng=-74.97419971626283&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Continue East across Rt 47 to Rt 347. At this point Hunters Mill becomes unpaved: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.28026477559299&lng=-74.94847196739198&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Just continue East, you will pass several active gravel pits and may see some trucks. You will then cross Rt 548 (Weatherby Rd), continue Northeast on Hunters Mill, which is still unpaved: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.305523253926026&lng=-74.88819736640932&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Hunters Mill ends at Rt 49, turn right and go for just a few hundred feet to First Ave (which is also unpaved), then turn left and follow First Ave Northeast: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.3236353273266&lng=-74.86053842704774&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Continue East on First Ave until you reach Cape May Ave or Rt 666 (kids like to steal the signs). Just keep going East on First Ave, at this point it becomes paved again. http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.35040471455188&lng=-74.81270927589418&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Follow First Ave across Tuckahoe Rd (Rt 557) and continue Northeast past Honest John Rd. First ends at Cumberland Ave here. Follow Cumberland a few hundred feet and you hit Rt 50: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.38791106901733&lng=-74.75930112998964&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Turn left (North) on Rt 50 and it's maybe 1/4 mile to the Estell Manor Park entrance, which will be on your right. http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.39784414019133&lng=-74.74567550819398&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

_________________

Also see my earlier post in that thread for map info:

https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/detailed-map.11129/#post-135605

As far as legal/appropriate.... Using good common sense and heeding any signage would be a good start. ;)
 
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Here's a nice drive if you'd like to explore the Southern Pines. These roads are in good shape and a regular car should have no problems on them. There are many smaller roads in varying condition that you might explore in a Jeep though.

https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/detailed-map.11129/#post-135633

________________

Here's a nice drive from Delaware Bay to Estell Manor on little roads, mostly unpaved but usually in very good condition. (the last time I mentioned this, Al said I gave away his secret route, LOL)

Turn onto Hunters Mill road from Rt 616 in Dorchester and drive East: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.275996006654346&lng=-74.97419971626283&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Continue East across Rt 47 to Rt 347. At this point Hunters Mill becomes unpaved: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.28026477559299&lng=-74.94847196739198&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Just continue East, you will pass several active gravel pits and may see some trucks. You will then cross Rt 548 (Weatherby Rd), continue Northeast on Hunters Mill, which is still unpaved: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.305523253926026&lng=-74.88819736640932&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Hunters Mill ends at Rt 49, turn right and go for just a few hundred feet to First Ave (which is also unpaved), then turn left and follow First Ave Northeast: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.3236353273266&lng=-74.86053842704774&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Continue East on First Ave until you reach Cape May Ave or Rt 666 (kids like to steal the signs). Just keep going East on First Ave, at this point it becomes paved again. http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.35040471455188&lng=-74.81270927589418&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Follow First Ave across Tuckahoe Rd (Rt 557) and continue Northeast past Honest John Rd. First ends at Cumberland Ave here. Follow Cumberland a few hundred feet and you hit Rt 50: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.38791106901733&lng=-74.75930112998964&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Turn left (North) on Rt 50 and it's maybe 1/4 mile to the Estell Manor Park entrance, which will be on your right. http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.39784414019133&lng=-74.74567550819398&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

_________________

Also see my earlier post in that thread for map info:

https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/detailed-map.11129/#post-135605

As far as legal/appropriate.... Using good common sense and heeding any signage would be a good start. ;)
This is great, Boyd -- thanks so much. Out of curiosity, are you still using a Garmin with the maps to get around? Have you played around with using the Google Earth maps on iOS while out of cell range? Just looking for good navigational tips and tricks that you/anyone else use. Thanks!
 

Boyd

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I still have a number of Garmin devices, but don't use them much now. I use my iPhone 6s Plus, primarily with the Galileo app and maps that I make myself. It's taking me awhile to get it together, but eventually I will launch a new website where you can download several of my free NJ maps in a format that will work on both iOS and Android.

I am not much of a Google fan and don't use their apps. ;)
 
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Beware of solo vehicle travelling any sand roads in the Pines after heavy rainstorms (even several days later in some cases). Even major thorofares can have significant water fording and deep puddle crossing obstacles. The minor drought we had in early Summer provided great stock vehicle access but after tonights rain I would be very cautious when approaching some of these flooded areas unless you have a vehicle capable of navigating deep water.
 
Beware of solo vehicle travelling any sand roads in the Pines after heavy rainstorms (even several days later in some cases). Even major thorofares can have significant water fording and deep puddle crossing obstacles. The minor drought we had in early Summer provided great stock vehicle access but after tonights rain I would be very cautious when approaching some of these flooded areas unless you have a vehicle capable of navigating deep water.
Good tip, thanks! We did some rolling around the other day and its a good heads up that things may not be the same after the rain.
 

Ben Ruset

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If you're in doubt about a puddle it may make sense to throw a pair of knee waders on and wander into the puddle to test how deep it is. Beats getting stuck or potentially damaging something.

As far as legal roads go, pretty much anything that shows up on a 1997 USGS topo map (like the ones at http://maps.njpinebarrens.com) are game, so long as they aren't marked as being closed. (Here's why you want to use a 1997 map instead of a newer one.)