BAck TO NAture

AoCnG

New Member
Dec 11, 2008
4
0
1
31
Delanco, NJ
www.joshmoritz.com
I am in the beginning stages of planning a batona trail hiking/camp trip. Any suggestions? Advice? What to take with me? What section? When is best time to go regarding ticks? etc.. Any advice is appreciated. I'm into photography(will take photos and share), any areas good for photo ops?
 

DeepXplor

Explorer
Nov 5, 2008
329
7
18
Jersey Shore
You will find something of interest any time you go, especially being new to the trail. I personally like the fall after the tick season. As far as what to take will depend on your hiking ability, and how long or how many hours/days are you planning to spend on the trip. Always take water and a camera and normal hiking gear and wear the proper clothing for the hike. This trail is really easy but enjoyable. Good Luck
 

long-a-coming

Explorer
Mar 28, 2005
778
14
18
46
Berlin Twp
I've camped at Batona Camp a few times. I've had the entire place to myself at times and its nice. Other times it was a noisy Boy Scout jamboree. The best experience I had there was camping by myself backed up to a swamp when a large brown furry creature came right into my campsite. At first thinking it was a bear I was frozen in fear. As it got within a few feet of me I realized it was a huge beaver who stared me down for awhile before taking down a small dead tree and dragging it back into the water.
 

PINEY MIKE

Explorer
Jan 30, 2009
707
25
28
Bamber Lake
From personal experience, I find the ticks are out in full force come fall. That said, its also my favorite time to go (spring is nice too when the peepers and tree frogs are out, but the bugs suck). The hike between the three parks' campgrounds can be pretty long. Get a hold of a map with campsites and distances. Make sure you pick up a permit at either the Brendan Byrne Office, Batsto Visitor Center, Atsion Ranger Station, or the Bass River Forest Office to stay the night.
 

Old Crazy

Explorer
Oct 13, 2007
480
91
28
Stinking Creek, NJ
Hi AoCnG,

I hike the Batona Trail end to end about 8 times a year. Everybody has a different tolerance level for exposing themselves to ticks and chiggers. I have had Lyme Disease and I have also been covered from the waist down with chigger bites a few times, so my tolerance is pretty low. LOL My best advice would be to wait until we have a hard frost. That will kill off the chiggers and cause the ticks to go dormant. The ticks will become active again if the temperature starts to rise above 50, maybe even a little lower than that, but what few ticks I have gotten on me in the winter have always been the larger dog ticks, which are easy to spot. And in all my time on the Batona Trail (from Nov-Mar) I've only had one tick that actually managed to attach itself to my skin.

Another bit of advice I would give you is to keep an eye on the pink blazes. There are a lot of fire lines and dirt roads that cross the Batona Trail and it is very easy for somebody who is not familiar with the area to be daydreaming or admiring the scenery and walk right off the trail. If you go 1/4 mile and don't see a pink blaze, it's probably time to backtrack.

As far as pictures go, from about mid-October to the latter part of November, you can find some areas from Batsto north on the Batona Trail to Lower Forge where the ground cover has turned a beautiful shade of red. Right now you can get some nice shots of areas that are completely covered in ferns near Apple Pie Fire Tower. That area is accessible by dirt road so you don't have to worry about ticks & chiggers (so long as you avoid the tall grass) In fact, if you hike along the dirt roads in the pine barrens this time of year, you're likely to encounter snakes, frogs, lizards, and various flowering plants.

Good luck!
 

Piney Boy

Explorer
Sep 19, 2005
365
1
18
Williamstown, NJ
Been forever since I posted here, but great to be back. Why don't you bite off a little stretch and see how it works out for you, then go from there? Maybe Batsto to Lower Forge campsite. If you set up a relay car you can hike out to the Carranza Memorial.
Or maybe Carranza to Pakim Pond with a relay. I don't worry near as much about ticks, probably because I always wear hats and gaiters and then check myself religiously after a walk.