Couple of Batona Trail Questions

Kevinhooa

Explorer
Mar 12, 2008
332
25
28
36
Hammonton, NJ.
www.flickr.com
Hey Everyone,

I've spent quite a bit of time in the past reading about this trail, and a lot of the details associated with it, but I still had a couple questions.

I keep reading that the Bass River trailhead is at Coal Rd. Is there overnight parking by the Bass River ranger station?

I see the destination parking at Ongs Hat is on the dirt road just off of Magnolia about 1.5 miles from the circle so that seems ok to me if this is correct.

The map has a symbol for water sources, but I see no symbols on the map. I could search out all of the campground facilities on the other part of the Park Service website, but didn't want a surprise if a pump getting worked on and is out of service. I thought there was water at Brendan T Byrne, Batona, and Batsto has fountains but I'm not sure when they shut them off for the winter. We will be headed out this weekend.

I do have a filter pump, but if I could get water from the pitcher pump in some of the campgrounds I'd rather do that instead to keep the life of the pump.

Any help would be appreciated. I've hiked a lot of the trail already in sections, but never the whole thing at once so this brings up a lot of additional technical questions.

Thanks,

Kevin
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,505
557
1,093
The Batona Camp pump appears to be working. You could hide a couple of caches along your hike, and that might be more convenient than relying on existing sources.
 

Kevinhooa

Explorer
Mar 12, 2008
332
25
28
36
Hammonton, NJ.
www.flickr.com
Thanks for the replies. Always good to have an up-to-date notice on water sources. Although with a pump, it's much less of a worry. And really, like you said Ecampbell, we could always stash water if we needed. Thanks again.
 

SuperChooch

Explorer
Aug 26, 2011
307
307
63
43
Oops. Didn't see that sign. Filled my water bottle from the Bathroom sink two-three weeks ago. No problems yet!
They said that only one test out of many failed and that in of itself, according to the regulations, didn't make it unsafe, they just did it in an over abundance of caution.
 

Old Crazy

Explorer
Oct 13, 2007
480
91
28
Stinking Creek, NJ
You can find parking at Ongs Hat right near the northern terminus of the trail, and also at the southern terminus, but in both instances you'll be leaving your vehicle in places that are secluded, which would make it an easy target for thieves or vandals. If you can coordinate it, the safest places to leave your vehicle along the Batona Trail is under the lights at the Park Offices in Brendan Byrne, Batsto, and Bass River.

Starting from the north, you can find water at the Park Office at Brendan Byrne, a well pump and tap water sink at Pakim Pond, a well pump at Batona Camp, and tap water at Batsto. I usually cache bottled water along the trail when I thru-hike. That way you only carry what you need, and you know it's from a clean source.
 

Maggie

Scout
Sep 16, 2015
43
23
8
Three Bridges, NJ
Has there been a lot of vandalism of cars recently? Over the years I've only left vehicles overnight at "secure" places like Old Crazy indicated, but in the future would like to be a bit more adventurous.

For what it's worth, I prefer just filtering water no matter where I backpack--Pines or elsewhere. No need to worry about carrying excessive amounts of water, caching or finding plumbing, as long as you know there are natural water sources on the route. I've used a variety of different filters and although they usually can't remove color from the water, it usually tastes ok and I've never (knock wood) gotten sick.
 

Maggie

Scout
Sep 16, 2015
43
23
8
Three Bridges, NJ
i've always treated or filtered water in the pines or anywhere else. i use polar pure to treat or sawyer mini set up as a gravity filter
Kayak Karl, I just recently discovered the Sawyer mini and I love it! It's awesome for short trips and/or solo use. For longer trips or places where you might need to treat and carry a lot of water over longer distances (not the Pine Barrens) or for more than one person it might not be the best choice. But for the Batona Trail, it's just about perfect (light, cheap, and effective).
 

Kevinhooa

Explorer
Mar 12, 2008
332
25
28
36
Hammonton, NJ.
www.flickr.com
Thanks for the additional replies folks.

We parked at the ranger station at Bass River and left the cars there. It was 1.2 extra miles to the trail head but not a big deal. We hiked the first 10+ miles with a full moon up to Evans Bridge. This part of the trail I wished we could have hiked in daylight as it seemed really beautiful with many interesting features including a neat beaver dam up to the road on one section. Martha's Bridge was a nice nighttime stop though, and the view of the stars was spectacular while we took a quick break.

We hiked about 21-22 miles the next day through Batsto, and filled our water bottles there and at Batona. Time was running short and we were running into some issues on Sunday so we had a buddy meet us at Chatsworth and pick us up there with a final 7.5 miles hiked on Sunday. We took a dirt road from Apple Pie Hill to the old CNJ tracks and hiked the ROW into town for the last stretch.

All in all it was a good weekend, and next time we will prob start from the other direction to help cover what was missed. Weather was perfect, no bugs, Chiggers, and few ticks, with a full moon and turning leaves to add some extra nice details to the trip.

Good times.
 
  • Like
Reactions: manumuskin

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,295
1,997
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
There's one more updated then this one. they re-routed the bass river end so 1 mile of it is off. a friend made it up with my GPX's. i could probably walk the trail in my sleep. Kaia (dog) walks it in the dark. :)
Karl, isn't there another routing change, up by 72 above Chatsworth? The trail comes down the east side of that chain of lakes below 72.
 

Maggie

Scout
Sep 16, 2015
43
23
8
Three Bridges, NJ
At the risk of sounding like a total ingrate, which I don't want to be but uncomfortably recognize that I might be (since I am a user but not a maintainer of the Batona Trail), does anyone share my dismay at the over-blazing of this trail? I have stood in certain places along the trail and been able to count at least 12 visible paint marks only by moving my head. There might also now be a wooden block on a tree declaring that I am at "mile 23.5" or whatever. Some of the blazes are a foot or more in length (i.e., obnoxiously large) . The number of blazes seems to have exploded over the last few years, and to me, it detracts from the experience in a very significant way.

Like I said, I do feel like a #$%& for saying this, because of course I am grateful for the people that maintain the trail. But why are so many paint blazes and other human intrusions necessary on a trail like this?
 
Last edited: