Franklin Parker Preserve

dogg57

Piney
Jan 22, 2007
2,911
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1,063
Southern NJ
southjerseyphotos.com
Visitors to the Pinelands can stop and look for eagles, hawks, wading birds and waterfowl from a newly dedicated public viewing platform near Chatsworth.The new Carter deCamp Keller Observation platform is located on Route 563, overlooking the southern end of the 9,400 acre Franklin Parker Preserve. Equipped with a mounted telescope, the platform affords vistas across Bald Eagle Reservoir.

http://www.app.com/article/20111106/NJNEWS/311060075/Public-wildlife-observation-platform-dedicated-Franklin-parker-Preserve-near-Chatsworth?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage
 
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pineywoman

Explorer
Aug 24, 2012
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Saw my first "wild" bald eagle yesterday here!! Was really cool!! Oh and got lost, but another story for another day.
 

pineywoman

Explorer
Aug 24, 2012
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Haha. I was pretty scared. I was there since a little after 2. I had a few hours of daylight left when I realized was a bit lost. Kid dropped and lost his bottle. My battery on my phone died and was somewhere on the West End to where I could not read on a map. It was a "5 way area of various dirt roads" the problem mainly was I was back trekking to find the kid's bottle. I wanted to locate the Wading River. I was exhausted. I walked at least over 4 hours and the kid's stroller had a flat. I was going to actually find shelter. I had enough rations etc for the following morning. However, I eventfully made it out and was pretty much dark when I did.

Lets just say I got home. The hubs wasn't too happy. I got calls from various friends and family members because they had heard I was "missing" and wanted to know I was okay.

I am essential on "lockdown" right now. However, it can't really stop me from exploring. My husband believes there's a baby "black market" and the kid would fetch a high price because he's cute. Hahahahaha. Yea, because they hang out in the Pinelands right?

I've ALWAYS been this way. Although next time, I will bring my back-up phone and my flashlight (left it in the car.)

In essence, I guess wasn't "lost" after all...but for a second it didn't look like I would make it out in time.

So we have this and the time I got stuck in the dirt near the Atco Blue Hole.
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
1,579
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Trenton
It easy to get your bearings crossed in the Preserve, especially since many of the dikes surrounding the bogs have cuts in them that are impassable. It might be time for you to invest in a handheld GPS. You can use being "delayed" as an excuse to influence the hubby to get you one - so it won't happen again. Glad all ended well and get off lockdown.:)
 
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dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
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camden county
Depending where you at on the preserve it can be very confusing. The good news is as long as you stay on the trails you'll be fine, you'll either hit 563, railroad tracks, 532, etc. I still get confused when I'm back there though, fortunately I got keys to the gates so I'm usually in my car.
 
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Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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A GPS is essential! Seriously, don't go out there again without one.

Guy
 
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pineywoman

Explorer
Aug 24, 2012
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I wasn't necessarily lost in a sense. It was just getting dark, I was way far out and it did start to get a bit scary. The map is odd. They don't necessarily show the "roads" even though there are dirt road markers. Only the trails are shown on the map.. And some of the trails are the roads which can make it a tad confusing, I'm definitely getting my own gps and do know how to read them. I was waaaay out past the bogs, but a little concerned if it was dark...well I'd fall right into them on my way back. Plus, had maybe an hour and a half of daylight left.

I really don't get lost ever, so this was a bit of a humbling experience for me. I thought I would share since well it happens to us all at one point or another.

I can't give up exploring. I do it on a consistent basis and the pines/nature are my own personal heaven/solace. I did find my way... And reached the gate by the time it was dark. I sign in as well. At least there is a record I may be in the park.

Next time instead of getting there a little after 2, I'll just get an earlier start. Second visit there in two weeks. I STILL have not seen it all...I really can't get over the beauty that is here. The plants, the wildlife, the bogs, Lilly pads with their blooming flowers. The mantis'.

She really is fascinating.

You know what that means? Will probably go back. It does kind of suck I have only 1 girlfriend that enjoys this stuff. I don't find too many women that enjoy doing what I like to do. Most girls like to go out and drink and be wild. I can handle two drinks at most.

I'm going to be taking archery lessons soon and can't wait! My girlfriend and I start next week.
 

Teegate

Administrator
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Sep 17, 2002
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I STILL have not seen it all...
You never will see it all and I suspect nobody will. The Parker Preserve property is quite vast.


I disagree with 46er. Even if the GPS does not help you at all, it may help the unfortunate individuals who have to go out and look for you. If your phone was working the GPS will display the coordinates of your location allowing them to extract you after you gave them the information. I love the fact that a female likes to explore alone in the pines, but there are things you must consider before doing so. I am sure your hubby has mentioned your child, and until you go completely alone you need a good GPS and to know how it works. Jessica and I have run into some unsavory and strange individuals in the pines, and I would not let her go alone without a GPS. I just wouldn't....Period. That may seem harsh but experience tells me it is right.


Guy
 

oji

Piney
Jan 25, 2008
2,005
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Browns Mills
Check out www.ocsj.org They do many hikes and you can choose what you like. The couple hikes I did with them were nice and the leaders knew a lot about the flora, fauna and history of the places we hiked in.
 

EffinGenius

New Member
Aug 27, 2012
13
1
3
Medford Lakes
I'm a fairly inexperienced piney hiker, and I was in another section of the preserve with my kids at the same time as pineywoman. I was a little surprised at how useless the Preserve maps were too. Lots of additional trails and roadways that don't appear on the map would have thrown me off too. Fortunately, when we first arrived there was a group of trailriders going through and they passed us on their way out, so we were able to follow hoofprints when we didn't know which way to go. I also had a fully charged cellphone and checked google maps and the compass a couple times to get my bearings. Even though we weren't lost at all, my kids wanted to spend the night at the teachers cabin by the Wading River.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,464
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Coastal NJ
I disagree with 46er. Even if the GPS does not help you at all, it may help the unfortunate individuals who have to go out and look for you. If your phone was working ....
....Jessica and I have run into some unsavory and strange individuals in the pines, and I would not let her go alone without a GPS. I just wouldn't....Period. That may seem harsh but experience tells me it is right.

Guy
With all due respect Tee, this would work a tad better for those unsavory and strange individuals, critters too :D Up to 3/4 ounce is legal in NJ. And no batteries to run down :D:D

https://store.udap.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=P&Product_Code=4CO&Category_Code=PS

A quicky onbasic GPS use, with video;

http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/gps receiver.html#ooid=QwcWNzMjr133woXpx_0him6dj3qw5Ban
 

pineywoman

Explorer
Aug 24, 2012
427
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I've been doing hiking on and off my entire life.I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but definitely better than average. I work out daily so I have enough endurance for these excursions. I think what got me is a bit of exhaustion. I literally walked for a little over 4 hours straight and developed a flat tire in the stroller, so had to use more strength to push it along. I had a full battery when I got there. However, I am due for a new phone. It sucks up a lot of energy. Teegate you are right though I should have a GPS unit. I figured I'd be okay since I was there previously. I had two maps. I am not one to get lost. Follow maps accordingly. I could survive out there if I had too for the night. I just shouldn't have gone too far in with the amount of daylight I had left. I carry a backpack and cooler out with me. Filled with supplies, pepper spray, knife, etc etc.

Hey you live you learn and next time will be smarter/safer.

Oji, I have checked them out before the outdoor club. It's just hiking with the kid isn't really ideal with them. Hahaha. It's amazing some of the trails I can get through in this crazy stroller.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,268
1,741
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.
Jessica and I have run into some unsavory and strange individuals in the pines....


Guy
Like this clown who happened to be on the north end of Parker the day this pic was taken ??



Or maybe these drunken stooges seen after a long day in the woods and working on a gallon of my homemade wine ??




Be afriad, be very afraid.
 
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pineywoman

Explorer
Aug 24, 2012
427
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Rednek! Love it!! I definitely got a nice laugh. I haven't met any baby snatchers or strange people back in the woods as of yet.
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
1,579
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Trenton
I haven't met any baby snatchers or strange people back in the woods as of yet.
If you spend enough time out and about, you will eventually cross paths with something that will leave you wondering or cringing in disgust. I am sure we have all had our "Why me?" moments while in the Barrens.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,353
94
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camden county
PW, that was not me but could have been a couple people I know.

I have a GPS but rarely use it. When i tracked some species through the pines a GPS was essential, I would have never made it out of the woods if not. These days I mainly stick to areas I've been a 100 times, but I always make sure I know where the sun is and where it should be when I'm walking back. The maps at the preserve aren't great but are just there as a general guide.

I've never really bumped into too many unsavory people and I'm someone who is vigilant for illegal activity. The preserve is pretty safe.