Hiking Greenwood Forest WMA?

NJChileHead

Explorer
Dec 22, 2011
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Does anyone have experience with hiking in Greenwood Forest WMA? I have seen reference to it on the 'net and I drive past it when going to other locations. It looks interesting.

I've seen the topo maps from NJF&W for the location, but I haven't seen trail maps available anywhere. If I have a topo map and a compass, is it easy navigation, or is it an endless web of confusing sand roads, etc?

Also, any safety concerns? Any interesting points to see? Any other issues or advice, etc?

Feel free to PM me if info is sensitive for some reason.

Thank you for any info that you can share!
 

Teegate

Administrator
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Sep 17, 2002
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Can you be more specific on the location you want to go in? The reason why I ask is the Greenwood Forest can be on 72 near Chatsworth, or along 539 miles away, or even Howardsville.

Guy
 

Star Tree

Scout
Apr 28, 2011
50
14
8
Waretown
As far as I know there are no official hiking trails in Greenwood. The best way to navigate is using the road system. Most of these are in good shape and could be traveled in 2WD. You may have to use your driving while in sugar sand skills in a couple of places. The primary use of Greenwood is hunting, so it you’re out of the peak seasons you should be ok. You may run into a few folks but if you’re friendly and respectful there should be no issues. It’s public land so it’s open to everyone in spite of what the field trial guys in the Quail Area might tell you.
Lots of cool history and stuff to look at if you know where to look.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
...is it an endless web of confusing sand roads, etc?
Why yes, that's what makes it so fun to explore.

Any other issues or advice, etc?
Yes, Lose the plan and just go. Get lost. Get so deep in that once you are lost you really know it, and you get that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. When that happens, calm down, back up and take other roads until you recognize something familiar. It is the only way to explore.

I am being serious. What is there to gain if you always go from point A to point B, and you knew those points beforehand? Once you dig in and start rambling with free will, you'll start to gain confidence and feel more comfortable in the woods. Before you know it, you'll dig into any other wild area with gusto and a sense of wonder.
 

Boyd

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Lose the plan and just go. Get lost. Get so deep in that once you are lost you really know it, and you get that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. When that happens, calm down, back up and take other roads until you recognize something familiar. It is the only way to explore.
I have frequently done this myself. But I would always bring a map and compass until I got a GPS, and now I usually bring that. Just the other day I was remembering all the little tricks I used to navigate the pines before GPS. I always wore boots or sneakers that left a distinctive pattern. Many times that helped me find my way back. Sometimes I would mark a turn by scratching a line in the sand with a stick. And I would always make a point to notice landmarks along the way and remember the approximate time to walk between them. I don't intentionally do all these things now, but the instincts are still there. :)

NJChile: I am curious.... do you ever do something spontaneous, like heading off to the pines, parking and just wandering wherever the trail leads? Or do you always research and plan? I'm the impulsive type and wander wherever my whim takes me.

I gather that you don't have a gps? Is there some reason you don't want one? They are pretty inexpensive these days and the "endless web of confusing trails" will suddenly make sense to you. :)
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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Bob and Boyd have just given you some first rate advice.I've gotten myself lost a purpose a few times,it can be fun at least till it starts getting dark and your in a swamp up to your waist without a tree big enough to climb in site to get out of the water,it is winter and then it starts snowing,boy those were the days! Anyway one more point.GPS is worth it's weight in gold to be sure but if your batteries run out or you drop it in the water your GPS days may be down at that point.Another good piece of equipment to have is an orienteering compass (no batteries needed) and a topo map of the area is also good.If given a choice I'd rather have the map since during clear weather direction should be no problem even without a compass and if you know what to look for direction can be had from the plants even in cloudy weather but without a map you don't know which way to go.Also if you learn how to travel in a straight line without letting yourself circle there is virtually no where in the Barrens where you can travel much more then a mile in a straight line without hitting a trail some where.Problem is you may head through the nastiest swamp imaginable if you don't have any idea where your at or where your going and that mile could take all day through terrain like that.Most GPS have a cord available to plug into the car so you could say get a Garmin and download Boyd's map and drive all day and never have to worry about getting lost.If your going to off trail it I'd at least carry a compass and familiarize yourself with the base lines in the area so you know what general direction to head to hit the nearest sand road.You can download topo maps for free from the USGS store and you could print them out as is but they'd be very small so you could section them up say in Paint or another program and print them in sections.You could probably even take screen captures off of Ben's maps and print those.If you take a GPS and learn how to use it and the same for a map and compass you should never get lost then again like Bob said it can be fun,at least once you have found your way out and can now laugh at yourself and feel relieved that no one was there to see you cry:)
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
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Trenton
Great advice from everyone! Chili, you have to get used to the feeling of being in the middle of no-where and having no trail to follow, but once you get comfortable with that you will discover the hidden treasures that are still in the Pines. It took me a few times until I was comfortable but now I will do it by myself. Just this morning, I was walking the wet meadows along the Tulp with out a care in the world in the rain. Loved every moment of it!
 
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46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,381
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Coastal NJ
Does anyone have experience with hiking in Greenwood Forest WMA? I have seen reference to it on the 'net and I drive past it when going to other locations. It looks interesting.

Thank you for any info that you can share!
I've hunted Greenwood for many, many years. A good place to start and get comrortable with the area out of hunting season is the quail management area. Use the large parking area right on 539, take an aerial map of the area and walk the sand roads that divide up the fields. A compass and maps and you will be fine. There is enough to find to keep a day trip interesting.

 

Teegate

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That is the vehicle the fire fighters were killed in during a fire. At least that is what someone here on the site said.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
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Near Mt. Misery
I have to back up Bob's advice!! It is the way to go. Just bring plenty of water and you will be fine. Also, if you have smart phone you can just pull up the maps and get your GPS. I've found the ariels are great and the tracking is great also. I used to do it before all the technololgy (as many others here have) and still got out alive (eventually). just do it before the chiggars come!!

Jeff
 

Star Tree

Scout
Apr 28, 2011
50
14
8
Waretown
If you look at the roof of the truck cab, the remains of the numbers are still visible. If I recall it’s B-14 which would have been a Chatsworth based unit. My best guess was always it was a retired truck that was sold at auction and bought by a pulp woodcutter who abandoned it.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,381
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Coastal NJ
Where is that truck at or is it a secret location?
No secret at all. Probably hundreds of folks and their dogs have walked past it. It is in the quail management fields; from the small parking area on Bloody Ridge Rd off 539, take the second or third right. It is in one of the wooded patches on the left that separate the fields, which are in sets of 3. Not much left of it. From a person that would know, it broke down and was abandoned. Number has been masked out long ago. The remains have not been subject to any fire. Hopefully there are no souvenier hunters and it will rest in peace.





 

NJChileHead

Explorer
Dec 22, 2011
692
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NJChile: I am curious.... do you ever do something spontaneous, like heading off to the pines, parking and just wandering wherever the trail leads? Or do you always research and plan? I'm the impulsive type and wander wherever my whim takes me.
I used to do a lot of spontaneous exploring when I was a kid. Got into one or two hairy situations, but overall never an experience that was so bad that I would refrain from doing what is advised here. I typically plan out the route with a map because I figure it's the prudent thing to do. If something happens, I would like to know where I am to let someone else know as well. Once in, I do still explore from time to time but don't typically go off trail. I'll take the advice of others and give it a shot sometime. I agree with others that there is some really good advice here. Thanks!
 

Boyd

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If something happens, I would like to know where I am to let someone else know as well.
Makes sense. But I'll ask again, since you didn't answer.... why don't you get a GPS? Then you will always know where you are. You don't need to have it turned on all the time, it can just be in a pocket or clipped to your belt and turned on if needed. Also, many parts (if not most) of the pines has cell phone coverage in my experience. Do you have one of those?
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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millville nj
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I used to do a lot of spontaneous exploring when I was a kid. Got into one or two hairy situations, but overall never an experience that was so bad that I would refrain from doing what is advised here. I typically plan out the route with a map because I figure it's the prudent thing to do. If something happens, I would like to know where I am to let someone else know as well. Once in, I do still explore from time to time but don't typically go off trail. I'll take the advice of others and give it a shot sometime. I agree with others that there is some really good advice here. Thanks!
I know you don't care for ticks and there are ways to avoid almost all ticks and chiggers.mainly tucked in socks and shirt sprayed the night before with peremethrin.I have never gotten a tick or chigger when prepared like this.It's ashame to have to dress up like your on a mission to the moon but if you don't want to get chewed up it is necessary in all times of year except when it's in the 40's or below.Ticks will even come out in winter when the temp goes up to 50 or above,even got one at 45 degrees once.
once you have donned your space suit you should be able to go anywhere and not have to worry about the nasties except of course the flying nasties.deep woods off will usually keep them in front of your face and keep them from landing and biting.Some folks use face nets but they create such a glare to me I can't see where I'm going.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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Makes sense. But I'll ask again, since you didn't answer.... why don't you get a GPS? Then you will always know where you are. You don't need to have it turned on all the time, it can just be in a pocket or clipped to your belt and turned on if needed. Also, many parts (if not most) of the pines has cell phone coverage in my experience. Do you have one of those?
You must have a better cell phone then I do Boyd.I can very seldom ever get any reception in the barrens and when I do I frequently lose the call.The only place I can count on it is in the east plains and near the cell tower in Jenkins.all of Wharton is pretty much a dead zone.
 

Boyd

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Now I didn't say you could "count on" getting a cell signal. :) I rarely make any calls wandering around the pines these days, but before I retired I would often answer calls and it would work. You definitely will get dropped calls, but for a quick 911 in case of emergency it's worth a try. I used to have Verizon, now AT&T. They claim to have "moderate" coverage throughout the pines. Verizon (red map) shows some holes with no service.

att.jpg



verizon.jpg
 

Boyd

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Fair enough, but you have not been asking the kind of questions that NJChile has , like where the "trails" are and the " confusing web of sand roads". ;)