History of this Canal

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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I have been exploring a new area for me though I"ve slowed up a bit the last few weeks due to a leg injury.I have been meaning to ask this question for awhile now and have kept forgetting while at the computer.Here it is.I"m sure someone knows the answer and may even be able to point me to an old thread but can someone tell me what is the origin and purpose of this canal http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.73693761644941&lng=-74.75963372390748&z=16&type=nj2015&gpx= I have found two places to drive across it,it's hairy looking but the bottoms are firm sand.Mud cannot accumulate because there is a right smart current ripping through at both crossings.This ditch obviously pirates water from the Sleeper Creek to Mullica River and is still doing an excellent job at it.I have seen accounts of a canal that does this on the Nescohague and have explored it myself.Is this another account of one cranberry farmer stealing water from another cranberry farmer to supply his own bog? Was Atsion lake Cranberry Bogs at one time? If so this would make sense except that i would think the Mullica would always have enough water to supply any bogs along it's length?Any knowledge of why the canal and when it was dug.It's quite impressive if it was dug by hand.
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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That looks like it could be it Ed.I don't know what aerial that is but the lay out looks like the southern crossing.I don't know where salters Ditch is but i have heard the name.I"ll have to search it and see if this is it.
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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Okay I searched and yes Ed you are right.I am speaking of saltars Ditch and it appears it was made to put more water into the Forge at Atsion.I had no Idea that there was another railroad heading west from Atsion toward Atco.I have been driving that road lately,it is severely moguled but other then that a good road.I can see where it is very level like a track right of way but had no idea it was actually a railroad.I have been exploring the big burn and find it odd that the ridges were spared,their burnt but only a ground burn whereas the lower areas were pretty much annhilated with all the trees being killed that were present at the burn.I wonder why the ridges (most of them) were spared?
 

Boyd

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I have been exploring the big burn
I've been working with data from the USDA National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) recently and noticed that their NJ 2017 aerials show the aftermath of that fire very well. According to the metadata, it was captured just about a week afterwards. So your post inspired me to throw this together and also provided a title for the map: "The Big Burn"! :)

https://boydsmaps.com/the-big-burn/

burn.png


This file looks good in Google Earth but looks terrible in Garmin Basecamp for some reason. It may work on Garmin handheld GPS units (it contains less than 100 tiles) but I have not tried it. Resolution is one meter per pixel (same as the source imagery).
 
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manumuskin

Piney
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Thats the recent burn! The biggest burn i know of would be the 82 burn west of 206 and south of the Mullica.The one that started at the Bombing Range and burnt westward to 679 was pretty big as well.Of course the Chatsworth fire was probably bigger then them all but that was before my time.
 

Boyd

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So which burn were you tallking about? 3500 acres seemed like a "big burn" to me and since the NAIP imagery showed it so well, I made a map. ;)
 

bobpbx

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Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
.I have been exploring the big burn and find it odd that the ridges were spared,their burnt but only a ground burn whereas the lower areas were pretty much annhilated with all the trees being killed that were present at the burn.I wonder why the ridges (most of them) were spared?
Maybe the wind drove ESE in between the ridges too fast to light the ridges up good?
 
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manumuskin

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Perhaps? maybe being closer to the water table the vegetation was thicker and dried out at the time so the fire went where there was more food? One of the ridges is toast but several others were spared with only scorch marks a few feet up the trees.
 

manumuskin

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Yes the smaller section to the east is a favorite spot of mine.I usually come in to it from the north.Quite a high island it is,I just wish it was further from 206.Me and Whip discussed building a cabin there once but we agreed the Rangers would frown on it.
Also some very nice islands in that area further south but none quite so high as this one.
 
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Zach McGarvey

Explorer
Feb 11, 2018
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Around Christmas I got my truck stuck in the sand in the area of that canal and walked around a little bit collecting sticks to shove under the tires. I normally gun it through the intersection below the plastic bridge (Raritan and Sandy Causeway) and then keep up the speed further south, but I got overconfident and gradually came to a stop with wheels still spinning- it was very muddy. I walked east toward the canal and could see it in the distance but it was muddy out there and stopped short. That area is full of old dead trees and very little underbrush, was this clearing the result of a fire?

Also, has anyone tried to canoe the Nescoshague creek recently? I tried about 15 years ago and I spent most of the day hauling the boat over downed tree limbs. This was the section between 206 and the confluence with the Mullica. I think I paid a shuttle service and used a private access road, but I can't figure out where exactly we put in at. It was me and a friend, we were high school kids, and I just remember it being a rough day.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Gawd, I bet that day was rough! Reminds me of the time some friends and I were drinking a bit in Country Lakes. We get 3 rubber rafts together and went downstream to join Mount Misery Brook. Don't recommend it.

Your was worse, I just know it.
 

Zach McGarvey

Explorer
Feb 11, 2018
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Oh man, I think you had me beat, at least we had a real boat. And some youthful energy on our side.

What dirt road would I have used to access the creek deep in the woods east of 206?
 
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manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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I canoed the nescohague 30 years ago.not many liftovers once below paradise lakes but loads of poison ivy on the trees.Very odd for the Barrens.It was nasty from 206 to the bog/lake, from there down wasn't bad ex cept for the ivy.Try as i might I got it.Couldn't help bumping into it and every tree you touched had it.
Yes those Dead trees on the south of Raritan and west of Sandy are from the fire. Thats why it's so open
 

Zach McGarvey

Explorer
Feb 11, 2018
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Woodbury / Vineland NJ
I think we put in closer to the campground (further upstream). But I could be wrong. As I understand it that campground is now closed to the public and just hosts weird hippie festivals in the summertime.