Michael Huber Prairie Warbler Preserve.

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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millville nj
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Me wife and I and the new dog a female black lab pup named Sophie went to explore some new woods and break the dog in to the Barrens.I stupidly left the camera on the table so there are no pics but I found some interesting things so I decided to post this anyway.I have attached a gpx file of my tracks for anyone interested and will add the link to the online trail map.I will be going back to walk the rest of the trails in the future.
I threw the dog in three times at the first stream crossing since she was obviously suffering from heat exhaustion and would not go in on her own.The third time I brought her out from her barrens baptism she revived and went careening down the dirt road at high speed out of sight.This upset Momma severly because she told me to dunk her and now she was a runaway.We followed her about 300 yeards her screaming and me whistling for her until we seen a flash ahead and I thought it was a deer but then a white pickup came down the road and I asked the driver if he seen the dog which he had and here she came running so we had her back.The man was a caretaker of the preserve because when I told him he was headed for a locked gate at the bridge and would have a long backup he said he had the key and was caretaking the site.I imagine someone on Sooy road seen us parked and telephoned him,he probably lived up on 72 or 70 because thats the way he came from.We were being monitored no doubt and lucky for us he didn't run over our dog on this supposedly no vehicles allowed wilderness trail/sand road.
We procedded to Gun Spring branch which was a lovely little stream and I wanted a drink so bad but i didn't.I hadn't realized it but upon checking aerials afterwards it runs right through the state school so it would not be a nice place to drink from.We then went to four mile spring before turning left to make the loop back south on the green trail.The dog at the second two styreams would not approach the stream for a drink unless Momma stood between us and the whole time she drank she kept a wary eye on me at all times not knowing that Momma was not her protector but the actual antagonizer of the previous dunking.
we then headed back south on the western leg of the green trail through some very nice open woods that were covered in fresh green wire grass and in spots profuse turkeybeard blooms.WE made the mistake of instead of taking the yellow trail back to the white trail (sand road) we proceeded to cross the swamp on the green trail.This trail across the swamp does not exist.The swamp is very open and the trail blazes are so few and far between Momma had to stay planted at each blaze while I went back and forth in semi circles looking for the next blaze.It heads left immediately over the bridge and afte that your on your own.There are many downed trees and a few of them have the blazes on them so check logs too if you try it.n the other side of the swamp the trail resumed just fine but it took us over a half hour to cross the swamp while I scoured trees and logs for blazes.a footway is non existent and use is obviously nil.The Birgeto cross the stream is very interesting.It is a huge steel object that obviously was a bridge somewhere else and somehow God only knows was transported here and dropped across the stream haphazardly and needed a few logs to complete the crossing because it was dropped so.You can see this bridge on birds eye.By the way the birds I heard and identified were of course the Prairie warbler,prothonatary warbler,Parula,black throated blue and black throated green warblers,ovenbirds,northern Towhees,pine warblers,scarlet tanager and a bird that was either a northern junco or a worm eating warbler,I doubt it was chipping sparrow in the heart of the barrens,I still can't tell these three apart.
In any case I have attached my track as a gpx file,and the coords of the bridge and a possible deer stand that i didn't go to but noticed on the aerials when i got home and also the link to the online map.
Bridge
39.87516° N
74.60612° W
deer stand
39. 878576
74. 605074
this is approximate since i took the coords off google earth,i forgot how to get them off of birds eye and thats where the stand is visible.
http://www.njconservation.org/preserves/Huber_trailmap.pdf
okay apparently a gpx file will not attach to this thread so i made a jpeg of the track and posted that instead,not as good but it will have to do.
Some ral nice woods here and the trails except for the main one don't look heavily used.haven't been on the red trail yet or on certain sections of the green,or the yellow and the northern sections of the white and i noticed several old dirt roads that aren't even shown as trails so there is quite a bit left to explore.There is also an island inside island spung that is apparent on birds eye,of course thats on my to do list for next trip.
Al
 

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manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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Al,
Is there a sign on 72 indicating where to enter?

Ed

you go in off of sooy road ED.
There is a strip of private land along 72 that I don't know if it's ok to cross.there is a house next to one entrance that uses the sand road as their driveway according to birds eye.i was interested in coming from the north also but don't know if thats feasible yet.
Al
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
7,900
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millville nj
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There are a couple of spungs in there that I haven't got to yet.at least one is reportedly clay lined and not dependant on the water table according to the sign at the parking area.I don't know why they set it aside to preserve prairie warblers,thos birds are everywhere but I heard a prothonatary and I don't here them near as often.
Al
 
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woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
Hey Al,
i've spent some time in there. It is a great piece of woods. It used to be the four mile spring preserve, and if my memory is accurate, it was originally land that a gun club bought up to preserve from developement. I think they managed to raise funds from charity efforts. I guess they sold it to the NJCF at some point. I've kayaked the burrs mill branch that runs through there. There is a lot of evidence of "old piney living" on that land.

Jeff
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
7,900
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millville nj
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Hey Al,
i've spent some time in there. It is a great piece of woods. It used to be the four mile spring preserve, and if my memory is accurate, it was originally land that a gun club bought up to preserve from developement. I think they managed to raise funds from charity efforts. I guess they sold it to the NJCF at some point. I've kayaked the burrs mill branch that runs through there. There is a lot of evidence of "old piney living" on that land.

Jeff

Where did you start and end your yak trip?The areas I crossed the stream in appeared to have enough water to yak but were strewn with debris and liftovers.You may have been the only one to yak itDid you go by the great steel contraption used as a bridge on the green trail?A definite lift around there.
Al
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,565
604
Al, when introducing a new pup to water it is best to first throw mommy dog in several times. The screaming and splashing generates a great deal of excitement, and the pup soon follows enthusiastically.Of course, if you have a particularly reluctant pup you may want to tie a 20 foot cloths line around mommy dogs waist for quick retrieval and repeat as necessary.

Ed
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
Where did you start and end your yak trip?The areas I crossed the stream in appeared to have enough water to yak but were strewn with debris and liftovers.You may have been the only one to yak itDid you go by the great steel contraption used as a bridge on the green trail?A definite lift around there.
Al

I started here. there is an old access road off the firelane to the river
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.8867182376092&lng=-74.63218420743942&z=19&type=k&gpx=

and I ended here
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.887031067496764&lng=-74.62426900863647&z=19&type=h&gpx=
It is a short distance but takes longer than you would think since the river twists so much. It is interesting, a river that swivels around in a grassy savanna. It feels like you are in the tidal creeks of the lower mullica.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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Al, when introducing a new pup to water it is best to first throw mommy dog in several times. The screaming and splashing generates a great deal of excitement, and the pup soon follows enthusiastically.Of course, if you have a particularly reluctant pup you may want to tie a 20 foot cloths line around mommy dogs waist for quick retrieval and repeat as necessary.

Ed

I no longer have access to mommy dog.my dog is three and a half months old and mommy dog belongs to my cousin who lives up the road.don't know if my dog would remember mommy dog or not now since we've had her obver a month now.I am going to take her swimming and see if i can get her to go in.she jumped right in over her head at menantico ponds but the water was clear and she may not have realized it was water.she swam right back in and proceeded to run around in it at belly deep but did not go back in over her head.
Al
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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I started here. there is an old access road off the firelane to the river
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.8867182376092&lng=-74.63218420743942&z=19&type=k&gpx=

and I ended here
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.887031067496764&lng=-74.62426900863647&z=19&type=h&gpx=
It is a short distance but takes longer than you would think since the river twists so much. It is interesting, a river that swivels around in a grassy savanna. It feels like you are in the tidal creeks of the lower mullica.

It looks as if you went upstream.yes you were much downstream from where I crossed.where i crossed would need boukoup work to make it paddleable.Is that stretch of medder you were in pretty enough to make it worth a trip with a yak?I still have not got into Gabe's section of the mechescatauxin west of 206.I'm slipping in my old age,used to be every time i heard of a new section of creek I was on it the next weekend.Thats right,I no longer have weekends,shiftwork is killing my drive.
Al
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
It looks as if you went upstream.yes you were much downstream from where I crossed.where i crossed would need boukoup work to make it paddleable.Is that stretch of medder you were in pretty enough to make it worth a trip with a yak?I still have not got into Gabe's section of the mechescatauxin west of 206.I'm slipping in my old age,used to be every time i heard of a new section of creek I was on it the next weekend.Thats right,I no longer have weekends,shiftwork is killing my drive.
Al

It is pretty. Theoritically, you could probably put in at hampton lakes up on 70 to really make a trip out of it. It twists like a snake and gets pretty shallow at times. I seem to have a trip report around somewhere where I kayaked west of 206 on the sleeper, I'll see if I can find it.
Jeff
 

hiker357

New Member
Nov 16, 2009
3
0
Hey, I just read your account of your hike in the Michael Huber Prairie Warbler Preserve. I went there recently. Had the same problem with that supposed green trail that doesn't exist. What a mess that was. It was nearing dark and I couldn't find the stupid trail. After looking for far too long, I had to back track, a LONG way, in the pitch dark to get to my car. They should scratch that "trail" off the map.

That "caretaker" you encountered...curious. I saw a truck back in there, beyond that gate, and I'm pretty sure the guy was hunting. It was not deer season. Doesn't seem too safe to hike there is people are randomly going to be hunting. I'll think twice before returning, though the other trails there were pretty nice. Just not that swampy non-existent one.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
7,900
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I read an account on another forum some where of others complaining about that green trail.The swamp is so open there is no hint of a trail on the ground south of the bridge(How did they get that thing back in there anyway?) and half the blazes are fell over or gone.I had to keep leaving my wife stationary while I circled ahead back and forth to pick up the trail.I finally got to the other side of the swamp and the trail was once again fine as soon as you get out of the swamp but that trail either needs to be abandoned or cleared and reblazed through the swamp.I have not been into the northern portion of the preserve yet and would like to get there this winter.
Al
 
Went out exploring this one with the kids about a week and a half ago (before the real bad heat kicked in). Had trouble where the Green and Yellow trails came together because of downed trees (yay bushwhacking!), but I think I avoided the part of the Green Trail everyone seems to get messed up on.

Lots of mushrooms out and the kids spotted some toads.

Didn't get to do much of the Red Trail, but I'll be back for sure. I was out west most of the summer, so it just felt good to get back in the pines after two months away!

Some pictures...

huber031.jpg


huber041.jpg


huber151.jpg


huber211.jpg


huber261.jpg


huber281.jpg

Could have probably done without this...

huber291.jpg

Obviously not supposed to be at this spot...

huber311.jpg


huber371.jpg


Only downside to trip - the four year old got chiggers for the first time. :eek:

Stupid bushwhacking.

As always, trail info and description and more pictures and such:
https://southjerseytrails.org/2016/08/22/huberpreserve/
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
7,900
1,827
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millville nj
www.youtube.com
I was just getting ready to ask if that youngun got chiggers when i scrolled down and seen your comment:).
Also I threw my dog off that bridge third pic down.She was hot and looking for a way to get to the crik but the brush was too thick for her to get through and I didn't feel like pushing through it.She enjoyed it once in and managed to fight a way back to the trail when she had enough.Thats was a few years ago and it was in the 90's that day.
 
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