Most Remote Area in the Pines

Piney Boy

Explorer
Sep 19, 2005
365
1
Williamstown, NJ
woodjin said:
I remember reading the back cover of that book in a book store. It looked very interesting. There was a "movie" on PBS about a month ago, I believe it was called Alone in the Wilderness". A guy went into the woods in Alaska around 1968 and didn't come out until around 1995. While he was out there he filmed his experience on a hand wound 8mm camera. It was very cool.

Dick Proennke's Alone In the Wilderness is a great documentary and journal reading. Today his little haven is still intact and run by the National Park service.
 

ebsi2001

Explorer
May 2, 2006
301
0
southern NJ
Mount Misery --- Samuel "Bryant"

bruset said:
Mount Misery Rd. is pretty much passable from New Lisbon all the way to Bullock. It's paved around the retreat center.

Thanks for the information, Ben. Now, if someone could tell me where Samuel "Bryant's" property was... ...or, if they had a map that went back that far, it would be great!

ebsi
 

ebsi2001

Explorer
May 2, 2006
301
0
southern NJ
Mount Misery and the Great Swamp

woodjin said:
The "dog leg" turn occurs as pasadena rd meets Mt Misery rd by the tracks at Bullock. It is actually more of a straight line as come from old half way at that point. It is paved from there to route 70 as I think Ben had mentioned. However it is rough pavement at times with lots of pot holes. The Methodist retreat is located where Mt Misery proper once was. I don't know if you are familar with the retreat, I think it has been around for a while. It is dirt from route 70 to Browns Mills junction (3 miles) and then paved again for another two miles or so to New Lisbon.

So many of the roads in the great swamp have been swallowed up. The water levels there are always changing dramatically. Any recollections you have on the great swamp or anyplace in the pines for that matter will be recieved with enthusiam!!! Welcome to the forum.

Jeff

Dear Jeff,

many thanks for the welcome. ...and thanks for the info., too. I want to meet with some of my correspondents that live in the New Lisbon area, so I may take the opportunity to take a side trip to Mount Misery.

Mom was there years ago --- probably sometime in the 70s: I've never been there...

One of my uncles (now deceased) had a very large plumbing business in the Summit (NJ) area: He did a lot of work for Bell Labs, and had a group of men that worked there full time, two shifts per day (and on weekends) for many, many years. He told me, when I was exploring the Great Swamp, that when a road was being put through the swamp, they (the road gang) came to a very unstable piece of ground, so they started dumping sand and gravel, stones, etc. on site. Nothing much happened! The ground still remained unstable... After doing this for a week or two, the surveyors, taking readings at the area, noticed that the trees (and ground) on either side of the dumping area were "growing!" On closer examination, the engineers realized that they had been foiled by "Mother Nature"; all of the dumped loads were causing the ground on either side of the dumping area to rise, without appreciably filling what some termed "the bottomless pit." So, they just "backtracked," and rerouted their road. I have no clue where that was in the swamp, but I do know that I had to be quite careful where I parked my genuine, (recycled) ex-Bell Telephone truck, lest it sink into the ground right up to the axles within a time period of two or three hours...

ebsi
 

ebsi2001

Explorer
May 2, 2006
301
0
southern NJ
Day trips and stories

ebsi,

Your writing tips me off that you are a fun guy to be around. If you want, some day I will pick you up in my 4 wheeler and visit your favorite pines places and gladly listen to your stories.

PS: you don't charge to listen to your stories do you? I will pay a little, but I am kinda down on my luck right now.

Dear bobpbx,

I'm glad you think I'm fun to be around: I sure wish I were funnier! <:-P
Pop had much better stories than I do, and many more of them, but unfortunately he's no longer with us... Metastatic prostate cancer was his nemesis!

Bobpbx have you had a PSA and digital exam, recently? Don't put it off!

When I was in H.S., a bunch of us guys used to sneak into the bombing range around hunting season with an old, souped--up car. We'd load--up on scrap metal (brass and aluminum, mainly), and get outta there before the guys in the jeeps could reach us. The deer weren't stupid, either: During hunting season, they'd move into the bombing range, when bombing was discontinued for the hunting season...

It made us a lot more money than collecting Coke bottles for the 2 and 5--cent return fee --- and it was a lot more exciting, too! Once in a while, we'd find some 30 mm shells (unexploded), pull--off the heads and make firecrackers... However, we could never match the reports we could get from cherry or hammer bombs, so, our budding pyrotechnics venture fizzled--out... None of our parents dared know what we did, back then...

We were encouraged to bring our guns to school, then, too --- NRA Hunter Training Course with practise skeet (Blue Rock) shooting on the ball field after the late bell...

Maybe, I'll take you up on your offer, if Mom can go along, too. She likes to ride in the fall, when the leaves are changing color --- wants to ride along "Poor Man's Parkway" once again...

ebsi
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,373
2,593
Pines; Bamber area
ebsi2001 said:
Dear bobpbx,

I'm glad you think I'm fun to be around: I sure wish I were funnier! <:-P
Pop had much better stories than I do, and many more of them, but unfortunately he's no longer with us... Metastatic prostate cancer was his nemesis!

Bobpbx have you had a PSA and digital exam, recently? Don't put it off!

When I was in H.S., a bunch of us guys used to sneak into the bombing range around hunting season with an old, souped--up car. We'd load--up on scrap metal (brass and aluminum, mainly), and get outta there before the guys in the jeeps could reach us. The deer weren't stupid, either: During hunting season, they'd move into the bombing range, when bombing was discontinued for the hunting season...

It made us a lot more money than collecting Coke bottles for the 2 and 5--cent return fee --- and it was a lot more exciting, too! Once in a while, we'd find some 30 mm shells (unexploded), pull--off the heads and make firecrackers... However, we could never match the reports we could get from cherry or hammer bombs, so, our budding pyrotechnics venture fizzled--out... None of our parents dared know what we did, back then...

We were encouraged to bring our guns to school, then, too --- NRA Hunter Training Course with practise skeet (Blue Rock) shooting on the ball field after the late bell...

Maybe, I'll take you up on your offer, if Mom can go along, too. She likes to ride in the fall, when the leaves are changing color --- wants to ride along "Poor Man's Parkway" once again...

ebsi

I had the full colonoscopy 2 years ago. Great fun, and no baddies were found. In order to bring Mom, you'd have to squeeze in the back of a small pickup cab. But no worries, I'm sure one of the others with a full size SUV will pony up and we can all go for a ride down memory lane in the fall.
 

Badfish740

Explorer
Feb 19, 2005
589
44
Copperhead Road
ebsi2001 said:
One of my uncles (now deceased) had a very large plumbing business in the Summit (NJ) area: He did a lot of work for Bell Labs, and had a group of men that worked there full time, two shifts per day (and on weekends) for many, many years. He told me, when I was exploring the Great Swamp, that when a road was being put through the swamp, they (the road gang) came to a very unstable piece of ground, so they started dumping sand and gravel, stones, etc. on site. Nothing much happened! The ground still remained unstable...

Are you talking about the Northern Great Swamp? Beautiful area, my girlfriend lives in Chatham and lives right on the edge. We walk the utility company right of way which is in this area here. It seems truly desolate in some places if you bushwhack far enough-until a 747 bound for Newark International flies over that is.
 

ebsi2001

Explorer
May 2, 2006
301
0
southern NJ
"Remote Areas"

bobpbx said:
I had the full colonoscopy 2 years ago. Great fun, and no baddies were found. In order to bring Mom, you'd have to squeeze in the back of a small pickup cab. But no worries, I'm sure one of the others with a full size SUV will pony up and we can all go for a ride down memory lane in the fall.

Bobpbx,

I just had one in April --- on a three--year schedule. I told the "doc.," "If you find Osama bin Laden, let me know..." He didn't find anything this time.

If your 50 or older, you need to have a PSA (blood test) and rectal digital exam EVERY YEAR : Don't "mess" with prostate cancer!

Let's see what the fall brings about... My parents always went to Bedford, PA at the time of their wedding anniversary in late October of each year. Mom likes to look at the trees as they change color...

If you want "remote," some of those mountainsides down near the W. VA border are pretty remote... The radio stations all seem to broadcast the same C&W tunes from Wheeling :-P The roads, although somewhat paved, are quite "adventurous"...

Found my first crinoid impressions in a sedimentary deposit (in a creek bottom) on a mountaintop in that area!

ebsi
 

ebsi2001

Explorer
May 2, 2006
301
0
southern NJ
"The Great Swamp"

Badfish740 said:
Are you talking about the Northern Great Swamp? Beautiful area, my girlfriend lives in Chatham and lives right on the edge. We walk the utility company right of way which is in this area here. It seems truly desolate in some places if you bushwhack far enough-until a 747 bound for Newark International flies over that is.

Yes, Badfish,

I usually entered from Green Village Road, as I lived many years in Madison. However, later I moved to Chatham, and I explored some of the areas off the Shunpike. My uncle lived on Fairmount Ave. at the end of Long Hill --- not too far from the Long Hill Chapel. His postal address, however, I believe, was "Summit."

However, I rode through many areas of the swamp --- especially in the area where it could be entered from Route 202, in the direction of Bernardsville, for example.

During the years I lived in the area, there was a big "push" by certain groups to put a huge airport in "The Great Swamp." That didn't "fly," but I wasn't any too happy, either, when I learned that they had gotten rid of the little town of Green Village and flooded the place...

I was never "lost" there: Most of the old time farmers knew me, "That crazy kid in the green truck." --- They pulled me out of the mire quite often... My friend and I collected a lot of mushrooms there.

If you want "remote," try Jenny Jump State Park: One of my professors dropped off a cliff there... :-(

ebsi
 

Jason Bladzinski

Explorer
Feb 15, 2014
137
23
40
Avenel
Interesting topic...honestly I've not done enough exploring of the more remote areas to really weigh in but I think partially you're right. I mean let's face it-it's not like the Pines can be compared to somewhere like Alaska where the most efficient way to reach some places is by hiring a bush pilot. However, it is quite possible to sit in the middle of Wharton State Forest and feel completely and utterly cut off from civilization. Not to mention the fact that it's entirely possible to get completely disoriented and hopelessly lost in the Pines. Of course I think you also need to factor in the topography-dense undergrowth, near impenetrable swamps, and a confusing landscape. I'm sure some spots, despite their being located in the middle of an extremely densely populated state, just don't see that much human activity simply because it's difficult if not damn near impossible to get there even by walking.

I really enjoy the Pines for two reasons-one is I would venture to say that 60% of New Jerseyans (most of those living up here in the north), not to mention the rest of the eastern seaboard, don't know or care about the Pines-its just a bunch of trees and sand they pass on the way to the shore. They truly are New Jersey's best kept secret in a lot of ways. Second, there's just something I like about the fact this state is so small yet it contains and is close to so much. On a Saturday I can hunt pheasants at Colliers Mills and on a Sunday I can hop a train to New York City to catch a Broadway show...variety really is the spice 'o life.

Long story short? I'm not really sure...lol
There are undoubtedly sections in Wharton where few if any people have ventured. I'd say much of the great swamp deep past the accessible areas near Atsion. Not easy to hike through that area, nor find places where kayak or canoe will get you without having to port over these areas. Probably easiest during the winter when sections freeze solid enough to walk on. Winter always makes Wharton feel more remote. This past January I camped alone for 5 days in lower forge and didn't see a soul. Walking the road that heads north from lower forge becomes more overrun with brush and small frequent hills. I always wanted to follow along the oldest looking fire breaks to try and see if I can find spots where there are no fire breaks anymore. I figure that if I can find such places, they are the best candidates for being areas that people haven't tread. Even with some major, if not always heavily trafficked highways run through Wharton, it's still a vast forest. If you aren't careful and are in unfamiliar areas, you could find yourself disoriented and lost easily. Most people want to avoid this and don't venture to far off established tracks. In news reports that usually have to do with wildfires, sections of the forest that aren't commonly visited (usually outside if the corridor that follows the Mullica and Batsto rivers from Atsion to Batsto) are reported as "remote" sections.
I always thought another area in the pines that would be a good candidate for remote spots where humans don't tread would be within the vast forests that fall under the jurisdiction of the Dix Base. Miles and miles of this area are not open to civilians, and the sections the military use for training are somewhat spread out, but are not manned by enough personnel to be truly explored. I would love to take a stealth camping trip into those areas if I didnt fear the possibility of getting shot or charged with trespassing on military property.
 

Jason Bladzinski

Explorer
Feb 15, 2014
137
23
40
Avenel
Well laugh all you want...but when I lived at Friendship my father had called me and my mom outside in the dark to hear this noise. I still remember hanging on to my mom"s pantleg and hearing the panting and wailing comning across the bogs. My dad who lived in the pines all his life said he had never heard anything like it. The last time I heard something even close to that sound (which is embedded in my memory forever) was during a trip to Nash's cabin. It was dusk when me and a friend went on what was surpose to be a short hike to see bobcat scrapings. My son waited in the truck. A long story short...we ended up taking the wrong turn and it got dark. Real dark...and now we were far away and pretty much lost. My son never answered our screams. But something did. Running we back tracked, stopped half way and heard it yell again. This time closer. We agreed, it was following us. Being a woman...this was not a good time of month for me and alot of stuff was racing through my head. I don't know what was going faster, my thoughts or my legs! Finally my son, racing through the pitch swampy blackness found us. I couldn't believe his courage. I never dreamed he would venture out of the safety of the truck. At this point we were almost back to the truck. We wasted no time getting out of there. This was the closest thing I have ever heard to the mystery screams of Friendship bogs. This is why I vote Nash's cabin as the most remote place in the pines.
Sand hill cranes? Screech owls? Coyotes? I hope you aren't insinuating the leeds devil or Bigfoot.
 

Jason Bladzinski

Explorer
Feb 15, 2014
137
23
40
Avenel
I'm not laughing. I've been to some scary places but the Pines at night is just downright spooky. I don't know whether it's all the Jersey Devil stories I heard as a kid or what, but as beautiful as it is out there once the sun goes down it's a much different place, that's for sure.
I find the pines less scary at night than more common forests like those found along the Appalachian trail. The thicker canopy and elevation changes along mountainous or even flat deciduous forests block out a lot more light, especially when cloudy and with a new moon. Plus, way more variety of creepy crawlers in the dirt. Sounds echo farther and starker in the rock and dirt. The pines has that much more open canopy, more specific and less variety of animals, generally shorter trees, and areas where the white sand is visible, it reflects ambient light especially when the moon shines in the sky, it's pretty bright and easy to see. The sand acts like a carpet and buffers sound, making things seem less harsh, and less likely to hear far off noises that fool the mind through the echo of stone mountains. At the peak of summer in August, the pines also seem to come more alive at night than they do during the day, and again these sounds are softened by the sand and pine needles. The whip or whills calling from dusk to dawn offer a rather reassuring sound that gives a sense of ease and calm. Of course, the coyotes can be head for miles and are very loud, before I was familiar with the sounds they make, they spooked me quite a bit.
 

Jason Bladzinski

Explorer
Feb 15, 2014
137
23
40
Avenel
"The Great Swamp"



Yes, Badfish,

I usually entered from Green Village Road, as I lived many years in Madison. However, later I moved to Chatham, and I explored some of the areas off the Shunpike. My uncle lived on Fairmount Ave. at the end of Long Hill --- not too far from the Long Hill Chapel. His postal address, however, I believe, was "Summit."

However, I rode through many areas of the swamp --- especially in the area where it could be entered from Route 202, in the direction of Bernardsville, for example.

During the years I lived in the area, there was a big "push" by certain groups to put a huge airport in "The Great Swamp." That didn't "fly," but I wasn't any too happy, either, when I learned that they had gotten rid of the little town of Green Village and flooded the place...

I was never "lost" there: Most of the old time farmers knew me, "That crazy kid in the green truck." --- They pulled me out of the mire quite often... My friend and I collected a lot of mushrooms there.

If you want "remote," try Jenny Jump State Park: One of my professors dropped off a cliff there... :-(

ebsi
I wouldn't call Jenny jump remote. You are vety close to well trafficked highways, farms, and plenty of residential homes only a few miles away from you at any point
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,128
Coastal NJ
You are vety close to well trafficked highways, farms, and plenty of residential homes only a few miles away from you at any point

I guess it all depends on what one considers remote. The same can be said for the pines, if dropped into the middle of Wharton, the largest piece of undeveloped land, you're only about 4-5 miles away.
 
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Jason Bladzinski

Explorer
Feb 15, 2014
137
23
40
Avenel
The entire length of jenny jump Forest is only a few miles, it's a thin corridor. Wharton is hundreds of miles square. They don't compare, you can fit every other state forest in New Jersey inside the borders of Wharton.
 

Zach McGarvey

Explorer
Feb 11, 2018
246
166
34
Woodbury / Vineland NJ
To me, remote by Jersey standards means anywhere you can't hear traffic and can't see any manmade structures. I believe the area around Lower Forge and to the NE to be the most remote. Especially in winter time when no paddlers are coming down the Batsto. No cell reception for miles around, at least with T-mobile.
 
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Jason Bladzinski

Explorer
Feb 15, 2014
137
23
40
Avenel
To me, remote by Jersey standards means anywhere you can't hear traffic and can't see any manmade structures. I believe the area around Lower Forge and to the NE to be the most remote. Especially in winter time when no paddlers are coming down the Batsto. No cell reception for miles around, at least with T-mobile.
Lower forge is the only place i get cell coverage actually. I think its the fact that it's on top of a hill. I have at & t. I do share your observation, it's pretty silent there.
 

imkms

Explorer
Feb 18, 2008
510
131
SJ and SW FL
Lower forge is the only place i get cell coverage actually. I think its the fact that it's on top of a hill. I have at & t. I do share your observation, it's pretty silent there.
I have Verizon for cell service and it works for me just about everywhere in the pines. Wasn’t that way 20 years ago, but most if not all of the gaps have been filled since then.
 
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