Pine Barrens 4WD Question from Newb

TurboDan

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Aug 11, 2012
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Hey Guys

I've lived in Ocean County my entire life but never owned a 4WD vehicle until this year. (Finally got tired of hiring someone to trail my boat to the marina every spring and fall, as well as lugging my fishing gear up onto the sand for stripers.)

Anyway, I want to start exploring the pines a little bit, starting with Forked River Mountain, since it's decently close to me (I live in LBI). I've looked at the all the topo maps, read all the threads on here about trips, etc., and want to try it possibly later this week if I get a slow work day.

My question is on tire pressure. I've done some beach driving, and learned quickly that lowering tire pressure is a must. Would you guys recommend lowering the pressure for the trails in the pines, too? I'm not talking about going too too deep in there yet - just the trails from Rt. 539 to the mountain, and maybe Jone Rd. to check out Black's Bridge too one day.

Also, just want to say great site! Hope to become a more frequent poster and maybe meet up on one of the events at some point.
 

Teegate

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Don't lower the pressure. I can get to the Forked River Mountains in my car except when it is really wet and muddy. If you go this week you will not have a problem.

Guy
 

Boyd

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It's been a long time since I've been there but I have usually been able to make it in a regular car too, although you need to keep your speed up in a few spots. But when the puddles get deep it's definitely a problem. Has anyone been there recently? It looks like the area might have had 3 to 5 inches of rain over the past two weeks....


frm.jpg
 

DeepXplor

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Nov 5, 2008
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I live down there, I have a Wrangler, and I don't use FWD or alter my TP to climb Forked River Mt. Go in dry weather and all will be OK.
 

Gibby

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Apr 4, 2011
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Dan, when your on the mountain, try to find a good tree to climb and get a great view from even higher up. I have yet to find that perfect branch to perch from and look out on the vastness that can be felt. It doesn't even feel like you are in Jersey sometimes when the mist is rolling on top of the pines.
 

TurboDan

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Aug 11, 2012
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Dan, when your on the mountain, try to find a good tree to climb and get a great view from even higher up. I have yet to find that perfect branch to perch from and look out on the vastness that can be felt. It doesn't even feel like you are in Jersey sometimes when the mist is rolling on top of the pines.
Thanks for the tip on positioning in a tree. I read one thread on here about FRM and somebody described it as feeling like you're in Africa looking over the Serengeti. I'm looking forward to trying it out, getting to know some of the dirt roads back there and hopefully exploring more places over time.

Boyd -- I'll definitely post a trip report with some photos!
 

Boyd

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My map should help keep you from getting lost :) http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/294/

I remember back around 1994 I was like Beck, driving around in circles, lost, and never finding the actual "mountain" (you should read his account of this if you haven't already). Didn't find it until I got my first GPS, a Delorme Earthmate "puck" connected to my Mac PowerBook g4 laptop. I think that was around 1998.
 

Teegate

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Be warned there are a few roads in that area you need to stay away from. Get out and check the puddles before you go down them.

Guy
 

TurboDan

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Aug 11, 2012
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Be warned there are a few roads in that area you need to stay away from. Get out and check the puddles before you go down them.

Guy
Will do. I have no desire to get stuck in the mud on my first expedition, especially since my girlfriend might come along for the ride, meaning I'd be made fun of for the foreseeable future if I had to call someone to haul me out. :D

Which roads tend to get bad back there? My plan was to enter from 539 at Bryant and drive eastward, then onto the unnamed road and around, etc. If I have enough time, I'd like to drive north up Jones too and check out that new bridge where the old wooden one used to be. Looks like nice weather is on tap for the week, too.
 

Teegate

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Go in at 539 as you have planed. That is a good way.
 

Ben Ruset

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Most of the roads in the pines can be traveled without 4WD being engaged, although it's nice to have if you start to feel like you're getting stuck.

I've never aired down my tires.
 

Hewey

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Mar 10, 2005
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I'd like to drive north up Jones too and check out that new bridge where the old wooden one used to be.
If you travel to Black's Bridge on Jones Rd. from the Bryant Rd. area, there is a section that has been getting bad. A bypass has been created, it is not the best bypass. I use my 4wd on the bypass and take it slow. The state did some brush clearing work on the sides of the road and there is some small stumps cut close to the ground that are in the bypass.

I have driven many of miles in the pines with 2wd trucks with almost zero issues. It is nice to have the 4wd just in case. If you use your head and never drive through anything you question you will be fine in 2wd.

Chris
 

Y-BUC-BILL

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Mar 9, 2007
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I remember driving the trails before 4 wheel drive became popular.That was back in the 40's.World War II made them popular.The most the trails were used was during six day firearms season..that was before the State bought the Wharton Estate.