Planning a Batona Trail Thru Hike

sgtdave4321

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Mar 7, 2016
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I am planning a Batona Trail thru hike, probably in early May. Any tips / pointers for me? Whats the best water filter for the trip? any input is appreciated! Thanks!
 
Feb 1, 2016
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Camden County, NJ
I am planning a Batona Trail thru hike, probably in early May. Any tips / pointers for me? Whats the best water filter for the trip? any input is appreciated! Thanks!
Great time of the year for a hike as "kids" are still in school, and the mosquitoes and flies are not really bothersome yet.Ticks are out already so Permethrin applied to your clothes before you leave is the way to go. Plenty of water is available as you hike in May (compared to possible droughts and dried up creek beds in July or August). Any standard water filter will do.....REI or Cabelas offer good selections. If you are tent camping a vinyl tarp or ground cover under your tent is helpful if it rains excessively, I have had mini-streams form under my tent during summer campouts. "Seam Sealed" etc can only do so much...If possible try to hike during the week, campgrounds can be noisy and even large boy scout groups can be a concern. I hiked during a heat wave in August many years ago and did not see another human being for three days. Good luck!
 

MikeBickerson

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Feb 8, 2004
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Echoing PineBarrens Advocate, water shouldn't be an issue. I swear by the Sawyer squeeze filters that they have now (cheap, easy, and the bag offers you a way to carry extra water for potential dry stretches), but I've done that stretch with just iodine and been fine.

Its WAY better than it used to be, but keep a close eye on those blazes. Really easy to make a wrong turn and end up turned around.

Also, don't underestimate the trail. Yes, its pretty much flat, but the sand can make the hiking far from easy.

My terrible blog might be of some help, walks you through a four day Batona thru hike (which I've done twice)-
http://southjerseytrails.org/2013/04/14/the-batona-trail-backpacking-day-1-bass-river-and-wharton-state-forests-nj/

Apologies to PineBarrens Advocate if that any of those problem large Boy Scout groups were ever mine :)
 
Feb 1, 2016
273
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Camden County, NJ
Mike, great info on your blog. In regards to the Boy Scouts, no worries, it was a very long time ago, but kids being kids, expecting an uninterrupted peaceful night can be a challenge with large groups of young men having fun till the late night hours.
 
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sgtdave4321

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Mar 7, 2016
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Well, we made the thru hike attempt last weekend. We did not complete the whole trail. Started on Friday morning in Ongs Hat around 8am. Inoticed a difference in the trail distance from my tail map , and the mile marker at Ongs Hat said "52.7". Along the way it seemed like the trail map landmarks didn't seem to conincide with where things actually were on the ground. We rolled into Batona Camp around 530 pm. We rested , ate dinner and then pressed on to Lower Forge. We made it there around 10 pm. We set up our tent and got some sleep. We woke up the next day and hung out for a bit. Rolled out around 10 am and walked down to Batsto where we stopped. We are going to try the last leg from Batsto to Bass River later in summer or early Autum. It was a good experience overall and lessons were learner.Lower Forge was really neat and a kayaking tip there will be done in the future. Does anyone know the actual length of the trail? I have seen things that said the trail was 49, 50, 53 , and 57 miles. But nothing seems to be definite. Thanks!
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
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I hiked it in 2013 in several legs which included the reroute through Parker. I strung the track files together and came up with 54.0.
Garmin Oregon 450
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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Well, we made the thru hike attempt last weekend. We did not complete the whole trail. Started on Friday morning in Ongs Hat around 8am. Inoticed a difference in the trail distance from my tail map , and the mile marker at Ongs Hat said "52.7". Along the way it seemed like the trail map landmarks didn't seem to conincide with where things actually were on the ground. We rolled into Batona Camp around 530 pm. We rested , ate dinner and then pressed on to Lower Forge. We made it there around 10 pm. We set up our tent and got some sleep. We woke up the next day and hung out for a bit. Rolled out around 10 am and walked down to Batsto where we stopped. We are going to try the last leg from Batsto to Bass River later in summer or early Autum. It was a good experience overall and lessons were learner.Lower Forge was really neat and a kayaking tip there will be done in the future. Does anyone know the actual length of the trail? I have seen things that said the trail was 49, 50, 53 , and 57 miles. But nothing seems to be definite. Thanks!
It was 50.9 before they did the reroute down at the southern end.I think that may have shortened it a bit.Not sure. I just remembered there was also a reroute up north of Chatsworth and I believe that lengthened the trail.Kayak Karl would probably no the exact mileage.He lives on the trail:)
 
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MikeBickerson

Explorer
Feb 8, 2004
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The "official" map is bizarre. Some of the landmarks are absolutely spot on, others seem wildly off. It doesn't help that there hasn't been a totally new map generated since the major reroutes (just a paper insert).

Before the reroutes, it was just over 49 miles (most people just rounded up to 50). After the reroutes, it's somewhere between 50.5 and 53 depending whose GPS did the work. Officially, the length now is 53, so that's what I go by.

When I did my last thru hike, we did about 57 miles total, but that included our side trips out-and-back into camps, to the Batsto Visitor Center, and to the Carranza Memorial (some of which are really, really long, especially down into Buttonwood Campground).

Even with blazes that can actually be followed now, the Batona Trail is a tricky one. :)
 

manumuskin

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Anyone have a KML/KMZ of the trail?
Anyone have a KML/KMZ of the trail?
Mountainbikemax
I have a gpx file here that I got off the internet.I can send it to your email or I will post the link.It was put on the internet by our very own Kayak Karl. This site does not recognize KMZ or GPX files so I can't post it.I can convert it to KMZ if you like and email it to you.Here is the link where you can download it.I can also send you a link to where you can convert it yourself but a gpx file is much more versatile in gps and mapping programs then a kmz of kml and will also open in GE.
http://www.njhiking.com/nj-trail-maps/
 

sgtdave4321

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Mar 7, 2016
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Garden State
We are going to do the last leg of the Batona in late September or early Oct. We will be going from Bass River to Batsto. About how far is that? Is it reasonable to plan this as a one day hike, or is it more of an over nighter? Thanks in advance!!
 

mountainbikemax

New Member
Jun 19, 2011
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Ohio
We are going to do the last leg of the Batona in late September or early Oct. We will be going from Bass River to Batsto. About how far is that? Is it reasonable to plan this as a one day hike, or is it more of an over nighter? Thanks in advance!!
That's like 18 miles. I've done Ong's Hat to Batona Camp in 1 day before which is similar distance, it's def doable just a long day. Here the map with the mileage.

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/docs/batona14web.pdf
 

sgtdave4321

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Mar 7, 2016
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Garden State
Thanks. We did Ongs Hat to Lower Forge in one day, a really really long day , LOL. If we went at a slow pace, do you recommend a camp site for us ? Is it easy to get from the trail to Bodine Field and back, is there another option?
 

mountainbikemax

New Member
Jun 19, 2011
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Ohio
I would say Bodine is most likely your best bet. It's kinda far off the trail though but since you are breaking it up you will be fine. I've seen people (not so) stealth camping all along the trail but I personally wouldn't do it.
 
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manumuskin

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I would say Bodine is most likely your best bet. It's kinda far off the trail though but since you are breaking it up you will be fine. I've seen people (not so) stealth camping all along the trail but I personally wouldn't do it.
Personally I would but thats me. Get out of sight of the road and don't make a fire,hang a hammock and no one will ever know you were there. Bodine is a long walk from the trail.Last time I did this I parked myself for the night in a clearing off the trail right about here.This is about the half way point. Walked away the next morning and couldn't even tell anyone had been there.
 

mountainbikemax

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Jun 19, 2011
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Ohio
Personally I would but thats me. Get out of sight of the road and don't make a fire,hang a hammock and no one will ever know you were there. Bodine is a long walk from the trail.Last time I did this I parked myself for the night in a clearing off the trail right about here.This is about the half way point. Walked away the next morning and couldn't even tell anyone had been there.

I wish that was allowed because if you are careful you do not make an impact. It would also make the trail a much more enjoyable experience because you don't have to camp 20 feet away from 10 groups of people. But I also understand the other side of the argument that if everyone did this there would be firerings and TP blooms everywhere so concentrating the impact in a few areas makes sense.
 
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manumuskin

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I wish that was allowed because if you are careful you do not make an impact. It would also make the trail a much more enjoyable experience because you don't have to camp 20 feet away from 10 groups of people. But I also understand the other side of the argument that if everyone did this there would be firerings and TP blooms everywhere so concentrating the impact in a few areas makes sense.
I very seldom ever make a fire,even when I"m camped non renegade style. For one I"m lazy and generally don't feel like gathering the materials for it.Two I usually take either cold food or food that can be eaten cold once again I"m too lazy to cook if i don't have to and if I do have to a backpacking stove is so much faster and easier to cook on.At night I"d rather save my night vision by sitting in the dark and a camp fire is noisy and I can't hear the night noises when next to a fire. Now if I have a bunch of family and grand kids and we're camped legal like then a fire is in order.The deal is the kids have to collect the wood,kindling,tinder and so forth and I build the fire and get it started and then everyone gets to maintain it.Conversation and fire go together.If I"m alone I"d rather listen to the night.Also fire can be spotted much further in the dark then most would assume.Thats not good when your renegade,also the "eye in the sky" has to be considered as well.