Swimming in clay/sand mines...

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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I swam there about 25 years ago. I only vaguely recall it - but what I remembered stuck with me hard, and I've wanted to revisit. I tried the road you refer to, but by warren grove it's closed off - I haven't made my way around to the other side. Not sure which hole you are talking about because i thought there were only two... have to go back and look at the satellite images again...
I sent you a private message.
 

PiningAway

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Aug 20, 2011
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Thanks everyone! I went "wading" in the hole just west of Chatsworth Lake yesterday, and it was lovely. Small..... but really nice. I was the only person there, which is always my favorite. I still want to find a big one that's new. The search will continue. I might make it my mission to visit them all, or as many as I can locate via satellite map. Perhaps I will document/photograph them each....?
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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fires mill is all the way across the preserve from there.It is much shorter to either cut through old camp hollybrook and go over the bridge there or cross the rr trestle and then head north up the dirt road that runs right through fries mill.
The cops and game wardens around here think they own the woods and treat everyone as if they are suspicious characters.You were doing nothing wrong and if they persist in harrassing you sue em.That hole back there is one of the best swimming spots around.people used to party back there all the time after the sand plant abandoned the area before the NC took over.I thought all that had been stopped.A better way to avoid the so called authorities is to park at menantico at the boat ramp.They assume your fishing.It's a much further walk but as long as your on foot and avoid the main road back they'll never know your out there.You are not supposed to be on WMA after dark but if you have a fishin license and carry a pole then your legal.NC land has no rule about being out before dark.As long as your not camping.Also if your young the cops harrass you more because they assume your partying.Thats one advantge I've found since being growing old.The cops leave me alone more now.I guess I'm too old to party but with the beard and camo everyone for some reason assumes I'm hunting.I guess I'm one of those wild men who can bring down deer with their bare hands.People see what they want to see and cops are the same.If you have binoculars in the woods your a bird watcher,in town your a peepin Tom.Camo...your a hunter.Young your a skinny dippin partier.I don't know why they ask questions because your an automatic liar anyway.I had a wharton ranger once want me to show him where i just came from.Once again in camo,I was hunting with no gun of course.I took him where i came from,after that he wished he left me the hell alone.He was not PBX material.He obviously couldn't track so how did he know i took him to the right spot anyway.He stopped short as i waded into a bottomless bog and started to belly down.State boys are pussies.Nuff said.
Al
 
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manumuskin

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well if you go in off of port cumberland road there is an ex cop/butthole that lives where hollybrook used to be.He apparently feels that the NC is his personal property.He runs off cycles from the preserve which is cool but he also feels the need to stop and question anyone he sees out there.He carries a bright light bulb to hang over your head to while he does this.A real turd.When i started questioning him on if I was on his personal property he admitted he wasn't and then walked away. You can skirt hollybrook and cross the bridge and be at fries mills within a ten minute walk.
I have never found Indian artifacts out there but I have always made remarks that the banks of manumuskin would be a great place for a village.I did find my first arrowhead ever along Menantico creek though and have found many artifacts up and down the maurice,Sadly most of those sites now have houses on them.And yes,I hear the state even owns arrowheads made centuries ago by people that never were citizens of NJ and if you caught with one you'll piss off every nation from the Micmac in Maine to the Yuma in Arizona.By the way many of the Indians I'd swear were whiter then me but nonetheless they attend powow every year so their sure nuff Injuns.
Al
 

pineywoman

Explorer
Aug 24, 2012
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That location is now closed due to the idiots who have ruined it for everyone. Not even foot traffic is permitted, vhowever, there is still s permissible entrance on Barth Rd. many more trails and twists, but will take you out in the middle of both ponds. I would never swim in these old sand quarry ponds. They've been shown to have high mercury contents. Also, its not permitted. Sad to see it go spoiled!
 

manumuskin

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I suspect the reason schooner landing rd access has been closed off is probably due to the bitching and whining of said person that lives next to the access.Don't know this for a fact but it would not surprise me.I do know people were makiing drive arounds for the second gate and that is probably why they put in the first one.At Barth rd the people at the end of the road i hear watch the area so if someone tried to make a road through the woods to hook into the other roads they would have someone on them before they could finish it.The conservancy is not off limits,your just not allowed to park on schooner landing road.you could park on the other side of 55 and walk across,no signs there.
 

pineywoman

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Aug 24, 2012
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You may be right. I know a lot of police have also been monitoring the area. They don't want anyone drowning like that idiot that drowned in one of the quarry lakes off piney hollow in Winslow last week. I know you can get there via the train tracks on port elizabeth, however, not entirely sure that's legal. I was just there hiking a few days ago. This would be my second time and every time a new discovery can't wait to go back at the end of chigger season. Man oh man did I get unlucky with them there this round. Hahahaha
 

manumuskin

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You may be right. I know a lot of police have also been monitoring the area. They don't want anyone drowning like that idiot that drowned in one of the quarry lakes off piney hollow in Winslow last week. I know you can get there via the train tracks on port elizabeth, however, not entirely sure that's legal. I was just there hiking a few days ago. This would be my second time and every time a new discovery can't wait to go back at the end of chigger season. Man oh man did I get unlucky with them there this round. Hahahaha
As far as I know it is perfectly legal to walk in along the tracks.It is WMA along port cumberland road and when you cross the creek your in Nature Conservancy.The only issue would be the legality of walking the tracks since it is RR property.Everyone does it and I have never heard of any issues.Many folks park along Port cumberland rd and walk the tracks in.If you had somehwere you wanted to get to that accessing form schooner landing road was easiest you could always park at Menantico ponds and walk cross country from there,the woods are very open,sometimes ridiculously so and gorgeous.
I suspect many of the people that routinely drown in sand washes are either non swimmers or drunk or frequently both.Lost a buddy of mine in ninth grade who was skipping school and drunk,he took a swim in Union lake and never came home.
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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I guess I was kind of vague.Here is the story.Me and my wife about ten years ago were walking up an old cycle trail that follow tulpehocken creek upstream from about a quarter mile above hawkins bridge.There are some islands up there that I used to renegade camp on and I wanted to show my wife the area since she was never a renegade.

We parked along the road that parallels friendship hawkins road and my vehicle was within sight of that road since the two are still very close together at that point.It was early march,the water was high and the cycle trail was a stream with rime ice all along it.We started up the trail(this trail is pretty much gone now)and after 100 yards there is a small cedar swamp with a creek you can just about step over that drains into the tulpe.

There is or was an old pallet here to help those of shorter stride.We crossed said crik and proceeded to the island and the bog behind it and the old beaver dam at the top of the medders on tulpe.I remember it was a sunny cold day and as we chilled on the island I was warm on the sun side and froze from the cold breeze on my backside.After maybe a half hour we decided to head back to the truck.As we approached the crik again (I was dressed in camo which was standard year round clothing for me,I don't hunt but I don't like to look like a neon sign either,after all I am a renegade)I was talking fairly loudly since I wasn't renegading at the moment and as I approached the crik I seen two rangers dressed in their forest green britches and coats standing on the other side of the crik.One was my height and skinny and the other was maybe 6,1 and 210lbs.

The big guy at once started interrogating me as to what I was doing back here.I told him taking a walk.he asked me if I was hunting and I spread my hands out and said not without a gun or bow (I was tending towards smartass since I don't like being treated like a renegade when I'm being a good boy)

He said where did you go,I said back to the island,he said where is that,I said about ten minutes back this trail.He siad have you seen any sign of hunters.I said yes there is a new stand back there built between two trees,do you want me to show it to you? Now the stand had pissed me off anyway since this was after all MY ISLAND and driving nails into trees on state land is definitely renegade activity that I don't engage in or care for.So this big guy dressed in his work day best with his little shiny black shoes proceeeded to follow me down what I know will soon be a very nasty trail:)Skinny staid with Momma as I gave her a departing grin and I was off!

I kept the pace pretty lively.I didn't want him to have time to feel for the sides of the trail to stay out of the water and ice.In short order I had him slopped above the knee and I fear this was the end of his shiny shoes.He fell twice and eventually was wet to one hip:) :).We eventually made it to the stand along the edge of a very hairy bog.I have wiggled down into the mud of this bog to my chest and never hit bottom.

I told him we went on to the island and asked if he wanted to cross the bog(You could have went around the bog easily enough but I wasn't done having fun with him yet.Unfortunately I think he started to figure my game out and said he wished to return to Skinny.Now it should have been obvious to him that i was not aware of his presence until I came around the bend in the trail so I had no time to ditch a gun.He was being what I call a peckerhead so I just showed him I understood that game as well.

Later on Momma was talking to a friend who upon hearing the story said he new said Ranger(Big Guy) and he told the Ranger he knew me and that I said we had fun together.Big Guy called me some choice names and said he was not amused.Never did like a peckerhead.
 
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pineywoman

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Aug 24, 2012
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Haha! That's quite a story!!! I'll have to check out the railroad way. After all,the nature conservancy has scheduled hikes from time to time and that's the route they take in. However, I do love the woods. Nature nut here. Although, some would say prissy, definitely not. On a side note, I went to check out Sharrott winery today near the Winslow WMA. I am super P'Oed now. The lake that was accessible off of piney hollow and managed by the fish and wildlife department. Is now blocked off. Some dumb ass had to go swimming in it over a week or so ago and drowned even though it states that swimming is prohibited. You are still able to walk in, but it's a longer trek. I see in the near future they shutting it down as well. Ugh. People are spoiling things with their stupidity and ruining it for the rest of these folks. I will have to try menantico and trek south sometime.
 

manumuskin

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Dumb ass is spot on and I'm sure the state will be sued for not having someone to babysit the renegade swimmers.If it wasn't for the sue happy mentality the area would not be a no swimming area anyway.If we ever start taking personal responsibility for our own actions there would be a lot less no no areas and no no activities.The state should be fixing the roads and not baby sitting those of us who decide to travel off the blacktop.One,learn to swim,two don't drink while your doing it.
 
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EffinGenius

New Member
Aug 27, 2012
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Medford Lakes
I went to the blue hole next to Chatsworth Lake a couple weeks ago -- my first blue hole experience. Parked up the street right at the curve where another car was parked and hiked back up 563 to the entrance path. When I got back there, there were three people there (this was midday). An older couple and a younger woman with a dog. The woman and the dog were both swimming in the hole. They left shortly after I arrived and I waded ankle deep for a few minutes before three more people arrived. This group was 3 males, late-HS or college-aged, and they had masks and flippers. They went right out to the middle and were swimming around. I left a few minutes later.

This was a truly beautiful place, however it was obvious that partiers are out to ruin it. Beer cans/bottles were strewn around the hole, along with some syringes.
 

manumuskin

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Always an ass to spoil the hole.
have seen plenty of busted glass in swimmin holes but never syringes.I have never swam there but have been there,always wanted to go back and swim,guess I won't be doing that now.
 

EffinGenius

New Member
Aug 27, 2012
13
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Medford Lakes
The water is very clear, and I didn't see any trash in the water itself (although I was only walking along the edges). The syringes were about 20' from the water's edge near the remains of a campfire.

I actually saw a small painted turtle swimming in the middle of the blue hole. I was always under the impression that blue holes didn't have fish or other wildlife, although I'll plead ignorance on this one.
 

manumuskin

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Blue holes start out sterile because they are land locked pristine spring water to start out.Once abandoned fish come in as eggs stuck to wading birds legs,mostly ducks and such.Vegetation falls into the water to start a food base along with insects for smaller fish and larger insects and after fifty years or so you have a food chain going on and the more time that passes the more the sand hole looks like a natural pond.Menantico got a jump start at least the main pond did because they dug it into menantico creek which would be illegal today.So the pond got immediate introduction of anything Menantico creek washed into it.Thats why as you approach the creek the water gets black and opaque from all the organic mud on the bottom.Closer to the boat ramp it is still crystal clear and more of a sandy bottom though covered with pond weed,looks like seaweed sort of but fresh water.