Tindall Island hike

martink

New Member
Apr 5, 2009
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Hammonton NJ
I found myself in Greenwich with a couple of hours with nothing to do this Sunday so brought my running shoes. Looking on the map for a destination the night before I saw Tindall (aka Tyndall Island) Island Trail. Searching for more info I came across a most excellent 2010 trip report and thread right here on NJPineBarrens. Going in I knew the trail's causeway had a major breach that was only accessible at the lowest of tides and assumed the fun part of the run would be passing all of Greenwich's old houses (which were particularly resplendent in the fall foliage).

I was surprised then to get to the breach and find the water low and easily crossable. I pulled up the tide charts and realized that dumb luck had brought me an hour before low tide, giving me plenty of time to explore without having to worry about getting stuck wading through rising water as some people on the 2010 thread reported.


So I hopped the breach and continued on the causeway. Before too long I got to the monument people mentioned in 2010, right before you get to the three Tindall Islands. I went straight ahead to the southern-most island. It took me awhile to figure it out. I should have just checked the 2021 B/W Lidar on Boydsmaps:


This island has a ten-foot-or-so berm about four feet high on top that circles around the edge of the whole southern island. Looking at the aerial maps it shows up sometime between 1980 and 1995 and had water within in. At the top end of the island there's some sort of metal contraption with what looks like drains below it. I have no idea why someone would have build this berm and water control structure at this time. The trees growing on top make it hard to walk there but there are spots in which you can walk along the bottom of the berm. At the far end of the island are shells, some cool bones, and various evidence of animals, including the large piles of scat mentioned in the 2010 post.

Near the water control structure I saw what kind of worked as a path to the next island. It was a six inch gap in the phragmites, obviously only semi-dry at low tide. There were deer prints so I knew I wasn't the first going through.


It's a bit of an adventure to push past the reeds and not get too muddy. The maps show a road between these islands but I saw no evidence.I walked to the next island (which I marked as the middle island) and then mud-walked again to the third island. I didn't explore it too much, which I kind of regret as the 2010 folks said there are some cellar holes back there.

Here's a Google Photos link to more photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ghp9SS8H8RRjvA4n8

Also, on your way back out of Greenwich, if the Museum of Prehistory is open definitely make a point of stopping. It's very cool and the staffers really know their archaeology.
 

amf

Explorer
May 20, 2006
137
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Swedesboro
I believe the diked island was used for dredge disposal at one point, hence the remnants of the water control structure.
Last time I was out there I came back with an incredible chigger infestation - it was a bit earlier in the season than now!
Nice picture of the old corduroy road, btw. It always impresses me when they re-appear.
 

martink

New Member
Apr 5, 2009
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Hammonton NJ
I believe the diked island was used for dredge disposal at one point, hence the remnants of the water control structure.
Last time I was out there I came back with an incredible chigger infestation - it was a bit earlier in the season than now!
Nice picture of the old corduroy road, btw. It always impresses me when they re-appear.
Thanks AMF. I started Googling about local dredge disposal projects and found an article about “Dredge Island” near Sea Isle City. When I went to the LiDAR it has the general shape. Checks out with your explanation!

I was lucky to escape chiggers this trip. It would be chigger heaven.
 

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GermanG

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Apr 2, 2005
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Little Egg Harbor
I could be wrong, but I suspect the site in question at Tindall Island may be an old diked farm. There were many of them in that region back in the day, and a road leading to it can be seen on older maps. Dredge spoils are usually deposited at sites more adjacent to the bay or waterways.
 
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manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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There is a small cellar hole at the northern end of the big (Middle) island.I also was turned back by the creek first time I went out there at high tide in winter.Went back in summer with intent to swim the crik and it was low tide thats when I found the cedar flooring as your picture shows,I have since waded or walked across it many times. I have never seen such big deer highways in my life.It was like a lawn mower had went through the reeds to the island,fully five foot wide highway.
 
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GermanG

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Apr 2, 2005
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Little Egg Harbor
The more I look at the maps and aerials the more I'm thinking the area surrounded by the higher dike is on the small side for a farm and perhaps might be the spoils site it was originally thought as. I wouldn't rule it out 100% though. But there seems to be a older dike surrounding the larger area just to the west however. I was looking at a natural resource inventory online for Greenwich Twp and it does mention many old diked farms on and around the Bayshore tract.
 
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amf

Explorer
May 20, 2006
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Swedesboro
From the aerials it looks like the dike came in sometime between the “1980s” images and 1995. It’s not an ancient structure.
Yup. I believe it was constructed around the time they were trying to establish a port on the Cohansey in Bridgeton. There was a small dredge disposal area there and another in Bridgeton next to the wastewater treatment plant.
 
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martink

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Apr 5, 2009
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Hammonton NJ
Yup. I believe it was constructed around the time they were trying to establish a port on the Cohansey in Bridgeton. There was a small dredge disposal area there and another in Bridgeton next to the wastewater treatment plant.
Yes. I'm Googling "Bridgeton Port Authority" and see years of articles about this apparent boondoggle. This opinion piece from 5 years ago gives a bit of the history. There's also a reference to a 1985 "cultural resources investigation" by the Army Corp on "Tindal Island" in connection to what they call maintenance dredging. I think this is the third spelling of the island's name I've seen.
 
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