Took a Detour Again



I drove to what I thought was Pine Crest today from Apple Pie Hill, to enter the route described in a Pine Barrens Hike file I downloaded some time ago. It's the same hike where I ended up not hiking as planned before.

I thought I would enter Pine Crest at the railroad tracks, and find the sand road that led to the edge of an open bog, maybe passing that marker you told me about, Guy. I walked for about 1/2 mile and found no road, but an opening in the woods and a poorly defined trail. Shortly after I walked into this area I discovered it was private property. I returned to the railroad tracks and continued on. At what must have been a crossing at one time, a mile or so along the tracks, going west toward Carranza, I found two, somewhat flat metal things on the ground about ten feet from the tracks. They may be what Ed, on the PBE board, said may be boxcars. I continued another mile, or two, or three, until I came to a well-defined sand road. I followed it for close to a mile, skirting an occasional big puddle in the road. It curved around, and it looked like there was some clearings in the distance. I thought that may be the bog. I also found occasional orange markers on trees. The trail dead ended and I started to head back. Shortly before I got to the tracks, I noticed a big clearing to my right. The path to the right narrowed to a well-defined trail that was carpeted with needles and had a pine tree canopy. It looked like it went downhill. It was getting late, and I had walked quite a bit, so I just continued to the tracks and started heading back to the car. After awhile, on my left, I noticed the series of white, numbered markers to the left of the track, that followed a trail close to and parrallel to the railroad. After awhile the markers went left and went away from the tracks.

I drove up to the top of Apple Pie hill by the fire tower. To my dismay, there was some graffitti on a railing, and the banks below the parking area were trashed out. I don't think I would park my car there overnight. I don't know what rock people who trash out such a beautiful place crawed out from or what test tube marked "destroy at once" they were hatched from. Nonetheless, the view from the 205 foot hill was as spectacular as I had remembered.


Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002

If you just drive from Apple Pie Hill to the tracks you are at Pine Crest. If you go probably less than 200-300 feet to the right down the tracks, you will see the marker on the right down the small hill.



I turned right at the end of the road from Apple Pie Hill at the railroad tracks, turned right, and looked a little for the marker. I guess I just missed it, as I did the one near the RR bridge that crosses over the Batsto River, which you showed me on the outing, Guy.

I thought the trail/road would not be far from where the Apple Pie Hill road ends at the track. Part of the problem may have been that I was looking at the map of the Pine Crest/Sandy Ridge hike and a USGS map of the area separately. Maybe there is a right of way through private property. Or maybe if I continued further on the last road I came to I would have found the bog/trail. I saw some orange tree blazes around that area. I found these blazes on both sides of the tracks.

Even if I had a GPS unit, it may not do any good because the hike file doesn't give coordinates. That file was last updated, if I remember correctly, in the early 80's. Alot of the terrain may have changed since then. If the trail wasn't maintained, and not many people walk it, it may have gotten overgrown. The whole route on the hikes in the file are very long, except for the one around Carranza. I don't know how many people can walk 8 or ten miles, or more, in one day. I used to hike about that much when I worked as a volunteer at Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii. That was several years and several pounds ago. :)