Tough goings; but great times at Friendship Bogs

Rooftree

Explorer
Mar 24, 2017
115
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Haddon Township
Yesterday, I took two friends new to the Pines to visit the bogs at Friendship. We hiked a 2 1/2 mile planned loop at the lower end heading toward Hawkins Bridge. I've been in this area a good number of times over the years. In the past it was an easy walk following the network of dikes. But not this time. Right at the start, just 10 yards in from the road, was a down tree blocking our path. Further on, it was the usual easy walk, but then we came upon three more down trees. Proceeding, the path was clear for about 1/2 mile, but then we came upon numerous fallen trees blocking our way. We decided on cross one of the dikes that would head us back to the car. As we proceeded across the dike, we are now out in an open area with bogs on each side. We came to another down tree. A short distance further another fallen tree. As I was getting up off the ground after crawling under the tree, I was staring at another down tree just several feet away. Continuing. we got a double whammy of two trees on top of each other. I said to the guys 'there's on turning around. As I was crawling under I further stated 'here I am a 72 year old man doing this crap'. (With a fracture wrist which is healing from a fall while out running about 5 weeks ago. Thank goodness I'm in good shape for my age. Hummock hopping in the swamps is easier. These fallen trees were in a span of about 25 yards. All total, I would say there were about 12 to 15 trees blocking our planned route.

I don't think any time soon these trees will be removed, and I don't think I'll be returning to this area any time soon either. However, going back with a saw and cutting a few branches off each tree would help considerably. All said and done, it's all part of the game of exploring 'The Pine BARRENS'. I enjoy this stuff!
 
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manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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millville nj
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I was in Wharton yesterday driving and there were downed pine trees everywhere.The road i was on had been cleared just enough to get vehicles through.Branches drug to the side and often hopping the tops of trees that just reached across the road.It's the same way down here near the Bay.Pines down everywhere.The heavy snow turned to ice did them in.The oaks seem to be able to withstand it much better but the pines with their green needle clusters have so much surface area and the wood being weaker then oak they go down by the score.There were many trees down across the Batsto but I notice those trees from last week were sawed though this week.Then here came a canoer and a kayaker and I asked them how the river was tree wise and they said the Batsto had been cleared all the way down.I suspect the swamps weren't as bad as the pinewoods but wherever the Creek approached the high pine woods there were probably trees in the water.Hats off to the crews out there clearing the roads and rivers.
 

Toothy Critter

Explorer
Sep 16, 2016
337
215
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68
Winfield
sometimes while fishing I will get a lure stuck in a pine tree just high enough so that I have to pull on a branch to bend the tree enough so the lure is in reach to retrieve it. Mind you, these are pines young enough to get to bend slightly. Even so, I sometimes pull as hard as I can and wonder,"gee, these buggers are tough to budge." Point is, to get these trees to snap or fall over just proves how strong Mother Nature is. I know soaked ground makes them vulnerable, but still... .I mean... Imagine what it would take for us to push a tree down, and a little ice and wind could do it like "pfft..."
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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millville nj
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Back in the Derecho had a 14 inch diameter approx 40 ft tall pine snap ten feet off the ground in my yard and the top just brushed the north side of my house.If it had of snapped at ground level or uprooted it would have taken out the house..As it was a few years before that had a dead limb thick as my arm and about six feet long drop out of an over hanging oak that was other wise live and still is.It ounched an arm size hole in the roof.My cousin tried to patch the roof three different ways and it kept leaking inside in areas no where near the original hole.The water was running down the roof two by fours and coming into the house mostly near the fron door on the other side of the house.Finally he just had to replace the whole roof because it was determined to have shifted the peak and to put that new roof on it where it's all one piece something like tar paper and melted on with a torch.No leaks since then!
 

Rooftree

Explorer
Mar 24, 2017
115
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Haddon Township
If we were in the upland forest, getting past these fallen trees would not have been an issue. You just walk around. However, these were cedar trees growing on the side of the dikes that were uprooted. They covered one side of the dike to the other. To walk around, you would had to barge through greenbrier and thicket, wade in the canal, or walk in the bogs. Being in a remote part of Friendship Bogs, these trees are going to be there for a while. Maybe a long time. If you go, bring a saw with you, or crawl a lot. ( I haven't crawled that much since my basic training days at Fort Dix back in 1968). There could be alternate routes back there with less of a problem with the trees.
 
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Zach McGarvey

Explorer
Feb 11, 2018
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Woodbury / Vineland NJ
They must have cleared along the Batsto just in the past week, because as of Sunday the 15th, it was nothing but downed trees every few feet. This was along the upstream section, between Hampton's and Quaker Bridge.

Someone must have been very industrious with a chainsaw!
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
7,419
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millville nj
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I was just there yesterday and there were fresh cuts and when the boaters passed they said it was good.I was below quaker bridge so i dont know if they put in there or Hampton Furnace but it was good from their put in to about a mile above Batsto lake which is where i was.