Two Wheelin In The Pines ?

BubbaMax

New Member
First off, what an incredibly awesome site this is. Inspired by a recent camping trip to the area, I came home, found this site and have been reading for weeks and becoming deeply interested in the area and its history. Thanks to all for their contributions.

I took this information and made my first journey last week visiting Apple Pie Hill, Harrisville, Martha Furnace and Lake Oswego, all with information gained here.

While I did not encounter any soft areas (basic two wheel drive F-150 being driven here) on the above journeys, I'll admit to some nervousness being new to exploring the area. My question is if it is safe to assume most of the off-roads can be travelled without four wheel drive or was I simply lucky? Also if anyone could identify roads they feel may be a safe bet or those that I may just want to stay clear of. I would appreciate any information very much.

This weekend I'm looking forward to my first canoe trip on one of the rivers in the area!

Thanks!
 

Teegate

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Sorry for the delay Bill in getting this up.

I only have a car and I go almost everywhere. With a truck I would be careful since front wheel drive is much better in the woods. Once the rain comes in the fall you need to be very watchful of the puddles. That is of rain comes.

Guy
 

BubbaMax

New Member
Trip Results

Thank you for your response.

We did make it back down that way yesterday for our first canoe trip from Hawkins Bridge to Evans Bridge. River level was very low and I'd probably discourage any other newbies fom attempting that journey until the level came up a bit. Lets just say it was far from a "casual" float !

We paddled with just a couple of brief stops and the trip took 3 1/2 hours. Luckily I had a young buck in the back pushing through many of the lower levels. Knowing what I do now I would simply request probably a couple more hours so I'd have time to stop and explore more. I'm sure the canoe liveries would oblige such a request. The people at Micks were very kind and helpful to us.

I wished I had done more research prior on that section of the Wading with respect to some areas. There appeared to be several old areas of wood pilings, possibly a dam and the history of the old boat that sits on the side. I plan on looking in the forums after I send this off.

I did manage a little more two wheel "off" road exploring without any difficulty but the key word is "little", I was just way too wiped out after digging down the Wading to do too much more! :)

Overall I was reasonably impressed with how clean the river area was and we did our part to gather a bag full of trash from those who continue to disregard the beauty of this cherished area.

Bill
 

Teegate

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Bill,

The dam was built to divert water from the Wading to Harrisville Lake. You can still see the channel and I would recommend you stop in one day right off of the road by Harrisville Lake and check the channel out in the fall after vegetation drops.

Here is the dam. Notice the channel heads ESE

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.67829&lng=-74.54113&z=16&type=k&gpx=

Here is where the channel crosses 679. You can't see if from the road but a very short walk in the woods will reveal it. It is quite wide.

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.674168&lng=-74.529354&z=17&type=k&gpx=

Then it heads to Harrisville Lake. BTW, the GPS coordinates are up top in the URL.

Guy
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,354
94
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37
camden county
My 4 wheel drive recently broke on my jeep and I feel the same nervousness when going to spots now. Most roads you can ride with 2 wheel, but I would look out around places like rockwood road and sections of wharton. I got my cherokee stuck about 2.5 miles down the road on rockwood and had to spend from 12 till 8 at night getting out....not fun(come to think of it was fun)...recently got is stuck around dover road by bamber too......just be careful some spot can get hairy quick.
 

Teegate

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My 4 wheel drive recently broke on my jeep and I feel the same nervousness when going to spots now. Most roads you can ride with 2 wheel, but I would look out around places like rockwood road and sections of wharton. I got my cherokee stuck about 2.5 miles down the road on rockwood and had to spend from 12 till 8 at night getting out....not fun(come to think of it was fun)...recently got is stuck around dover road by bamber too......just be careful some spot can get hairy quick.
That spot is all sand, and the evidence there proves you were not the first to get stuck there. You need your vehicle in the best of shape to go there with confidence.

Guy
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
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Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Yeah, that's a tough spot, as are some of the roads southeast of Hampton, the sandier areas to the northeast and up in Forked River, etc.

I agree 100% with what Guy said: you're actually better off in a car than in a 2wd truck. Having only rear-wheel drive and not much weight sitting on top of the powered end of the frame is a recipe for digging holes in the sand. Imagine those wheels sitting under the paltry weight of the bed and tailgate, trying to push the whole front end including the motor through some soft stuff. Much better to be pulling it all.

That said, the bulk of the area is accessible to cars and just about any vehicle if you take it easy and are prepared to turn around. You will need to master what is known as the "five point elbow-grinder" method of turning a car around on a ten foot-wide trail.
 

Ben Ruset

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When I had my old Wrangler I was able to go nearly everywhere in 2WD, and I never worried about getting stuck. Now, with my whiz bang super duper four door Wrangler, I need to be in 4WD to get around. Just last weekend I was out with Gabe on the road that goes behind Batsto Lake on the Pleasant Mills side and I hit a patch of sugar sand and almost got stuck. Throwing it into 4WD got me out quickly though.

I think the heavier your vehicle, and the longer the wheelbase is, the worse off you are without 4WD. That's why my new Wrangler may be great for wheeling up in the mountains where you have rocks and whatnot, but it's just an absolute pig in the Pine Barrens.
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
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Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
I think the heavier your vehicle, and the longer the wheelbase is, the worse off you are without 4WD. That's why my new Wrangler may be great for wheeling up in the mountains where you have rocks and whatnot, but it's just an absolute pig in the Pine Barrens.
Yep, that's a great way to put it, and so the average full-size pickup is just an extreme example, with all the weight in a lump over the front wheels.

I almost never need 4WD in the FJ. Occasionally in some really loose sand like the stuff just east of Quaker Bridge.
 

Aaron

Explorer
Jul 29, 2007
171
0
16
2 funniest cars ive ever owned for woods exploration.

1969 VW Beetle set up for "baja"
and my Amc Eagle 4 door sedan indestructable inline 6 huge ground clearence 4wd, good times
 

Teegate

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2 funniest cars ive ever owned for woods exploration.

1969 VW Beetle set up for "baja"
and my Amc Eagle 4 door sedan indestructable inline 6 huge ground clearence 4wd, good times
Up until front wheel drive became popular, the VW Beetle was the best non 4x4 to use in the pines. I would see them all them out there.

Guy
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,520
57
1,028
48
Pestletown
1969 Kaiser mailjeep... indestructable. (Salmon colored, blechh)
Roll it, sink it, swamp it, catch it on fire, get it stuck/unstuck, etc.
With cast iron Chevy 4 cylinder and a two speed trans.
Hilarious! Like the M.A.S.H Jeep but with a box top and oh yeah...
The steering wheel on the wrong side.

I was an idiot to ever get let it go. I saw it around for a number of years and last ran into it in the local junk yard. I sat in it for old time's sake.
Washed in a wave of sadness and fond memories.

g.
 

oji

Piney
Jan 25, 2008
2,002
336
1,063
58
Browns Mills
When I got my drivers license I got my moms old car. A 1971 Ford Pinto which I spent many hours driving around Whitesbogs and Lebanon State Forest. When I got rid of it the oil pan was so smashed in it held a quart less of oil. Once I started working I bought a Blazer and have buying 4x4's ever since. I never got stuck in the Pinto but several times over the years with the 4x4's. Once having to pay $300.00 to get winched out of the sand on L.B.I.
 

BubbaMax

New Member
Bill,

The dam was built to divert water from the Wading to Harrisville Lake. You can still see the channel and I would recommend you stop in one day right off of the road by Harrisville Lake and check the channel out in the fall after vegetation drops.

Here is the dam. Notice the channel heads ESE

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.67829&lng=-74.54113&z=16&type=k&gpx=

Here is where the channel crosses 679. You can't see if from the road but a very short walk in the woods will reveal it. It is quite wide.

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.674168&lng=-74.529354&z=17&type=k&gpx=

Then it heads to Harrisville Lake. BTW, the GPS coordinates are up top in the URL.

Guy

Guy,

Thank you so much for this information. I had been reading for the past few weeks about the history of Harrisville and did make a tour of the area a few weeks back for the first time. I had located the canal out of Harrisville lake and traced it to the ruins. I did not however understand the canal feeding into Harrisville and when I asked about the dam on the Wading River I had no idea this would all tie in.

In studying the 1930 topo map the canal is very clear, however I see no lake at Harrisville. Can you clear up for me if in fact there was a lake in place during the era of Harrisville or when the lake itself was created? Also, in my reading I see it mentioned of a dam being removed 1970ish I believe to restore normal flow to the Wading. Would this be the dam I saw and thus okay to assume that was when the canal was abandoned?

Also, many thanks to all who have commented on two wheelin in the pines. Very helpful information in trying to keep myself out of trouble in the future!

On the two wheelin topic, can anyone confirm the condition of Martha Rd from Harrisville Lake to Lake Oswego? Ive taken this from Harrisville to Martha Furnace but notice it appears the road continues to Andrews Rd and Lake Oswego.

Again, many thanks to all for their comments.

Bill
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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Guy,

Thank you so much for this information. I had been reading for the past few weeks about the history of Harrisville and did make a tour of the area a few weeks back for the first time. I had located the canal out of Harrisville Lake and traced it to the ruins. I did not however understand the canal feeding into Harrisville and when I asked about the dam on the Wading River I had no idea this would all tie in.

In studying the 1930 topo map the canal is very clear, however I see no lake at Harrisville. Can you clear up for me if in fact there was a lake in place during the era of Harrisville or when the lake itself was created? Also, in my reading I see it mentioned of a dam being removed 1970ish I believe to restore normal flow to the Wading. Would this be the dam I saw and thus okay to assume that was when the canal was abandoned?

Also, many thanks to all who have commented on two wheelin in the pines. Very helpful information in trying to keep myself out of trouble in the future!

On the two wheelin topic, can anyone confirm the condition of Martha Rd from Harrisville Lake to Lake Oswego? Ive taken this from Harrisville to Martha Furnace but notice it appears the road continues to Andrews Rd and Lake Oswego.

Again, many thanks to all for their comments.

Bill
The lake at Harrisville was there when Harrisville operated and before, and was used to run the place. The canal right there across the road from the ruins is where the water flowed. After Harrisville was destroyed Camp Lyon which was a Boy Scout camp used it and you can see photo's of the lake in various books that show the campers.

The dam was replaced in 1973 when I first visited there, and I unfortunately only took one photo of the process. I have been meaning to make a "Then And Now" photo using it, but have failed to do so as of yet.

Do not go past Martha unless you have a 4x4, and you can't make it to Oswego Lake because the road is now private property behind Oswego Lake. It is owned by Haines. There have been various discussions on that here so a search should turn up something.


Then And Now

http://gallery.njpinebarrens.com/showgallery.php/cat/238

Guy
 

lgench

Explorer
Jan 19, 2005
125
0
16
Bristol, PA
When I got my drivers license I got my moms old car. A 1971 Ford Pinto which I spent many hours driving around Whitesbogs and Lebanon State Forest. When I got rid of it the oil pan was so smashed in it held a quart less of oil. Once I started working I bought a Blazer and have buying 4x4's ever since. I never got stuck in the Pinto but several times over the years with the 4x4's. Once having to pay $300.00 to get winched out of the sand on L.B.I.
My first foray off-road was in the summer of '64 in a new Corvair, using a map I got from Clyde Birdsall (sic). With a couple of buddies, stayed in one of the cabins on the far side of the lake (Atsion) where the new building is. Cost about $3.00. It rained overnight, so the sand was firm. Had no trouble. Traveled quite a ways.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,318
1,823
1,093
Coastal NJ
If your going to travel the sand roads in any vehicle, its wise to have a portable air pump, an air gauge, a wide, thick piece of plywood, a reliable jack, tow strap and a small shovel tucked away in the trunk/bed. Check out the site below for info on how to get unstuck, its for beach driving, but driving on the soft sand roads is very similar.

http://www.stripersurf.com/4x4.html

Many years ago I used to hunt on the Lakehurst base and got stuck using my fathers car, I dug it in down to the frame trying to get out. Long after dark a Jeep came by, turns out he was looking for me as I had not signed out, and he yanked me out after giving me a good military lecture :words: Learned my lesson about being prepared that night.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,197
1,901
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
A trick for you guys who do 2 wheelin in the pines is to keep a large 30" piece of asphalt roof shingle in your trunk. That or a wire shelf from an old oven. Either under the wheels after a short dig and a car jack often saves the day.
 

BubbaMax

New Member
Many thanks to all for your comments, thoughts and suggestions. With the increased awareness of conditions and two wheelin survival tricks and tips information you have shared I look forward to some cautious exploring!

Bill