Extending 49.5 miles through the heart of the Pinelands, the Batona Trail [pink] is the longest blazed hiking trail in southern New Jersey. It starts from Bass River State Forest and goes through Wharton State Forest and Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. The trail was established in 1961 by the Batona [Back to Nature] Hiking Club of Philadelphia, and it is still maintained by that group.
To pierce the genuine wilderness of the area, the Batona Trail avoids the sand roads as much as possible. Still, about 20% of the treadway is soft sand, which makes for slower-than-expected progress in parts of this mostly level trail. Good starting points for the trips on the trail are the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest headquarters and the Batsto Visitor Center. Trail maps and information may be obtained there, as well as at the Atsion Ranger Station and the Bass River Forest Office. A permit is required to camp along the trail in state forests.
For more information about the trail, contact Wharton State Forest, Batsto Village, 4110 Nesco Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037 [phone number below].
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The southern terminus of the Batona Trail is near the junction of French Coal Road and Stage Road, near Lake Absegami, in the Bass River State Forest. Its northern terminus is at Ong’s Hat on Magnolia Road in the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest [1.5 miles northwest of Four Mile Circle]. Click on the map tab at the top of this page for directions to these points.