Today we hiked from the park office at Atsion to the Carranza Monument and back ....about 10 miles round trip. From Atsion, head southeast on the Mullica (yellow) Trail for .4 miles until you reach an abandoned railroad with the rails still in place and pitch pines growing among the ties. Turn left at the railroad and head northeast into the pines. You'll cross a few streams and the Batsto River, numerous sand roads and see stands of pigmy pines and Atlantic white cedar. The railroad will later cross its first paved road, Carranza Road. Turn left and walk a few hundred yards northeast; the Carranza Memorial is on your left. This hike can also be done with two cars if you leave one car at the Carranza Memorial. We met a handful of friendly hikers and offroad vehicle drivers.
From NJ Montly magazine on "Historic Batsto," by Robert Strauss, October, 2009:
"Like one of those Russian dolls, where each comes apart to expose another within, Batsto Village, nestled in the pine forests of Burlington County, is a many-layered Jersey pleasure. The village grew up around an ironworks that dates to 1766. The original ironworks made primarily cookware and household items, but after 1776 it began supplying artillery and munitions for the Continental Army. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the iron business lagged and Batsto turned to glassmaking, but by 1867, even that had declined and the property fell into receivership."
Click here for the rest of the article.
On April 15th, 2009 docmaker says:
Hello All, Last weekend, after contemplating an overnight trip on the AT from Pawling to Route 17 via public transport, Katie and I decided to rent a car instead and head down to the Pine Barrens in Batsto NJ where the weather reports were much more favorable. We parked at the Batsto Visitor's center at Wharton State Park (about a 2 hr ride from BK) and hiked out 5 miles to the Mullica River Primitive Campground. We set our packs at the site right at the bank of the river and proceeded to hike an additional 5 miles following the mullica north and around a short loop towards the lower valley forge campground and ending back at our campsite where we had left our gear just in time for dinner - (the trails here are all very well marked and you can grab a map at the Batsto center before you take off). http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/wharton.htmlThere was an out house and a water pump at the Mullica River site and although it was a really windy day there were some other backpackers and canoeists that joined us at the campground. There were even some very seasoned campers who were roasting two whole chickens over a fire. Bravo for hiking in with those chickens! Everyone was very quiet and we had an extremely peaceful rest! The next morning we had a hearty breakfast of brown sugar oatmeal and sidled up our packs and headed north along the mullica towards Atsion and then veered off again towards lower valley campground but this time instead of swinging back to the mullica, we took the pink batona trail back south to Batsto. In its entirety the Batona trail is a 50 mile long path and we only did about 7 or 8 miles of it. I would love to do the whole thing sometime, even though its sometimes easy to lose the marker (at some point we missed a turn off but ran into to some mountain bikers who helped us get back on track)...What a great trip - i highly recommend it. Very flat and sandy - like hiking on the beach but with tons of tall pines all around. There is a similar route suggested in the 50 hikes in NJ book... Also, for your general enjoyment - here is a link to a funny silent film that we made while on the trip...have fun in the pines! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4V6uYavmEAdam PS. This weekend we are planning a trip to Harriman. We've got our maps and we're thinking about a short hike into a shelter on friday evening and then a hike to another shelter for saturday, then hike back to our car on sunday. Anybody know of a big ol' loop that might work for us?