Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mullica River Trail to Beaver Pond, Wharton State Forest

October 22, 2012
Distance: 5.4 miles
Time: 2 hours 56 minutes
Map: We picked up a map at the park office in the parking area
This map is online: Batona - but the map from the park office was clearer

Parking: Large parking area next to the park office - Route 206 in Atsion, NJ
Restrooms: In field behind parking area
Post hike dinner: Whole Foods, somewhere in NJ
More park information
Wharton State Forest
We based our hike on the description in the link below. However, we only had 1 car, so we didn't do this as described. If you had 2 cars, you could do an approximately 10 mile hike between Atsion and Batso.
Atsion Carranza Monument

The yellow blazed Mullica River trail starts on the right side of the park office. It passes by a hunting club on the right & a church on the left before going into the woods on the left. We followed the yellow blazed trail for 2.7 miles until the Mullica River trail swelled into what I guess is considered Beaver Pond (location where the Mullica River trail intersects with the Beaver Pond Quaker Bridge trail).

This trail is very flat. The footing is very nice - sandy with pine needles. Not rocky at all.
The first 1 1/2 miles or so were not very scenic. A lot of leaves were already down, so it was looking kind of grey. Also there were clear cut areas which scarred the landscape. As we got closer to the Beaver Pond area, it was much prettier. More color, and I thought the Beaver Pond area was very pretty. It really isn't a good place for swimming - the water is very shallow.
The trail is crossed by numerous sand/gravel roads. Horses aren't allowed on the smaller trails, but are allowed on the larger trails/sand roads. We also saw the occasional truck on the sand roads. I'm not sure what they were doing - most weren't park trucks. It isn't safe to have dogs off leash here due to this - as you can't always see when you are about to intersect with a sand road.

We did this as a 5.4 mile out and back. Atsion to intersection of Beaver Pond, and back to Atsion.
We were hoping to drive across the street and do a 1 mile loop next to Atsion Lake on the Atsion Lake Trail, but this area had a locked off parking area which closed at 4pm.

Year to date miles: 335.6
Trailhead for yellow blazed trail
Crossing an abandoned railroad
The distance to Batso is posted every .5 miles
Reds in the short brush
Sign at our destination
Beaver Pond, which looks more like a swampy area, but was very pretty
We tried swimming, but it was just wading
Taking a rest next to the pond
Camo Trek in the pine barrens

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