Hiking Around Harrisville Pond at the Batona Trail
Recently, I went over the Pinelands and the, Harrisville Pond, and Batona Trail. I haven’t been out that way in a while. When we first moved to New Jersey 6 years ago, we used to live runnable to the area. Now it’s about a 45-minute drive. Anyway, I’ve missed hiking for the last few months, so it was nice to get out there.
The Harrisville Pond Lake Trail is 4.15 miles on the Botona Trail is located in Woodland Township in Burlington County, NJ. The Batona Trail is a 49.5 trail through South Jersey. It’s an easy soft sand trail that you could easily run on. In fact, they host an ultra marathon on the trail. I’ve hiked parts of the Batona Trail, including: Wharton State Forest Pakim Pond in Brendan T. Byrne State Park, Franklin Parker Preserve.
For those who don’t know, the Pinelands is also home to the “Jersey Devil”. The Jersey Devil is a legendary creature said to live in the Pine Barrens. It’s described as a flying kangaroo or goat-like creature with a high pitched scream.
I wanted an easy trail that I didn’t think a lot of people would be on. Compared to many state parks, I thought the Pinelands would be less crowded and better for social distancing. For the most part, that was true. While there were a lot of people in the small parking area, most of them were canoeing on the lake. I only saw 2-3 people on the trail, plus the people I got stuck behind when I arrived.
After parking, you’ll need to walk along the edge of the Harrisville Pond to get to the trail. From there, it’s an easy soft trail to follow. You cross the footbridge and “T” with the Pink Trail (the Batona Trail). You’ll follow the edge of the Harrisville Pond and get a nice view. The Harrisville Pond trail is slightly more narrow then towards the end of the hike. Since the Batona Trail is well known in South Jersey, it’s blazed. It’s difficult to get lost.
You’ll walk over the Martha Bridge. I was a little bit skeptical when walking around. The Martha Bridge isn’t flat and you can tell it’s been through a lot. But, it hasn’t fallen and when I walked over, I didn’t feel like I was about to fall in the Oswego River.
Beyond the Martha Bridge is the fenced remains of the Martha Furnace. The Martha Furnace was founded in 1793 by Isaac Potts; had 40-50 structures with 400 people. It’s hard to imagine 400 people working in the area now. I recently learned New Jersey did a study on the remains in the 1960s but then covered them so they won’t be disturbed. If you look carefully down, you’ll see bits of iron from the process.
About a half of a mile from the Martha Furnance, you’ll come back to the road and Harrisville Pond parking lot. You can also cross the road to see the Harrisville Paper Mill.
In all, there is a lot of history at the Harrisville Pond at the Batona Trail. You have the Martha Furnace and remains, the Martha Bridge, the Oswego River, Harrisville Pond, and the Harrisville Paper Mill. It’s an easy four-mile trail with soft surfaces that you can walk, run, or even canoe. Like anywhere in the Pinelands, I would watch for ticks when it gets warmer.
You can see all hikes here.
Questions for you:
What is your favorite hike? Have you been to Harrisville Pond?
Do you like canoeing?